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Worried about CRB check for School Governor post

(20 Posts)
HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Mar-11 14:07:34

Hello,

I have name changed for this.

I am considering to apply for a school governor position in ds's primary school and I am worried about CRB checks due to past SS involvements.

In one of the SS involvement, our child was a toddler and when I was at work he was with his dad and apparently fell at home whilst running and bumped his face on the toy on the floor, so I found her with bruises on the face when I arrived home in the evening and the following day I naively took her to toddler playgroup as I always had done, with a clear conscience, as I did not think we had done anything wrong and the staff did not like the look of bruises in his face and called SS. I was devastated, never expected it. It was my first brush with them. Then we (both myself and ex-h who was in charge of ds when the accident happened at home) had been interviewed, and then after that the case was dropped. They believed us that we did not harm our child although the bruises did not seem to be "consistent" with the fall. I genuinely believe our child had a genuinel fall and got bruised.

The second time was due to domestic violence issue, when unemployed ex-h came home drunk and angry on New Years Eve 4 years ago, and attacked me, I called police. After police coming to our house, SS got involved due to small child in the house and house was rather untidy as well which made them suspect my ability to keep the house in order. After SS involvement, and subsequent SS visit to our house, they made enquiries with various people such as the facilitators of the parenting class that I used to go happily and voluntarily on my own initiative, and with our childminder etc and we were cleared / case was dropped but still, I am sure these past events are firmly registered against my name and will come up in CRB check.

I have divorced ds's dad after the domestic violence incident and we do not live together anymore (but he only moved out few months ago, I could not make him go before that).

I believe I am a really good mum, my child is my world, I work part time but at the same time we have an outstanding childminder when I am at work for school holidays etc. I really want to go for this School Governor post as I really want to be involved in my child's education in the best way that I can. But if these bad records from my past are likely to come up, then I do not want to do it. Even if they come up to verify that I was cleared, still I don?t want them to come up.

Other than these, I do not have any criminal convictions or anything slightly criminal in any way shape or form.

I could not find any telephone helpline etc online or anywhere to ask this question so my only option is to ask mumsnet.
Can anyone please give me some ideas?
Thank you.

cestlavielife Wed 02-Mar-11 14:17:21

CRB looks for convictions for crimes against children. SS invovlement is not necessarily police unless they prosecuted you for something

you have committed no crime.

you say you were cleared by SS and no action taken so why would you be worried?

HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Mar-11 14:34:06

Thank you cestlavie. No I have not committed a crime but being investigated by SS is still a shameful incident for me especially for child protection issues and would never want them to come out.
I do not know the system, that is why I am worried.
I am under the impression that there is a stigma attached to such investigations, I am just too sensitive and wanting a perfect life.

prh47bridge Wed 02-Mar-11 14:42:26

CRB does not just look for convictions for crimes against children. CRB looks for convictions, reprimands, cautions and warnings of any sort. It also asks the police for any non-conviction information they consider relevant, e.g. if you are under investigation for offences against children.

As the police do not appear to have been involved in these incidents (other than minimally in the second) I would not expect these events to come up in a CRB check. Even if they do, the LA must handle the disclosure securely, destroy it after 6 months and only reveal its contents to people who need to know. The likelihood is that the school will simply get a letter from the LA saying you are "unsuitable" or "not unsuitable" for the post.

HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Mar-11 14:50:10

Thank you prh47bridge.

So am I right in thinking that the local Authority or CRB disclosure people themselves would decide whether I am suitable for the position from crime point of view, or not, and they only pass the verdict to the school?

If CRB people do not think my records are bad, then they will just pass to the school that I am cleared for CRB investigation?

prh47bridge Wed 02-Mar-11 15:56:15

The CRB do not make any decisions - they just provide the information. It is up to the individual employer/organisation to make the decision as each may have its own policy on employing ex-offenders. In this case I would expect it to be the LA that makes the decision and passes the verdict to the school.

GretchenWiener Wed 02-Mar-11 16:00:51

Id tell the school first and be open.

Hassled Wed 02-Mar-11 16:07:38

I can tell you that when I registered to be a childminder, the CRB picked up SS involvement with my DD (I'd asked the GP to refer us to a Family Support Group because we were having a nightmare with her - early teens then) and Ofsted rang to ask me about it. I was honest, they were happy, I got the registration through OK.

I'm a Chair of Govs - I know there would be flexibility in a case like yours and I can't imagine these events will be a problem. But I'd be surprised if they didn't get flagged up - brace yourself for having to discuss it with someone.

Some LAs don't seem to bother with CRBs automatically in any case - sometimes they just use List 99 (sex offender) checks. It may not come up at all.

HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Mar-11 16:55:43

Thanks for all the replies.

A bit more confusion for me now...

I just noticed on the information letter from the school, it says that states that governor applicants will be subject to list99 request checks. It does not mention CRB check anywhere in the letter.. I was thinking they were the same things, obviously not...

Does it mean there will be no CRB check? Does it mean that i'll go through only the list 99 check? If it is the case, I can relax becasue I am definitely not a sex offender and will definitely come clean in the list 99 check. As opposed to the CRB check showing past SS involvement coming up against my name, in the list 99 there will be no record at all for my name so I prefer list 99 check obviously.

Would the school go for only list99 then? Or both CRB as well as list99?

Thank you...

Hassled Wed 02-Mar-11 17:09:20

They should do both, and most schools will do both. Both is certainly best practice.

I have heard of schools which only do List 99 though on the basis that there's no unsupervised access to children, and if that's all that's mentioned then it sounds like your school is one of those. List 99 and CRB are different checks.

HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Mar-11 17:18:28

Thank you Hassled.

I am intimidated with the prospect of possibly being questioned about these past incidents... I am very sensitive and wimp too.

I will think about applying even more. Perhaps I should just leave things alone as they are, instead of stirring things (tickling the sleeping dragon as they say...)

Hassled Wed 02-Mar-11 19:01:49

Nooo - go for it. You have the interest that Governing Bodies need. "I really want to be involved in my child's education in the best way that I can." is a far better reason than most I've heard (one person actually told me "I want to apply because it will make my CV look better"!). Bad luck from a few years ago should in no way put you off.

Can you ask the school office to put you in touch with the Chair? And then - tell him/her what you've told us. Forewarn them that it may (and it is only a may) come up in a CRB. Ask them if you should still apply, and I can guarantee that they will say yes. Pleeease don't not apply. I think you'd be an excellent Governor - I'd snap you up.

HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Mar-11 19:21:31

Thank you Hassled.

I have been tossing and turning and thinking about this for the last week so intensely, that I managed to put myself in a state. So right now, having read your positive and encouraging words, they made me feel very emotional. Thank you for being so positive.

It is a good idea to ask to be put in touch with the Chair, it never occurred to me, I hope the school will not make me feel as if I am asking for something out of the ordinary...

Me being wimp again

If I am elected, I will do my bestest, that's for sure, I just find the procedure scary because I do not know who will be asking me what, and how will I be judged, and how do I explain all these... Who will have access to these sensitive info etc. Lots of unknown.

Thanks again.

HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Mar-11 19:30:17

And one more thing Hassled: You mentioned above:

" ... and I can't imagine these events will be a problem. But I'd be surprised if they didn't get flagged up - brace yourself for having to discuss it with someone. ... when I registered to be a childminder, the CRB picked up SS involvement with my DD and Ofsted rang to ask me about it. I was honest, they were happy, I got the registration through OK. "

Like in your case, I do not mind explaining myself to a huge body like Ofsted but I do mind having to explain myself to my ds's school because I am there all the time, they know my face and I find it too close for comfort if any word gets out about me...I feel that I am putting myself in a vulnerable position if you see what I mean.

Hassled Wed 02-Mar-11 20:00:07

The Chair will be discreet - it goes with the job. You'd be amazed how discreet we learn to be! It needn't ever get back to the rest of the school - and it probably won't even come up in the first place - a) it may only be List 99, b) the CRB might not pick it up in any case and c) if the CRB does pick it up you can explain it and IT WILL BE FINE .

HopingForTheBest Wed 02-Mar-11 20:05:12

Thank you very much Hassled. I do appreciate your replies.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 04-Mar-11 10:36:19

Its a full CRB check if you are elected, have mine somewhere if you want to know the categrories they check for.

Bear in mind that being a Governor is not just about your childs education. Our head warns interested parties that you have to set aside your own personal feelings and child/children and make decisions based on the whole school and its future. Some of these may go against what you want for your child but you need to know that before taking the role.

Its rewarding and you can have as much or as little input as you like, some attend the main term meetings others do lots of other things.

If you want the more day to day side of school, you could always offer to volunteer with reading etc. Most schools are happy for parents to volunteer although some restrict parent volunteers to classes that dont contain their own children.

sneezecakesmum Fri 04-Mar-11 21:14:37

At one point the person involved (yourself) could apply at a police station to look at what is held on them for a small fee. I'm a bit hazy on this point as it was not for myself - honest guv!

Anything held on computer should be available to the person involved - it is for medical records anyway. Phone your local police station they may be able to help you.

Cant believe I've had loads of checks done and never even bothered to find out the details. <thicko emoticon> sad

dad1961 Mon 07-Mar-11 15:07:41

I wouldn't worry unduly.

In 2002 a drunken neighbour put my family through hell for almost a year. It's a long story, but he pestered us for cash to buy booze. When I refused to pay him for goods we didn’t need he and a woman in our street contacted the NSPCC maliciously to report my partner for allegedly pulling my daughter's arm as she got out of our car.

We have two lovely daughters and my partner is a devoted mum - this neighbour knew this and used it against us.

To get to the point, myself and the neighbour came to blows and I accepted a police caution for Actual Bodily Harm (It was little more than a scratch, but I knew that I had accepted the bait and that he would overplay the situation, so I rang the police myself to tell them what had happened - he was known to them for similar offences).

Fortunately, I kept the evidence leading up to the incident e.g. a letter from Victim Support stating that we had been victims of a crime, and evidence from SS stating why they had received a referral from the NSPCC, which was recorded as being malicious.

The caution, to date, hasn’t held be back. I declare it each and every time I apply for a post (I do some charity work and have just become a parent governor). You don’t have a caution, so therefore you don’t have anything to worry about.

People aren’t perfect and most employers that aren’t risk averse know this – but, checks have to be in place to protect against the worst possible threats to children.

son8603 Wed 05-Oct-11 14:52:03

Hi,

I have just seen your message.
What was the outcome.

Son8603.

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