STBE hopes for common sense as Final Report is announced.


Independent Review of Professionalism: Final Report

Following the publication of an interim report in March 2012, Lord Lingfield has published his final report on professionalism in the further education workforce. Working with an expert panel drawn from the sector, Lord Lingfield was commissioned by the Government to see how the further education sector can best serve its workforce, its students and the country. Their conclusions include:

  • Endorsement of the creation of a further education Guild which would set professional standards and establish a refreshed relationship between employers and staff.
  • Teachers of English and maths and those working with students with learning difficulties or disabilities should have specialist qualifications rather than relying on past qualifications or experiences.

Launching the report, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:

“I would like to thank Lord Lingfield and his expert panel for their comprehensive and thought-provoking report. "I believe it not only supports our work on deregulating the sector but challenges us to go further. By creating an FE Guild, we can provide a framework to bring the sector together and put the decisions in the hands of those who know it best.”

Download a copy of the report

For further information, please contact Jonathan Yewdall at:

24+ Advanced Learning Loans – latest briefing

The latest briefing on loans in Further Education is now available. This month’s update includes:

  • key dates – things to look out for
  • communications resources now available
  • learning Provider Services website
  • funding – loans facilities, bursary allocations, rules and guidance
  • further round of information events for providers
  • lSIS prospectus and toolkits
  • national promotional activity
  • key contacts.

Spotlight on LSIS

This month’s Spotlight is on the 2012/13 offer by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) to the sector.

Employer ownership

34 successful bids were announced as the first round winners of the Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP). They will receive a share of £67 million and will match the funding by investing a combined total of £98 million.

Included within the round one projects are proposals from Siemens, Arla Foods UK and BAE Systems to train employees not just within their own company but also within their supply chains. Others include Manchester Airport‘s proposal to create an academy for school leavers, offering coaching, employability skills, work experience and qualifications.

Many projects involve a collaborative approach, with successful bidders working alongside colleges and training providers. EOP has put businesses in the driving seat in deciding the high quality training and flexible delivery they need to thrive, enabling the FE sector to respond flexibly to employer demand; shaping the curriculum to meet the needs of the wider community.

Details of round two of the pilot will be announced in the autumn with further information available on the UKCES website.

Revision of 2007 Workforce Regulations

Following recommendations from Lord Lingfield's interim report and a formal consultation undertaken by BIS, significant changes have been made to the regulations governing the further education workforce in England. These were confirmed in the Government's response to the consultation and will now take effect from 30 September 2012.

The Further Education Teachers' Continuing Professional Development and Registration (England) Regulations (2007) have been revoked completely. The Further Education Teachers' Qualifications (England) Regulations have been revised. The core requirements for qualifications have been retained for the time being, pending the outcome of the Learning and Skills Improvement (LSIS) review. Those elements that were dependent on mandatory registration with the Institute for Learning have been removed.

For further information please contact Jonathan Yewdall in BIS.

WorldSkills UK - The Skills Show

The UK’s biggest skills and careers event

15-17 November 2012, The NEC, Birmingham

Time to register for faster entry to the show via the website – you can still just turn up on the day.

Free to attend, The Skills Show is a unique annual celebration that will inspire young people with exciting opportunities in further education, skills and Apprenticeships.

A highly interactive experience, The Skills Show will offer a range of activities including:

As well as colleges, training providers and universities, The Skills Show will feature top employers and experts from a range of industries and professions.

Find out what you can expect from your visit by watching this short film or visit

WorldSkills UK – The Skills Show is a joint initiative by the Skills Funding Agency, National Apprenticeship Service and WorldSkills UK The Skills Show Ltd.

City & Guilds are Premier Sponsors and the European Social Fund are partners of The Show.

English and maths skills gain pilots

Last year, BIS undertook a major review of English and maths provision for adults in order to make it more effective, and published the outcomes in New Challenges, New Chances. One of the key actions is that BIS and the Skills Funding Agency will "pilot in 2012/13 how providers can be funded on the basis of the distance a learner has travelled." The aim of the pilot is to identify how skills gain in English and maths can be assessed and measured as the basis for funding, to incentivise providers to maximise the skills gains for learners. It will be considering a range of factors including what tools are needed, the relationship with the qualifications being taken and the impact of different funding approaches.

The project has started and will run during the academic year 2012/13. It is being overseen by a steering group of stakeholders and sector representatives and a range of providers has been selected to take part.

Read the press notice.

LSIS announces new Council members

LSIS logo

LSIS has announced the appointment of 10 new members to its Council.

The Council members are elected from across the country by further education and skills membership bodies. The members’ expertise in FE and skills is vital to guiding LSIS, which is led by the sector. Their selection comes as LSIS has refined its three priorities for the sector: improving teaching and learning; developing the leaders and managers of the future; and addressing areas of underperformance.

Dame Ruth Silver DBE, Chair of the LSIS Board and Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome these new members to our Council and I very much look forward to working with them. The Council has an important role in the governance of LSIS, ensuring that the services we deliver have the impact needed to improve and develop the FE & Skills sector.”

Read the news article.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) receive boost

The Government has announced funding for LEPs to allow them to drive forward their growth priorities.

LEPs are central to the Government’s approach to driving local economic growth and for ensuring that every community is able to fulfill its potential. This offer of over £24 million from Government could unlock up to £20 million locally and will enable LEPs to deliver their local plans for growth.

An interim £5 million funding package will be made available immediately for all LEPs to draw upon for the remainder of this financial year. This will be followed by up to £250,000 per LEP per year for the following two years. Where matched by funds locally the overall funding pot could equate up to £45 million over this period.

Read the press notice.

New Skills Ambassadors announced for the creative and cultural industries

New Skills Ambassadors announced for the creative and cultural industries Creative & Cultural Skills is delighted to announce the appointment of the 12 new Skills Ambassadors, supported through co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. They will be based within the creative sector around the country.

The Ambassadors will provide their experience and expertise to support small and micro-businesses in the creative sector, to help them engage with skills and training. They will work with existing networks to build new national and regional connections through the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural.

Pauline Tambling, Joint CEO, Creative & Cultural Skills and Managing Director, National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural said: “I am delighted that these organisations have come forward to host Ambassadors, who will make a huge difference to our campaign to engage the creative and cultural industries in skills and training. I hope that their work will inspire a new set of businesses to take on apprentices, and commit to working with young people, supporting a next generation of talent in to the industry.”

Read the news article.

New website helping students pick the right university courses

Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched the Unistats website, which provides comparison information on over 31,000 university and college courses in the UK.

Students will now be able to compare key data on what matters to them when choosing a course at university, including:

  • student satisfaction ratings
  • graduate salaries and employment
  • tuition fees and financial support
  • the cost of accommodation.

The site uses the new Key Information Set (KIS). This was compiled after consulting students about what information they found most useful when choosing courses. Each course’s data links directly to the relevant university web page which gives more detail on course content and how it will be taught.

For the first time, prospective students will also be able to tailor their search by their personal preferences, specifying what is most important for them.

Dr Cable said: “Applying to university is a big decision and we want to ensure that all students, whatever their background, have the key facts at their fingertips to help them make the right choice for them.”

Read the news article.

Young entrepreneurs access Start-Up Loans

A start-up scheme that will help launch up to 30,000 new companies has begun providing business support and loans to young people. The first wave of cash from the £82.5 million Start-Up Loans scheme is now being distributed, helping to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Start-Up Loans will provide entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-24 with a range of support, including access to a business mentor and capital, in the region of £2,500, to help get their business idea moving.

Dr Cable said: "With more young people than ever before looking to start their own business, Start-Up loans will provide the support they need to help get their business ideas off the ground. The scheme is not just about money. They will also get access to professional mentors who will pass on their knowledge and expertise about running successful enterprises. Money is going out of the door now, so those who want to take advantage should apply today."

The scheme is being led by the newly formed Start-Up Loans Company, led by entrepreneur James Caan. So far 1,200 people have registered an interest in applying for a loan.

Read the press notice.

Changes to the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework

Changes to the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework came into effect on 1 September. The republished Handbook for further education and skills 2012 is now available.

Key changes following the consultation include:

  • the period of notice of inspection has been reduced from two to three weeks to up to two working days
  • all providers which were satisfactory as of 1 September 2012 will be inspected within two years of September 2012
  • if a provider inspected from September 2012 onwards receives a grade 3 for their overall effectiveness they will deemed as 'requires improvement' and receive another full inspection 12-18 months later
  • the revised framework has an increased emphasis on teaching, learning and assessment.

Further guidance is available on the Ofsted website including an ‘inspection ready’ form.


FE & Skills quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR)

The Quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR) on ‘Post-16 Education & Skills: Learner Participation, Outcomes and Level of Highest Qualification Held’ was published on Thursday 11 October.

New provisional statistics for the full 2011/12 academic year (August 2011 to July 2012), showed that 3,139,200 adult learners aged 19 and over participated in government-funded further education. Of these 1,088,300 participated on a Skills for Life course, 1,315,400 participated on a Level 2 course (1,026,900 full Level 2) and 539,700 participated on a Level 3 course (485,500 full Level 3).

The provisional statistics showed there were 502,500 Apprenticeship starts in 2011/12, including 318,700 Intermediate Level, 180,400 Advanced Level and 3,500 Higher Apprenticeships.

The next SFR will be published in January 2013 and will include final data for the 2011/12 academic year and provisional data for the first quarter of the 2012/13 academic year.

For more information, visit the Data Service website.


Skills Minister tries his hand at spun sugar class

On 3 October Minister Matthew Hancock visited Sheffield City College's staff and students to find out more about the value of vocational qualifications.

The Minister had a go at a spun sugar class alongside 19 of the college's patisserie students. The patisserie diploma course attracts full time local students and those already in work in the catering industry, from Sheffield and beyond, on day release.

He also spoke to students and staff at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, the first of its kind to open in Yorkshire and the Humber offering full-time enterprise qualifications that enable people to start up their own businesses.

Matthew Hancock said: "I was delighted to visit Sheffield College which gave me a great insight into how a successful college should be run. It was also a chance for me to pick up a new skill and I really enjoyed learning to spin sugar with catering students. What struck me was the focus of all the students I met to get on and make a success of their business or chosen career path.”

Squad UK triumph at EuroSkills Spa 2012

Squad UK, which is managed by the National Apprenticeship Service and consists of the UK’s most talented apprentices, employers and learners, competed at EuroSkills in Spa, Belgium, from 4 – 6 October. All Squad UK members are aged 18 – 25. The team won medals across five skills: hairdressing, carpentry, window display, painting and decorating and stonemasonry.

The EuroSkills Competition sees Europe’s most talented skilled young people come together to compete in their chosen skill with the aim of winning Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Jaine Bolton, Chief Operating Officer, National Apprenticeship Service said: “Congratulations to Squad UK. Their fantastic performance at EuroSkills Spa 2012 has shown how talented our apprentices and young people are. We want Squad UK’s performance at EuroSkills to inspire our young people, just like the Olympics did, and show them that Apprenticeships can lead to rewarding and successful careers.”

Read more about Squad UK’s success.

FE and Skills gets on the fast track to better health

18 providers have gained ‘Healthy FE and Skills’ recognition, as part of a programme supported by LSIS and the Skills Funding Agency. The programme provides a framework for providers to promote health and wellbeing amongst learners and staff. To gain recognition providers undertake a self-review and develop a two-year action plan to improve health and wellbeing. Two FE colleges also gained recognition over the summer. The total number of learning and skills providers recognised since 2009 is now 77.

LSIS’s Head of Quality and Equalities Margaret Adjaye, said: “Originally we hoped to support five prisons and five adult and community learning providers to gain recognition but the response from providers has been so good that the number was almost doubled.”

More information is available on the Excellence Gateway.

Colleges Week

Colleges Week is an annual campaign led by the Association of Colleges. It aims to promote the work of colleges to unfamiliar audiences in order to raise public awareness of the education options available to students.

This year it will take place between 11 and 18 November, and will focus on colleges’ role in improving people’s chances of getting in work and helping businesses grow. The campaign is supported by the Skills Show, the UK’s biggest skills and careers event.

You can help support Colleges Week in a number of ways including:

  • promoting the research study findings among your internal and stakeholder channels. For further information on when and how the studies are to be published please contact the team on
  • promoting the Inspiring the Future scheme to employers and schools during Colleges Week
  • promoting, through your own or partner channels the Facebook application – which will be launched during Colleges Week.

Read more about the Colleges Week campaign.

Adult Learners’ Week Awards 2013 are now open!

Adult Learners’ Week Awards 2013 are now open!

Adult Learners' Week is a national celebration of the benefits of lifelong learning and offers an ideal opportunity to highlight the many types of learning available to adults from all walks of life.

Starting off activity for 2013 in England, nominations for the Adult Learners' Week Awards are now open. The awards provide a platform to highlight your projects or learning provision and the impact that your support has on the people you work with. By nominating individual learners you could also boost their self –confidence and turn them into role models to inspire others back into learning.

This year there are a range of new award categories that your nominations could be eligible for, including learning for work, learning with family or community and learning life skills, amongst others.

Nominations close at 5pm, Thursday 13 December 2012.


FE and Skills Newsletter: edition 50 October 2012

You can subscribe to this newsletter by visiting our website:

Below is the STBE response to the consultation.  If you have early FTCom or SCT linked qualifications such as RSA or you have College of Preceptors Qualification which were of Cert Ed and Degree standard now is the time to speak up for yourself and you colleagues and end the ifl debacle once and for all. 

Consultation on Revocation of Further Education Teachers’ Qualifications (England) 2007 and Further Education Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development and Registration Regulations (England) 2007


The Society of Teachers in Business Education together with the Faculty  of Teachers in Commerce and The Youth Development Association have submitted comments to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills on Further Education Teachers Qualification.

Question 1

Do you agree that the Further Education Teachers’ Qualifications (England) Regulations 2007 should be revoked from 1 September 2012?  YES YES YES

                      x Yes                       No                          Not sure


Our answer in irrevocably YES The regualtions have caused the loss of untold numbers  of competent teachers,lecturers and trainers without improvement in standards or provision.

  We fully acknowledge that they have provided business for some of our members in providing PTLLS courses etc but as an overall assessment the scheme has disenfranchised as well

  as encouraged.

Ironically it can be argued that the current scheme has lowered standards and discouraged real enterprise and initiative – as with many of the previous government schemes it accredited              

  mediocrity.  ‘’Whilst we as an association defend peoples right to be mediocre we could do so much more to help practitioners be good if we were freed from this loathsome compulsion and

  regulation’’.The v ery high quality of training for which The Faculty of Teachers in Commerce and our ourselves as the Society of Commercial Teachers we know has been exchanged

  for something much less.

  We would like to see the Government (any government) working with establlished and developing truly independent bodies which have come from the sector and concentrate

  on allowing freedom to develop rather than pointless accreditation.

    Question 2


    Do you agree that the Further Education Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development and Registration (England) Regulations 2007 should be revoked from 1 September 2012?

                      X Yes                      No                          Not sure

Comments: YES In line with the comments above   This is because we need recover some of the real lost ground caused by this.

Question 3

Do you think there will be any unintended consequences or implications by revoking these regulations?

                      Yes                         No                         x Not sure


 There are always unintended consequences and there will be those who for political purposes start talking of an untrained workforce – this in practice is untrue given the

    wealth of opportunity for training through The College of Teachers, City and Guilds, The Faculty of Teachers in Commerce, other awarding bodies, the Teacher Training

     Institutions, professional associations and in-service training.


     Question 4

What do you consider to be the minimum level of qualification needed to teach in Further Education?


    Essentially as will be known this depends upon the subjects being taught and the purpose of the ourcomes. We feel that the City and Guilds original Basic Course was satisfactory as a core,  We believe

     A full Associateship of The College of Teachers (with evidence a practise teach as in and including those with ACP(Preceptors)),  and otherawarding bodies at this level are quite satisfactory.   The Faculty of Teachers in Commerce with The Society of Teachers in Business Education will be seeking to re-establish its  Individual subject teaching awards and CPD.    The Royal Society of Arts may be another appropriate provider. Also in the case of FE and HE individual professional bodies should be able to certify and encourage well qualified and capable practitioners in their fields as trainers (e.g.Chartered Insurance Institute, ICSA, Faculty of Secretaries, Certified Accountants, Engineering Professional Bodies.  Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing – these are just examples of the many good ones that exist that are the bedrock on which the reputationof British work based FE had been built prior to 2007.


    Question 5

What do you consider to be the most effective means of maintaining a professionalised workforce?


    Encouraging subject and specialist professional teaching organisations such as ourselves  in the continual professional development of their members, recognising CPD carried out through appropriate unions    and supporting The College of Teachers.

      Question 6

Do you consider that any minimum expectations for training and qualifications should be stipulated as a condition of public funding?

 Yes                     No                         x Not sure

Comments:  This is tough because essentially it should be knowledge in the area being taught.  To put too much of a restriction on Further Education and Community Learning actually lessens the learning




Do you have any other comments that might aid the consultation process as a whole?

Please use this space for any general comments that you may have, comments on the layout of this consultation would also be welcomed.







Faculty appoints Academic chairs group.  

Following the successful completion of development work and our positive replies from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills STBE and YDA are please to announce that
our group for the appointment and conferment of practical professors is moving towards the confirmation of these in 2012. 


Well it pains me to say so as a Liberal myself but he doesn't half pander to the standardisation crowd.  How about celebrating difference and
leeting employers and other make their own mind up about an institution - its what people learn that matters not just the award at the end.
Willis needs to liberalise not standardise said Charles Shaw.

New graduates celebrate their degrees

Class act: New graduates celebrate their degrees

The ancient system of degree classification should be scrapped and replaced by one that better reflects the wide gulf in quality between British universities, a powerful group of MPs has concluded.

According to the report by an all-party Commons education committee, it is 'painfully obvious' that a student with a first-class degree from Oxbridge is better qualified than one with the same award from a new university.

In unusually frank language, the MPs describe the current grading system as 'out of-date, inadequate and in urgent need of replacement' and accuse the universities of 'defensive complacency' over the issue.

Employers are increasingly complaining that they find it hard to rank candidates who have the same degree from different institutions, forcing them to make judgments about the academic rigour of different departments at each of the country's 125 universities.

Since 1992, a total of 64 institutions have been granted university status for the first time, drawn mainly from the ranks of former polytechnics.

All use the traditional system of first-, second- and third-class degree awards.

The report by the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee also found that since 1997 the proportion of students being awarded first-class degrees has jumped from 7.7 per cent to more than 13 per cent.

The committee complained that it had been 'frustrated' in its attempts to establish whether the rise was due to a better performance by students or a general lowering of marking standards.

'Given the amount of money that the taxpayer puts into universities, it is not acceptable that vice-chancellors cannot give a straightforward answer to the simple question of whether students obtaining first-class honours at different universities had attained the same intellectual standards,' the report concludes.

Read more:

Liberal Democrat MP Phil Willis, the committee's chairman, said a single classification system should be established to categorise all degrees against a consistent set of standards.

'It is painfully obvious that degrees at different universities are not comparable,' he said.

'If students are going to be expected to pay higher and higher tuition fees for their degrees, then we have got to be able to tell whether they have real value.

'The current system does not work, and the universities cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the problem.'

But Professor Alan Smithers of Buckingham University said a single degree system would be unworkable.

'It is tacitly accepted that there are wide differences between universities, and if you want true convergence you would need about 12 classes of degree,' he said.

'One of the great strengths of the system is the autonomy of the universities. Employers are very savvy about who they employ, because their bottom line depends on it.

'They divide institutions into gold - Oxbridge and other highly selective universities - silver, bronze and others. They don't pretend that a first from Cambridge is the same as one from a newer university.'

The report also calls for the introduction of a single national bursary fund to help poor students. At present, each university offers its own, widely variable, system of financial support

Read more:

to be even more sensible and radical see:


Charles Shaw applauds Government Good Sense -

STBEYDA Director Charles Shaw says now is the time for groups to keep it simple and get on with activity and bring back
enthusiasm and activity:  see below, 

150 pages of unduly complex guidance slashed to just eight

Press notice
Press notice date: 02 July 2011
Updated: 04 July 2011
  • Ministers dispel health and safety school trip myths

Teachers must no longer be discouraged from taking children on school trips because of misplaced health and safety concerns, Education Secretary Michael Gove and Employment Minister Chris Grayling have said.

A myth-busting statement, prepared by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), has been published for schools and local authorities – explaining what teachers should consider when organising trips. The statement dispels myths about legal action and encourages all schools to ditch unnecessary paperwork, ensuring that precautions are proportionate to the risks involved.

Newly revised health and safety guidance for schools has also been published by the Department for Education, summarising how the existing health and safety law affects schools, local authorities, governing bodies, and staff – particularly in relation to school trips. This advice has been slashed from 150 pages of unduly complex information to just eight pages.

At the moment, many wrongly schools believe that:

  • written risk assessments -  some totalling up to 100 pages - must be completed for every activity that takes place outside of school, such as visits to museums
  • teachers must ask parents to complete written consent forms for every school trip or visit.

The new guidance clarifies these myths and urges a common sense approach, making it easier for schools to give pupils more opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

Children should be able to go on exciting school trips that broaden their horizons. That is why we are cutting unnecessary red tape in schools and putting teachers back in charge.

This new, slimmer advice means a more common sense approach to health and safety. It will make it easier for schools to make lessons more inspiring and fun.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

Memories of our school trips stay with us. Learning outside the classroom brings the curriculum to life and is essential to our children’s development. We cannot let confusion over health and safety requirements deprive them of the opportunities we had.

I want to dispel the myths and remind schools, teachers and local authorities that a disproportionate fear of prosecution should not get in the way of common sense.

The revised guidance:

  • summarises the legal duties of head teachers, governing bodies and local authorities on health and safety, and covers activities that take place on and off school premises
  • makes clear that a written risk assessment does not need to be carried out every time a school takes pupils on a regular, routine local visit, for example to a swimming pool or museum.
  • tackles myths and teachers’ fears about being prosecuted by making the law clearer
  • clarifies that parental consent is not necessary for pupils to take part in the majority of off-site activities organised by a school, as most of these activities take place during school hours and are a normal part of a child’s education.

The fear of prosecution is often cited as an obstacle to arranging school trips, but action is rare. In the past five years, only two cases have been brought by the HSE for breaches of health and safety law in relation to school visits and this was where there was evidence of recklessness or a clear failure to follow sensible precautions.

To help schools further, the Department for Education has also developed a ‘one-off’ parental consent form, which covers activities outside the normal school day. These include residential visits in school holidays and at weekends, adventure activities, off-site sporting fixtures outside the school day, and all off-site activities for nursery schools which take place at any time. The consent form will cover all activities and will only need to be signed once, when a child enrols at the school.

Schools will then only need to inform parents in advance of each activity and give them the opportunity to withdraw their child from the activity if they wish, rather than conducting bureaucratic form-filling exercises for every school trip.

Notes for editors

1. The newly revised Department for Education health and safety guidance for schools.

2. The guidance replaces a number of guidance documents on health, safety and security in schools, including Health and Safety: Responsibilities and Powers (2001) and Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (HASPEV 1998). The old guidance on school trips (1998) can be found in the publications section.

3. The previous guidance for schools included information for teachers on how to do head counts (page 14 of HASPEV), five pages of detailed guidance on different kinds of visits (page 35-40 of HASPEV), and advice on how to maintain the school minibus (page 26 of HASPEV).

4. The two HSE prosecutions referred to were completed between April 2005 and March 2010.

5. The policy statement on school trips has been developed by HSE in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and the devolved administrations. External bodies such as teaching unions and professional teaching associations have also been consulted.

6. Chris Grayling announced a package of changes to Britain’s health and safety system in March to support the government’s growth agenda and cut red tape by focussing regulation on high hazard sites, tackling rogue employers and consultants and freeing Britain’s businesses from unnecessary red tape. It also announced a review of all existing health and safety law. Good health and safety, Good for everyone, is available from the Department for Work and Pensions website.

8. The Schools White Paper The Importance of Teaching describes a long-term programme of work to reduce burdens and give schools greater freedom. Find out more about how the Department for Education is reducing bureaucracy.

Contact details

Public Communication Unit
for general enquiries
Telephone: 0370 000 2288

Central newsdesk








STBEYDA Director applauds changes to Vetting and Barring.

If the changes to the protection of children and vulnerable adults regime are as outlined in the news we are receiving this is a victory for common sense and civil liberty said Charles Shaw - we need to rebuild confidence in our liberal society and roll back attempts at the
acheiving outcomes by control and fear which came to eptomise the previous governments approaches.
Most important is to roll away the levels of bureaucracy which have castrated attempts at fair treatment of people in the workplace.   We also need guidelines to stop employers using non-relevant information against prospective employees.
Members are asked to inform us of any case examples which we can use to promote fairness and liberty and put an end to injustives in the recruitment of staff and volunteers.


Government to radically scale back vetting and barring scheme

Governance | Vibeka Mair | 11 Feb 2011
Topics: Volunteering

The government plans to change the vetting and barring scheme (VBS) so a large portion of people working or volunteering with vulnerable groups will no longer have to register with the VBS and be continuously monitored.

Now, only those working closely and who have regular contact with children and vulnerable adults need to register with the scheme and undergo Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks.

The government estimates the plans will free around nine million people from the scheme.

The news has been welcomed by many charities which have warned that too much red tape around working with children and vulnerable adults would deter people from volunteering.

Barnardo’s chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said:

"This is a victory for common sense.  There is already enough safeguarding in place for people who have unsupervised, substantial access to children.  This approach will make it easier for grandparents, parents and neighbours, who should be able to play an important role in a child’s life, without unnecessary red tape.

“No system will ever entirely protect children. Employers will need to be supported to establish systems which will regularly check staff and volunteers who have substantial unsupervised access to children.  However they shouldn’t feel the onus is on them entirely, safeguarding is everybody’s business.”

The proposals, which come after a comprehensive review of the existing system which was halted last year, include:

• merging the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority to form a streamlined new body providing a proportionate barring and criminal records checking service

• a large reduction in the number of positions requiring checks. Only those working closely and regularly with children and vulnerable adults will need them

• portability of criminal records checks between jobs to cut down on needless bureaucracy

• a end to a requirement for those working or volunteering with vulnerable groups to register with the VBS and then be continuously monitored

• stopping employers who knowingly request criminal records checks on individuals who are not entitled to them

The government will also keep the scope of CRB checks under review to ensure that they are not putting people off volunteering.

Necessary changes in law will be included in the Protection of Freedoms Bill. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Bill is expected to become law by early 2012.

The new regime would be introduced as soon as possible after this.

Directory: Barnardo's
Who's Who: Anne Marie Carrie

Place a comment


Civitas calls for government to scrap vetting and barring scheme 1

Governance | Vibeka Mair | 28 Sep 2010

Think-tank Civitas has called on government to scrap the vetting and barring scheme, which is currently under review, calling it a 'paedophile test' which creates an atmosphere of suspicion that increases the risks to children and damages relations between generations.

In June, shortly after the coalition government gained power, Home Secretary Theresa May decided to halt and review the vetting and barring scheme which was due to come into force this year.

The results of the review are due to be published shortly. In anticipation, Civitas has released a report Licensed to Hug which insists that government must get rid of vetting and barring, calling it a costly distraction and damaging to adults and children.

“The logical consequence of demanding that some adults need to 'pass the paedophile test',” the report says, “is to set up an expectation that other adults, organising play dates or giving children lifts in their car, should have their motives similarly scrutinised.Instead of vetting and barring, Civitas says government should adopt a radical new approach which recognises that the healthy interaction between generations enriches children’s lives:

“Perhaps the worst thing about the current vetting procedure is that it doesn't guarantee that children will be safe with a particular adult,” says the report.  “All it tells us is that the adult has not been convicted of an offence in the past. Employers might even feel that they had fulfilled their obligations by paying for a CRB check and lower their guard.

“Rather than creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion based on the assumption that the majority of adults have predatory attitudes towards children, we should encourage greater openness and more frequent contact between the generations.”

 Justice for young and short offence registrants


Last year the Supreme Court ruled that putting sex offenders on the register for life without a right of appeal was "disproportionate".

Currently anyone sentenced to 30 months or more in prison for a sex offence is automatically put on the register indefinitely.

Their names, addresses, date of birth and national insurance number are recorded, and they must inform police in person of any changes or if they wish to leave the country.

A Home Office source told Sky News: "The details of the proposals will be announced in due course and we're looking into it now.

"It's very sensitive so it's important the proper safeguards are put into place.

"We're looking at the Scottish model, where people appeal first to the police and then to the courts."

The Scottish government has already brought forward plans to allow convicted adults to seek a review after 15 years on the sex offenders register.

Also those placed on the register when under 18 years old can seek a review after eight years.

The Home Office decision comes after a court ruled the lack of appeal was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Now sex offenders will be able to argue they no longer pose a risk to the public.

The move will infuriate many Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, already angered by the European Court of Human Rights ruling against the UK's blanket ban on prisoner voting.

And victims' groups have described the decision as "appalling".

The case was brought by an 18-year-old man from Wigan who was found guilty of two counts of raping a six-year-old boy and detained for 30 months in October 2005 when he was 11.

The requirement to be monitored prevented him from taking a family holiday abroad and playing rugby league.

A second case involved a man from Newcastle upon Tyne who was jailed for five years in 1996 for indecently assaulting a woman. 

He was released in 2005 and is in poor health after suffering a series of heart attacks.

The pair won their case at the Court of Appeal in 2009, but the Home Office appealed and lost in the Supreme Court last year.

At the time of the ruling Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, President of the Supreme Court, said: "It is obvious that there must be some circumstances in which an appropriate tribunal could reliably conclude that the risk of an individual carrying out a further sex offence can be discounted to the extent that continuance of notification requirements is unjustified."