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
    way.

    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
    years.

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