HC Deb 11 April 2000 vol 348 cc87-8W
Mr. Clappison

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proposals he has for the vetting of volunteer assistants helping in schools. [118737]

Ms Estelle Morris

Existing arrangements provide for volunteers working in schools who have regular contact with pupils to be checked against my Department's list of people who are barred from such employment (List 99) and schools must not use the services of anyone who is barred. If a volunteer working in a school will have substantial unsupervised access to pupils on a regular basis the school should also arrange a criminal record check on the person.

There are no new proposals aimed specifically at volunteer assistants working in schools. However, officials in my Department are working closely with their counterparts in other Departments on a number of measures aimed at improving protection for children from unsuitable people. In particular, the implementation of the new arrangements for criminal record checks set out in Part V of the Police Act 1997, the provisions of the Protection of Children Act 1999, and the proposals in Part II of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Bill. Those measures will apply to volunteers who work with children as well as paid staff.

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