Teachers reject child safety vetting scheme

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A new poll has revealed that hundreds of thousands of home tutors will refuse to register on a state database designed to prevent paedophiles from working with children.

From this summer, people who work with children or vulnerable adults will be required to register on the Home Office database. This includes over 11 million teachers and 750,000 home tutors.

The poll, conducted by thetutorpages.com has revealed that three quarters of respondents have indicated that they had no intention of registering on the vetting and barring scheme because the database was intrusive and would damage trust built up between parents and tutors.

One in five believe it will do nothing to stop paedophiles, while 68% argue it will lead to miscarriages of justice.

Those registered on the database will have their employment histories checked and their details scanned through police and other records, and will still have to separately obtain a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

However, the scheme will be voluntary for thousands of private tutors, coaches, nannies and babysitters who are self-employed. Typically tutors are recruited by parents to provide one-to-one teaching for their children in their homes. Only those who also work in schools or other formal settings or activities will have to register.

Henry Fagg, director of thetutorpages.com, said; "Tutors work very closely with parents and have a relationship built on trust. This scheme is in danger of undermining that bond of trust as it breeds the suspicion that every adult who works with children is a potential paedophile."

The findings come as the Conservatives published their election manifesto, which includes a commitment to scale back the scheme to “common sense levels”.

Key findings include:

  • 74% of self-employed tutors say they will not sign up for the scheme
  • 70% say it is a waste of resources  and will be a bureaucratic nightmare to administer
  • 71%  say it will create a blanket of suspicion and undermine trust in all adults working with children
  • 68% say it will lead to miscarriages of justice, with innocent people being unfairly barred from working with children and their reputations and careers ruined
  • 76% say there is a real danger that sensitive information will be lost or released in error with the risk that reputations and careers could be seriously damaged
  • 80% believe it is about protecting agencies and schools and will not prevent paedophiles accessing children elsewhere
  • 80% believe it is ‘way over the top’ and needs to be replaced with a simple, common sense vetting system.