Wednesday, 25 November 2009

URGENT: UNITED KINGDOM

The Independent Safeguarding Authority

VETTING AND BARRING SCHEME

IGNORE THIS AT YOUR PERIL

If you are in any way connected with the practice of Conductive Education in the United Kingdom, this applies to YOU

Please pass this information on to anyone who might need to know this *.

Ignore this information and you could be taken to court, fined, or even put in prison. You will also gain a criminal record.

The following official announcement applies specifically to England, Wales and Northern Ireland There are parallel regulations being put in force in Scotland. I leave them to you to find these out of you need them.

The following quick summary of these new regulation may have missed out points that apply to YOU.

Do not rely upon what you read here. You owe it to yourself to check personally on the website given at the end of this posting. Even if you think that everything is OK for you according to current regulations, still check to see whether there is anything else needing to be covered.

These new regulations will come into force in November 2010.

'Vetting and barring' by the Independent Safeguarding Authority

The new regulations involve a police check (that is a check of criminal records, for any kind of offence) for everyone who will have have contact with children and 'vulnerable adults' in the United Kingdom after November 2010.

These regulations will apply to all non-family members, whatever activity brings them into contact with children and vulnerable adults:
  • all professional staff of services
  • all other staff of services (administrative, cleaning, cooking, caretaking, fundraising, everyone)
  • all volunteers
  • all parents, carers or other relatives coming into 'help' (parent-and-child services are in my view a 'grey area' but it might avoid argument if you include them)
  • all studenst on practice placements
  • everybody who has regular or intensive contact.

Regular contact means once a month or more, intensive means three or more times in one week, or overnight. Visitors are exempt.

Failure to register, or employing anyone who is not registered, will be a criminal offence. Both the individual and the employer will be liable to prosecution and if found guilty to a fine of imprisonment. Ignorance of the regulations will not be a defence in court.

Do not regard this quick summary as enough. I no longer have the need to read all this in detail and therefore have no intention of subjecting myself to it. If you, however, have the slightest suspicion that any of this might apply to you, then check what I say from the website given below, and act as directed.

Do not just put this information aside to deal with later. Registration will be open in July 2010.

Go to the website given below find out how and when to register.

Don't forget. You will have to be 'vetted' before you start work. The Authority says that 'vetting' will take no more than seven days, after which (it is promised) individuals will receive a registration number to show that they are clean.

Well-run centres will already know all his this information but, believe it or not, there may be CE services in the United Kingdom that do not. If you or yours attend any centre or service, then it will do no harm to enquire whether it is compliant with these regulations. Be you service-user, employeed or conductor, you will not wish your service put at risk for failing to take any of this into account).

Private employment arrangements are also included, tutors, au pairs, nannies, even 'exchange visits', and of course private conductors (whether the latter offer their services in their own premises or the family's own home).

Remember, this is not just a matter of work with children. It includes all work with 'vulnerable adults'.

The cost of applying to register will be £64.00.

What about Conductive Education?

These new regulation will apply to everyone who has contact with children and 'vulnerable adults'.

To emphasis this more strongly, these new regulations will apply to everyone who has contact with anyone who might benefit from Conductive Eduction.

Conductors will not be excepted, whatever their nationality.

  • Any individual, family or orgnisation in the United Kingdom intending to employ a conductor to work with children or 'vulnerable adults' MUST ensure that the conductor is registered before starting work. Not to do so will be a criminal offence.
  • Any conductor intending to work with children or 'vulnerable adults' in the United Kingdom must be registered before starting work. To do such work without sucessfully registering will be a criminal offence.

Ignorance of the regulations will not be a defence in court.

Conductive Education throws up a special circumstance in that most of the conductors professionally active in the United Kingdom (perhaps around a hundred or so) are not British citizens and many of them, especially when they apply for jobs in the UK, are not even resident in the country:

  • Conductors already working in the United Kingdom in established organisations will be able to check with their employers that everyting is already in order.
  • Those in less established organisationshould make doubly sure.
  • Short-term, sessional, weekend and 'informal' arrangments will also require registration. So will 'camps', holiday schemes, after-school arangements etc. Check that you and your work will be 'legal'.
  • Most especially, everyone involved in 'private' arrangements to employ conductors, full-time in the home or by whatever form of visting arrangement, should read these regultins very carefully indeed. They apply to you too.

These regulations may not be easy to understand, even for native English-speakers. If you have any doubts, get someone to go through them with you. Remember, it is the intention of these regulations not to let anybody escape 'vetting'. Do not waste your time, and maybe end up un court, by trying to think of a way in which these regultions will not apply to YOU. They do!

Just accept it as a fact of life in the United Kingdom from November 2010 that will be NO EXCEPTIONS, and that all conductors will have to have a registered number before they can work with children or 'vulnerable adults'. This will no doubt cause difficulties in particular situations. These will just have to be overcome.

All these regulations will apply equally to families employing or engaging conductors on a private basis and to conductors in any sort of private practice, you will be breaking the law if you do not follow these regulations, the police will be involved,you will go to court, you may be fined or go to prison, and you will receive a criminal record.

If you are reading this from outside the United Kingdom...

Even if you are a foreigner to the United Kingdom, it will not be a defence in court to say that you did not know that you would have to register before you could work with children and 'vulnerable adults'. Nor will it help to say that you did not understand the form.

If you know of any conductors intending to work in the United Kingdom after November 2010, pass this information on to them. They should have no problem if they take two simple steps:

  • Get the form
  • Get your future employerto help you to fill it it and submit it.

Of course, there is nothing to stop you comig to the United Kingdom anyway and seeking to register when you are here, whether you have a definite job in mind or not, just as long as you do not work with children or 'vulnerable adults', in any capacity, in the meantime.

If this all adds yet another layer of problem to conductor-recruitment and retention in the United Kingdom, then so be it.

All this costs...

Someone will have to find the cost of registering. Presumably whether this is paid by the conductor or the employer will be subject to individul negotiation (though once a conductor has been registered for one job, has been found to be clean and receives a number, there will be no need to register again).

I have no way of knowing whether all this business will 'save' a single child (nor does anyone else). The Government calculates that the whole scheme is like to take in 11.3 million adults (out of a total population (including children!) of some 60 million. Presumably the Government has figures for how much this will all cost, too.

Nor can one estimate the collateral social costs of this stentorian measure. That will be for future historians to decide. In the meantime, it is already forecast that a host of long-established social activities will be going to the wall.

The Government reckons that this will be the most comprehensive such system in the world. I am sure that this is right. What you think of all this is up to you but. if you are in any way affected by the above, as conductor, conductor-employer or service-user, then you will have no choice but to comply with it.

Please do not address your questions to me. I hope that Conductive World will have no reason to return to this matter. Go to this website for all further information:

http://www.isa-gov.org.uk/default.aspx?page=0

If for any reason you do nor understand this posting or, more importantly, this website, then TAKE ADVICE. I also believe that there are courses that you can go on. More cost...

_________________

* Either print this page or pass on its web address:

10 comments:

  1. As with DNA, where it would be so much more convenient for the State if everyone's DNA were stored on a national database, would it not be simpler for the State to compel everyone to carry an identity card encrypted with their ISA registration, and be required to produce this on demand?

    Would it not be easier to remove all children and vulnerable adults from society altogether and keep them behind locked doors, attended only by the very few State approved personnel? Much safer.

    Yes, Andrew. ISA is with us and everyone must comply or suffer a hefty penalty. But we must not accept this nonsense without raising our voices against the monstrosity at every opportunity.

    BTW, a couple of weeks ago it was revealed that around 15,000 mistakes a year were made in vetting by the CRB. 15,000 lives. 15,000 people with friends and relatives and would-be colleagues. However, a CRB spokesperson sought to assure us that this was OK because it was a less than 1% error rate. Fine as long as you are not one of the 15,000 ...

    Eventually we must hope that some sort of sanity will prevail.

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  2. Correction.
    An extra zero crept into my figures, which should have been 1500.

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  3. Clarification
    My original figure of 15,000 was correct but should have referred not to a year but to the number of complaints (15320) about criminal records checks so far upheld since the CRB was set up in 2002. "It is thought a significant number of these related to people wrongly being accused of criminal offences." http://bit.ly/909z

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  4. This is not something new. At the Conductive Education Support Centre in Brockenhurst UK, all our staff and volunteers have been CRB checked, as it was compulsory since we opened in 1998.

    Before Ofsted became compulsory we had to be registered and we were inspected annually by Social Services and a compulsory CRB check applied.

    All Ofsted registered centres/projects have to follow the guidelines set out and regularly inspected by Ofsted it includes the compulsory CRB check.

    The CRB check is free for all Ofsted registered centres and projects.

    Judit Szathmáry conductor

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  5. Judit,
    I have to correct you because the current CRB is not free.
    The standard one is £26.00 and the enhanced check is £32.00.
    Also, anybody who is employed to work with vulnerable children and/or adults or works as a volunteer is obliged to have this CRB regardless they registered with OFSTED or not. For example in certain CE establishments Parent and Child services are not registered and inspected by Ofsted, however they still have to have the CRB form.

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  6. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for the correction as it maybe different in different locations within the UK.
    When we got involved with working with children in 1998 the CRB check was compulsory in Hampshire.
    When Ofsted took over from Social Services a few years ago we were informed that even childminders working form home or anyone who works with, or takes care of children had to be registered with Ofsted.
    Once we paid the Ofsted registration fee the CRB check was and it is still free up to this date.
    Also if new staff or volunteers join our centre we have to have a new CRB check for them registered with us, as we are not allowed to accept other places CRB checks and registrations. Until the CRB check came back clear we were not allowed to leave staff unsupervised even if they had a clear previous record.
    I hope that this clarifies this issue further and helps people to seek advise accordingly.
    Judit Szathmáry conductor

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  7. Andrew is referring to the Independent Safeguarding Authority's Vetting and Barring Scheme, which is, I'm afraid, both new and additional to the existing CRB checks.
    See http://bit.ly/65PplS

    How Ofsted interprets its responsibilities for safe-guarding has been causing some "anxieties". I am still seeking a definitive Ofsted statement, but this might help as a starter: http://bit.ly/927ToH

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  8. Dear Norman,

    It is obvious that Andrew quite wisely raised awareness of the new Independent Safeguarding Authority's Vetting and Barring Scheme, which everyone must take notice of and adjust their way of operating within the UK.
    I wanted to highlight that it is not something new… it has been introduced, prepared and tested in different regions and probably in different ways within the UK before it became a centralised system management. These things don’t often just come out of the blue, but sometimes they do.
    I am also aware of that within Hampshire some projects charged their employees for their CRB checks. My attention was drawn to that when conductors applied for a job with us and told us that they personally had to pay before.
    I also hope that ‘Conductive World's’ readers would take careful notice of your valuable previous comments and interpret them wisely for future reference.
    Norman the links you put up don’t work. Maybe it is just my computer.
    Judit

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  9. The URLs noted in my previous Comment need to be copied and pasted. I've just checked - they are OK. Hope that helps.

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  10. The CRB website (http://bit.ly/5FSdTr) explains the difference between CRB and the new ISA checks as follows:
    What is the difference between the service offered by the ISA and the CRB?
    1. The ISA will prevent the most unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults by making it a legal requirement for everyone who is working with children or the vulnerable to be registered with the ISA.

    2. The CRB will continue to support employers by providing them with access to an individual’s full criminal record and other information so that they can assess the individual’s suitability for the particular post or position.

    In other words CRB is essentially advisory to employers. ISA's Vetting and Barring scheme will, as it says, "barr" individuals from working with children and young people - on pain of stringent penalties for both individual and employee.

    For me, this is a significant new shift in the power of the State - based on no evidence whatsoever that it will achieve the safeguarding of children which is claimed for it.

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