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Utter waste of teachers' time and taxpayers' money

(31 Posts)
MissM Mon 22-Jun-09 08:54:53

Please bear with me, felt I had to share this ridiculous situation.

DH is a teacher, has been for 10 years. We moved last year and he took a temporary job through a supply agency. He has now found a permanent job that will start in September.

Through the agency, he got a CRB check (he already had one from his last school at which he'd worked for 8 years, but apparently it wasn't recognised outside London. First ridiculous point). Anyway, the local authority he now works for contacted him LAST WEEK (ie. five weeks before the end of term), to tell him that he needs a new CRB check as they do not have one for him.

The supply agency and the local authority are located in the same building, on the same floor. DH said, 'here's the name of the person at the agency, why don't you go and ask them for the CRB form I completed last year.' The person replied, 'Oh no, we can't do that.'

So, four weeks before the end of term DH has to fill in another CRB form, which will have to be processed by whoever processes them, despite the fact that he had a perfectly valid one less than a year ago from one job and yet another one carried out last September.

Of course there is a need for CRB checks for people working with children, but surely a busy teacher has better things to do than fill out endless forms that they have already filled out? And more to the point, if the local authority didn't have any record of him having had a check, then why did they leave it for almost a whole school year before they got in touch?

No particular reason for this post, just venting the stupidity of it all.

thumbwitch Mon 22-Jun-09 08:56:43

nutters - jobsworths - red-tape wielding fascists...
that do you? grin

cazzybabs Mon 22-Jun-09 08:58:26

CRB forms are not transferable

thumbwitch Mon 22-Jun-09 09:11:02

why not, cazzybabs?

cazzybabs Mon 22-Jun-09 09:31:09

no idea .. i am only a teacher...

i suspect it is to ensure they are up to date and can't be forged

islandofsodor Mon 22-Jun-09 09:42:26

They are not transferable because they are only as up to date as the day they are done.

As schools and other organisations have a duty to ensure as much as they can the safety of children they need to do a new check to ensure nothing has happened between the date of the old one and today.

Even if you stay in the same organisation it is good practice to do a new one at regular intervals.

The syste, is changing, but it has been put back as tends to happen in government things, to a system where once you register on the database your employer is updated if anything happens and new employers just apply to see your record.

MissM Mon 22-Jun-09 09:47:52

Thanks thumbwitch!

Take your point that the checks have to be up to date, but then why did this authority wait until now to contact DH? Surely surely surely there's got to be a better way than wasting teachers' time this way?

Niecie Mon 22-Jun-09 09:55:40

Was he not employed by the agency not the local authority? It is their responsibility to do the CRB check, not the local authority. The LA are only asking now because they are going to employ him directly.

I don't know why they didn't put the central database in when they first introduced CRB checks. It would have been a lot easier. I suppose there are data protection issues. A central database would mean access to your personal info by a lot of people.

I know people who have CRB checks into double figures because of their work and helping out in clubs and charities so your DH is doing quite well to only have done it a few times.

MissM Mon 22-Jun-09 09:59:19

No, the agency required a check when he went on their books, but once they'd found him a school he was employed by the LA. The LA have asked him for a check for the school is currently in (and leaves in July), not for the school he'll be going to in September. Perhaps they'll ask him for another one then?


I have a CRB check because I work for a government organisation and often go into schools or have contact with young people. Does this mean that an authority could legitimately turn round and tell me I can't work with them because they don't recognise the documentation I have?

MissM Mon 22-Jun-09 09:59:39

Oops, didn't mean to name-check you there Niecie!

Niecie Mon 22-Jun-09 10:23:11

I don't know then, if the agency didn't employ him - it is a bit strange the LA hadn't done it before now. Administrative error presumably. Who employs a teacher on a permanent contract anyway - the school or the LA? I suspect it is done on the basis of who employs you and who is responsible for you.

I am no expert at all, just a form filler like your DH but I do know that my CRB check to be a governor at our junior school is not sufficient for me to use it to go into the infant school on the same site, even when they shared a head. They deemed to be separate institutions and the juniors is specifically named on the form. Same with the church one I had done when I ran a toddler group in a church building. I have only a basic level of CRB check though, not the enhanced one, don't know if that makes a difference.

That said I can see cazzybab's point - doing them repeatedly does mean there are less opportunities for them to be out of date or for people to get away with fraud.

Assuming they ask for them in the first place and don't leave it a whole year!

LadyGlencoraPalliser Mon 22-Jun-09 10:28:55

I have one as a governor of our primary school and another as a Guider. I think having to have two separate checks for the same school is insane though. Our school's policy is to have people redo their CRB every three years, and so although I take Cazzybabs' point, surely a CRB should be portable within the same local authority for a 12-month period at least?

llareggub Mon 22-Jun-09 10:34:29

The form isn't exactly onerous, though, is it? Far better to be safe than sorry. Teachers are no busier than anyone else who is required to complete the form. The organisations who employ people requiring clearance are not the ones who put the legislation in place.

I'm glad the forms aren't portable.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Mon 22-Jun-09 11:00:09

Well, as discussed at length on a previous thread, the form is a pain in the butt if you use the title Ms, which the idiots at the CRB persist in insisting means you are a divorcee.
There is no logic to the form not being portable in a limited way - ie between different branches of the same organisation and for a specified time period.

thinkingaboutdrinking Mon 22-Jun-09 11:19:19

I have had to fill in 5 CRB forms in the last year so I am really looking forward to the new system (october I think). I agree that to an extent they should be transferable, but also they are only as good as the day they were printed IYSWIM.
3 of mine are for church things, and 2 for teaching - so although all enhanced, and with linked organisations (the church ones) they would not accept each others. A head teacher would be allowed to accept one from another organisation but that head would then be responsible if anything untoward happened, so in most cases they insist on a new one.
I had to have a new one to do supply at a school where i had just stopped teaching full time even though they had one for when I was full time - bonkers!

lal123 Mon 22-Jun-09 11:22:09

how long does it take to fill in one of these forms???

and re - waste of taxpayers money, well if it ensures that CRB checks are up to date and helps reduce the risk of unsuitable folk workign with my child I don't see that as a waste of money

islandofsodor Mon 22-Jun-09 11:32:13

It took me about 10-15 minutes to fill in my last form. Then a further 5-10 minutes for the countersignatory to check my documents.

llareggub Mon 22-Jun-09 11:36:49

One of the reasons why the same organisation will insist on a repeat check is because the form sent to the countersignatory will sometimes contain information that is not sent to the checkee. It might contain information about an ongoing investigation, for example. The form cannot be stored on file, it must be destroyed, apart from part 1 of the form which proves that the check was actually carried out. So it cannot be checked by the same organisation at a later date.

lal123 Mon 22-Jun-09 11:39:42

10-15 minutes? Hardly a huge chunk of time is it??

UnquietDad Mon 22-Jun-09 11:40:32

It's all changing soon anyway, to Vetting & Barring. You will pay once to be checked to go on one central list. If you commit a relevant offence you are taken off the list. It'll be more up-to-date than a CRB check.

MissM Mon 22-Jun-09 11:40:42

I know it's only minutes, and of course we need to ensure our children's safety, but to not be able to use a form within the same school seems crazy to me. And sadly a CRB check isn't a cast iron guarantee is it. Look at Mohammed Siddique Khan - very respected mentor in Leeds schools, murderer of carriages-full of tube passengers. And the now two women in Plymouth - presumably they had CRB checks?

Should just add I'm not against CRB checks!!!

Ivykaty44 Mon 22-Jun-09 11:43:26

It is a waste of money - he is working effectivley for the council but with a different department.

It is a waste of £70 when he already has a CRB check which all it does is tick a box.

Plymouth case just shows that having a CRB check proves nothing.

That is my council tax that is being wasted sad and yours sad

UnquietDad Mon 22-Jun-09 11:46:18

With a CRB check you could offend the next day and still be brandishing it around as if it is valid. Under the new Independent Safeguarding Authority system that won't be possible. People need to be looking into it as it is starting to come in this October, I believe.


onagar Mon 22-Jun-09 12:04:38

One reason it sounds daft to do so many is that many people think of them as a form saying "you are of good character" which wouldn't change next month anyway. In fact they simply mean "not caught doing anything bad yet"

islandofsodor Mon 22-Jun-09 12:05:20

Hopefully unquite Dad but its introduction has already been delayed twice.

Our organisation has been campaigining for such a system for severa years.

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