Over the last day or two there has been a huge media frenzy over the Government’s new ‘Vetting and Barring’ scheme for protecting children and vulnerable adults, but it seems to me precious little attention has been paid to the facts. The following comment (from the Telegraph) is typical:
Under the Government’s new Vetting and Barring Scheme, every adult who has regular contact with children outside their family will have to register on a state database. Each individual will then be assessed by officials in terms of the risk they pose to children.
This is simply not true. There are many circumstances where registration on the ‘state database’ will not be required – one massive industry being private tuition. That’s right: self-employed private tutors who are employed by parents are not required to register on the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) database.
The ISA needs desperately to make its role much clearer in order to prevent both media and public over-reaction.
But as far as private tutors are concerned, it’s very much business as usual. As we’ve tried to make clear all along, self-employed tutors neither need a so-called CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, nor do they need to belong to the new ISA database. Although it may well be in a tutor’s interests to voluntarily register with the ISA (to demonstrate an added level of credibility to parents), it is not a legal requirement.
When compiling information for our e-book on tutoring, we contacted the ISA for guidance on this topic. John Sheridan of the DCSF clarified the relationship between the ISA and the private tuition sector for us, and a short interview with him can be found in our e-book. This is what he had to say:
It’s true that self-employed regulated activity providers working for parents will not be required to register with the ISA, because parents will not be required to check these individuals’ ISA registration status. Parliament decided in effect that it would not be appropriate to criminalise parents for not making checks, and it follows that there should be no requirement on the regulated activity provider to register. The online check will be quick and free, and we hope that market pressure from parents wanting to do the check will, over time, lead increasingly to self-employed providers registering with the ISA.
Any tutor or parent who needs to obtain more information on this topic can download our free e-book here.