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Common sense, vetting and barring

7 February 2011

This weekend the Telegraph reported that the long awaited outcome to the vetting and barring scheme review will be significantly scaled back, with the responsibility for ensuring staff are suitable being passed back to employers.

If the Vetting and Barring Scheme had gone ahead as planned last year it would have involved an estimated nine million people having to register themselves with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) before they could lawfully work with children or vulnerable adults. Criticisms of the VBS included volunteers being deterred, and disproportionate measures being taken, such as councils banning ‘unvetted’ parents from playgrounds and parents being advised against sharing the school run with ‘unvetted’ friends.

Those of us who work in the safeguarding arena welcome a measured approach to child protection – something that was unlikely to be achieved by the original scheme. We now await details of what the government say will replace the registration requirement and hope that they strike a more sensible balance.

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