Children: Protection

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Vinson Lord Vinson Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Western Australia’s policy to exempt parents from a criminal records check when volunteering in certain cases to support and participate in their child’s education; and whether they intend to introduce a similar policy in the UK in view of the decline in overall voluntary activity.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

It is paramount that children are protected at school and there is robust safeguarding in place. The department’s statutory safeguarding guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, attached, makes clear that any volunteer should not be deployed to work unsupervised with children without appropriate checks. There are no plans currently to change these arrangements.

Many parents play an important role by volunteering to support children in our schools. Unlike in Australia, there is no legal requirement for schools to carry out Disclosure and Barring Service criminal record checks on volunteers, therefore it is unnecessary to consider an exemption for parents from these checks.

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