Government to overhaul employment vetting system

The government has published a bill to consolidate employee checking systems to protect children and vulnerable people, including an on-line scheme to allow parents to check on the suitability of home tutors and nannies.

The government has published a bill to consolidate employee checking systems to protect children and vulnerable people, including an on-line scheme to allow parents to check on the suitability of home tutors and nannies.

Education secretary Ruth Kelly has published a bill to introduce the new vetting and barring scheme.

The bill is designed to overhaul existing measures for vetting and barring, linking together central registers such as List 99 covering schools and the Sex Offenders Register.

New central vetting processes, to be introduced from 2008, will extend the work currently carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

Other measures include an independent board to take the final decision on who can work with children and vulnerable people, instead of ministers having the final say on the matter.

Kelly was the subject of criticism when her department allowed a teacher to work in a school after being convicted of viewing child porn. He had been put on the sex offenders register. Kelly later confirmed that 88 sex offenders had been allowed to work in schools.

There will also be prison sentences of up to five years and fines of up to £5,000 for employers providing work for someone they know to be barred.

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