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Vetting & Barring Scheme Cancelled

Well that's the headline on the BBC (click here).  The official statement is still awaited so there may be a bit of sensationalism here (... from the British media ... surely not).

Theresa May is making her mark by announcing that registrations for the VBS due to start next month are cancelled pending a full review of the VBS.  She isn't actually saying it's being cancelled but "scaled back" is the most likely outcome.

Seeing how a full review of the VBS was completed at the back end of last year, this does seem like an attempt to be popular and quite frankly a waste of money.  How much will this review cost us?  

Following the last review, changes had been implemented and clarification provided, particularly in areas such as regularity and frequency of contact.  The assertion that the scheme would deter people from volunteering is speculation - if you were going to volunteer at your local primary school or day centre for the elderly, why would you object to a check being done on your background and having to register with ISA (volunteers don't pay)?  And if any Tom, Dick or Harriette could go into your six year old's school to help out or introduce them to the joys of reading (although I thought that was what we employed teachers for), wouldn't you want them to have gone through some vetting check?  

This isn't about being suspicious of everyone.  It's about protecting children and vulnerable adults as far as is in our power to do so.  We aren't saying the VBS scheme would solve the world's problems, but if it deters just a handful of abusers from gaining contact with children or vulnerable adults, is it really such a terrible thing?

Where will this leave Ofsted's limiting grade on safeguarding?  Watch this space.  We've asked the question and will give you the answer as soon as it's available.


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