Work on register ‘already under way’

Children’s minister Margaret Hodge has confirmed that work on a
central register for people working with children is under

She told a child protection conference in London this week that her
department would have completed a scoping exercise on the register
by the time the Bichard Inquiry reconvened in six months.

Sir Michael Bichard’s report into the failures that led to Ian
Huntley’s appointment as a school caretaker, published last week,
recommended that all people working with children should be
registered, a condition of which could be a photocard.

It is not yet known how such a system, which could be run by an
independent body, would link with the vetting process carried out
by the Criminal Records Bureau.

Hodge also announced that the DfES expected to get the lion’s share
of the money it had asked for from the Treasury in the 2004
spending review, including a 17.5 per cent increase for early

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