To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of effectiveness of safeguarding regulations and requirements relating to the licensing of private hire drivers employed by private hire companies as assigned by local authorities to provide school transport services.
Taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers are eligible for an enhanced DBS certificate with check of both barred lists for licensing purposes. This is the highest level of check available and will also include details of convictions and cautions recorded on the Police National Computer and any locally held police intelligence information that may be relevant to the role. It is for licensing authorities to make a decision, taking into account any information available including that disclosed by the DBS, as to whether an individual is suitable to hold a licence.
There are also certain circumstances, such as undertaking specific contracted work driving children, which fall into regulated activity (with children). A taxi or PHV driver who is in regulated activity may be barred from this work if they pose a risk or harm or have caused harm to a child or vulnerable adult. A barred person is prevented by law from working with children or vulnerable groups.
The Government will shortly consult on statutory guidance to be issued to licensing authorities, this will propose a range of standards and measures that it considers appropriate to the ‘fit and proper’ assessment and minimises any potential risk to taxi and PHV passengers.