The Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced on 15th June that there would be an immediate halt to the further introduction of the Home Office’s Vetting and Barring Scheme. The Scheme will now undergo a significant and unspecified period of review termed as ‘remodeling,’ and is in line with statements previously made in both of the ruling parties election manifestos to scale the scheme back to ‘common sense levels’.
The announcement does not mean the end of the Vetting and Barring Scheme and all steps that have been introduced to date remain in place. These include:
- It being a criminal offence to seek employment while barred
- It being a criminal offence for employers to knowingly recruit an individual who is barred
- A duty for the employer to refer any individuals to the ISA who are considered to have caused harm or to pose a risk of harm to under-18’s and vulnerable groups.
Mark Rendell, Deputy Chief Executive, from English UK remarked that the Association had always held mixed feelings towards the scheme. Whilst being of the utmost importance to ensure that students are well protected and secure, the scheme in its present form had become overly intrusive, bureaucratic and muddled and there was a distinct danger that it may have even indirectly harmed the quality of life and opportunities available to those it had been designed to protect.
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