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Schools: Vetting

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 9 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many notifications his Department and its predecessor sent to each of the schools inspectorates under the automatic transfer arrangements in relation to (a) independent and (b) maintained schools in each year since April 2005; and how many notifications his Department and its predecessor received from independent and grant maintained schools in each such year. (241493)

To date, the Department has referred 84 notifications to the Schools Inspectorates since April 2005 relating to individuals who resigned or were dismissed from independent schools because they were considered unsuitable to work with children. Details are given in the following tables. In the case of maintained schools, Ofsted can approach the local authority concerned in respect of notifications from its schools.

Referrals to inspectorates

Inspectorate

2005

2006

2007

2008

Total

ISI

5

27

17

15

64

Ofsted

2

4

7

7

20

CSC11

2

4

1

0

7

1 The seven referrals made to the former Commission for Social Care Inspection (now Ofsted) were also referred to the relevant education inspectorate and are thus included in the totals for ISI and Ofsted.

Under the new Vetting and Barring Scheme a supervisory authority such as Ofsted will be required to inform the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) if it has information that a person poses a risk of harm. In return, ISA must inform them when it bars someone who is supervised or registered by them.

Where employers (including independent schools) in the education sector have ceased to use the services of a person because they consider that person is unsuitable to work with children, or they would have ceased to use the person's services where the person has left their employment, they are required to refer information to the Department. In addition, the Police refer to the Department cautions and convictions for those who have been working in educational establishments in accordance with Home Office Circular 6/2006 (The Notifiable Occupations Scheme). Identifying how many referrals and letters of notification were received from (i) state maintained and (ii) independent schools would require detailed checks to be made of individual case records and this would incur disproportionate cost.