School Criminal Record Checks Tightened

All local authorities in Wales are being contacted about criminal record checks on school employees after news that some check had been missed in Powys schools.

The Welsh Local Government Association says the situation in Powys is in relation to five members of staff, taken on after new regulations on checks which came into force in 2002.

The WLGA understands from colleagues in Powys that the staff identified were employed in schools for a few hours a week.

“Safeguarding children and young people is the top priority of all local authorities,“ said Steve Thomas, WLGA Chief Executive.

“All local authorities in Wales have a duty to promote and protect the well being of children and young people under current legislation,”

“The WLGA welcomes the Minister’s commitment to bring forward the enhanced legislation. This will bring clarity and consistency to the current system and ensure all staff coming into contact with children in the course of their work will be subject to CRB checks.”

“We are contacting all local authorities regarding the procedures they have in place and outlining the current legislative framework. We are satisfied from those already contacted that rigorous procedures exist.

“There is a double-safeguard in Wales in that all teachers are registered with the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW), who conduct an enhanced CRB check as part of this registration procedure.”

“The Welsh Assembly Government and WLGA have been working closely to implement the Children Act 2004 which will further enhance child protection across Wales. The children’s agenda is the top corporate issue facing local authorities as evidenced by the appointment of a lead elected members for children’s services in each local authority.”