Government scraps Bichard’s recommendation for registration scheme

    The government has confirmed it has scrapped plans to introduce
    a registration scheme for all those working with children because
    it would be “prohibitively costly and impractical to implement”,
    writes Sally Gillen.

    The database, one of 31 recommendations made by Sir Michael
    Bichard in his report into the failures that allowed Ian Huntley to
    get a job as a school caretaker, was initially accepted by the
    government.

    But in a progress report published this week, the government
    admits that, following a feasibility study, a model building on
    existing lists barring unsuitable people will be used instead.

    The Protection of Children Act List 1999 and List 99 will be
    brought together under an overarching registration scheme to be run
    by a central body.

    It is estimated the database will cost £10 million to set
    up and between 8 million and 10 million to run annually in England
    and Wales. A full study to refine costs will be carried out by
    March.

    The government is likely to legislate on the scheme next year
    and the body will be operational by 2007.

    The progress report also reveals that online child protection
    training for teachers will be introduced in April, and new guidance
    for schools on recruitment and selection will be issued in
    March.

    Report from www.homeoffice.gov.uk

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