Friday, June 6, 2008

Disclosure Checks

Every Easter for the last 14 years I have been involved with organising this Scots traditional music events for children and one of the issues we have is child protection, in particular the Central Registered Body in Scotland disclosure (police checks.) This is fair enough for those who have had no previous checks but it is somewhat frustrating to go through the rigmarole of disclosure when the sessional workers work with children in several voluntary organisations such as the Feisean during the course of a year and each organisation has to apply and pay for it's own check. This costs time and money which could be much better spent on delivering the programme. Labour MSP Ken Macintosh hit the nail on the head when he said the over zealous application of child protection rules could be more of a hindrance than a help to children.

Even more ridiculous is parent groups and those using schools to teach adult classes going through disclosure checks when they do not have contact with children. Therefore it is something of a relief to read in the Journal of a softening in attitude and MSPs on the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee wanting to change the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 so that parent groups and those using schools to teach adult classes do not have to go through disclosure checks. It is a step in the right direction and hopefully in the near future the issue of sessional workers will be addressed too.


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