Criminal Records Disclosures. FAIL!
Last week I wrote my Blog about the way Criminal Records are presently disclosed, or not. Arbitrary and Unlawful, that’s how, according to the Judges. Link Here
As a background, the Judges explained “The uncontroversial object of the legislation, primary and subordinate, is to facilitate employment of former offenders, while affording protection to the vulnerable and recognition of the special requirements of certain sensitive professions, employments and activities.
Turns out, that an additional consequence of the creation of this unlawful and arbitrary system intended to avoid “unfairness” to the guilty, guess what, the innocent are getting legged over.
Was the poet Burns contemplating the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974? He wrote “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy!” and in this instance he was not wrong.
This week I have heard from a person who has no criminal record at all. English born and educated, he is a highly qualified Teacher who has worked for many years in a foreign Country and now returned.
“I’ve had two frustrating experiences with the labyrinthine workings of the CRB/Disclosure and Barring Service, and I haven’t even got any convictions for anything to declare….
“In 2005 I did a MA in Education with a Faculty of Education in the South of England, and completed a special course in Access to Education for young people and adults with a particular handicap. I spent about six months researching and sorting out a placement at a specialist facility in the Midlands where I was to live on campus and teach my subject up to GCSE level. I’d also planned to do a MA thesis on the strength of some research I was going to complete when teaching there.
“The Admin office at my university applied for the CRB form (Enhanced Disclosure) for me; I received the appropriate certificate of ‘no convictions’, told the school that I had received it, and was instructed to bring it along the week before the placement was to start “just so they’d seen it.”
“So far so apparently OK. I spent a very fruitful day at the special school prior to starting teaching, and while I was organising my timetable, collecting materials etc , their office checked my I/D and documents.
“Towards the end of the day however it came to light that the office at the Faculty of Education had not done their job properly – they hadn’t ticked a box referring to ‘working with vulnerable children in residential settings’ when applying for my records check.
“So the whole thing fell through as my CRB check wasn’t ‘complete’.
“The university apologised right, left and centre – they contacted the CRB main office to ask for the form to be re-processed, but the CRB people wouldn’t prioritise my case as they had thousands of other cases in a log-jam.
“The Dean of the Faculty of Education sent me a grovelling apology – but I had to re-organise my placement elsewhere for 6 months later, and I never did complete the particular research I wanted to do…
“In 2014 I was approached by a local school and asked if I could possibly give language support to a child in a Primary School in a local town whose first language was German. The school was very keen to employ me as they hadn’t been able to find anyone with suitable qualifications or experience who had also taught native speakers of German.
“The child who needed some support had been born in Germany when the parents were living there, but had recently moved permanently to the UK as the parents had split up. The pupil mixed languages up, mixed spellings up, had problems adjusting from one language to the other when reading….
“The school called me in and asked me to do an assessment of the child – I then produced a draft support plan to be discussed with parents and teachers. I provided references from the UK and from an International school overseas, and the school was very keen for me to start straight away.
“I already had a current DBS form from the charity organisation I was teaching with, but the local authority insisted I needed a new one which they had to apply for.
“I filled in the form, but as within the last 5 years I’d lived outside the UK, the issuing authority asked me to get a certificate of ‘Good Conduct’ from the country I’d been teaching in when employed in an international school.
“I contacted the Embassy where I’d been living, who informed me that the Police would not entertain such a request as it would be deemed trivial. The only way that the process could be completed would be if the local authority asked the British Embassy in London to contact the Embassy overseas to ask the Police of that country for a full criminal records check – but I was warned that the Police would only ‘consider’ such a request as I was no longer resident there. Such a procedure would probably take a couple of months…. so, again, the whole thing fell through.”
So there it is – we have a complicated Criminal Records Disclosure system and it turns out, it fails all of the following
• Those with Criminal records
• Those without Criminal Records
• Children who need special teachers
If systems are too complicated for anyone actually to make them work, what good are systems? Any conclusions from all this? [Don’t let a monkey fly your spaceship?]
On which slim pretext, Here’s a song from Amy.
Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your CRB Disclosures or any foreign documentation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)