Staff are employed in Havering schools before CRB checks are complete

The council has revealed staff are employed in Havering schools before Criminal Record Bureau Checks come back clear.

The practice of employing staff and volunteers before the check was complete, which can take about a month, was debated at full council on Wednesday night.

Cllr Ray Morgon (Res Group, Hacton) asked whether it was appropriate to employ people before the full checks came back clear, and questioned how much supervision could be given to someone throughout the school day until they were given the all clear.

He said: “Would the cabinet member explain why this council is ignoring section 17 of the London Safeguarding board procedures that clearly states that it is illegal to appoint someone without a CRB check?”

Cllr Paul Rochford, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “Recruitment and vetting checks are a key element in the work to ensure that children are safeguarded and the risk of harm from those who are in contact with them in whatever capacity is minimised.

“CRB disclosures must be obtained before or as soon as practicable after appointment. The full range of checks must be carried out on all agency or supply staff by the supply agency. Robust audit procedures are in place to monitor compliance.”

He said the head teachers, principles and local authorities had the discretion to allow an individual to work in schools and colleges pending the receipt of a CRB disclosure, but should ensure that the individual is appropriately supervised and that all other checks including List 99 have been completed.

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These include: identity checks; confirmation of qualifications; registration with the general teaching council or a professional body; medical and fitness checks; and the confirmation of the right to work in the UK.