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Disqualification by association illegal?

3 December 2014

Staff can now be disqualified from working in or managing early years if the people they live with have committed certain offences or had certain care orders made against their children. To learn more, sign up to our free webinar.

This is an extension of a law that has applied to child minders for some time and makes sense in that sector – children cared for in a house with other adults present could be at risk from those adults. Extending this to primary schools and expecting staff to sign a declaration confirming that they and those they live with have no such convictions or care orders seems excessive. It could also be illegal.

Last year the courts decided that Disclosure and Barring Service checks breached human rights because they did not differentiate between the nature of the offence, the age of the perpetrator and the length of the sentence. As a result, we now have filtering of convictions. There is no such measure or attempt to balance one’s rights with the necessity of disclosure when dealing with disqualification. How long before this new approach to an existing law is successfully challenged?

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