The new Home Secretary Theresa May announced yesterday that the Government are to review the new vetting & barring and criminal records regulations to ensure that ‘they are scaled back to sensible levels’. Under the existing proposals privately organised tutoring between parents and tutors was outside of the scope of the new regulations, although arrangements made through tutoring agencies would be covered. So to this extent, there was some inconsistency in the way that tutoring was treated by the ISA.
As parents we continue to be very much in favour of the new ISA regulations. Nothing brings the need for tutor checking home more than the recently reported case of the private tutor Ugochukwu Okorie who went on to abuse two young sisters. Would the new regulations have stopped this happening you may ask, well only if the tutor was already known to the authorities and the parents had conducted an ISA check.
Our advice to parents continues to be to make their own tutor checks and follow up references every time they use a new tutor. The ISA would have made the process a whole lot easier – the combination of wider safety checks and ability to look someone up quickly on the database would give parents a much greater sense of security.
So where does this review leave parents? Well, no better off, lets hope that the Government conclude the review quickly so that we can give families that extra piece of information they need to keep their children safe.