Before you read this post you should go to The Vetting and Barring Scheme 1 posted on 20 March 2011 in this blog. I know it was a long time ago, but go and read it first to refresh your memory, or if you didn’t see it initially it will provide you with the background for this post.
The links in that post don’t work anymore because the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.
To quote a line from that post,
“I flatly refused to be checked by the faceless wonders in Whitehall who probably have murky past histories themselves.”
I realise that there was an element of truth in it now. Recently the media have exposed the fact that there could be a few members of Parliament who are not as squeaky clean as we thought. Then it was announced that someone had compiled a folder on their dubious activities, but somehow it had been “mislaid” or “lost”. How convenient. Now the matter seems to have been forgotten by the media.
Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris were not so lucky. I wonder if they were checked out by the CRB and ISA when they worked with children? I very much doubt it, because being famous it was taken as read they would ‘play the white man’ when with children, and could be trusted.
“If a person is scrutinised and found to be as white as the driven snow, and then allowed to work with children, what’s to stop him/her from going off the rails and molesting a child in the future? The Vetting and Barring Scheme is flawed from the start. Anyone with money, influence and a dubious past can probably get round it anyway”.
I posted the first part of the article in March 2011 and the poo hit the fan just after J Savile’s funeral, just 8 months later, when the doubts about his activities began to surface.
Now another body of do-gooders has entered the arena, namely Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) who now decides who can be near to children and when.
Every Tuesday morning we had a coffee morning in the back room of the local church hall, attended mainly by Senior Citizens, made up mostly of ladies, with two or three elderly men.
In the main hall of the building there is a child care or pre-school group called ‘The Pelican’, which is in session every day in school hours during term time. This group has been there ever since I started going to the coffee morning and as far as I know there has never been the slightest hint of anything improper going on.
Now the Ofsted inspector has decreed that in order for The Pelican to continue, there must strict security at all times. The only reference to that situation in the report was “The inspector found that you have taken steps to improve the safety of the children and ensure their ongoing well-being” Apparently we “posed a danger to the children” because sometimes strangers call in of the street for a drink.
The children are protected by a locked gate into the main hall and there is a passageway between the two rooms. They also have several adult supervisors with them at all times, and I’m not sure, but I think the fire door is kept locked (I hope not!). Admittedly they share the toilets with us, but when they have to go one of the teachers accompanies them.
I think that the banning of anyone else being in the building is a decision taken by the head of the Play Group, because I have read the Ofsted Reports, both of them, about their recent inspection and recommendations to ensure the safety of the children and I cannot find anything about the banning of the coffee mornings. I have been assured it was nothing to do with the Church Committee.
A link to the reports EY362428_3.PDF. if you are interested, which I doubt. A boring report written by boring people trying to justify their existence.
It’s true. We are now living in a Nanny State. I’m positive that the old people who go to the coffee morning to meet and socialise with their friends would not dream of interfering with the kids. We live in a large village and everybody knows everybody else (and their business as well!)
Well, I’ll just have to go to the pub to socialise from now on. At least children are barred from the bar (pun intended) so there’s no chance of them interfering with the pensioners !