Parent volunteer DBS vetting causes controversy in schools

The Manifesto Club recently conducted a group study and have revealed that parents are becoming increasingly reluctant to volunteer in their child’s school due to ‘unprecedented levels of surveillance and control’.

It has become progressively routine for parents to undergo a criminal record check if they wish to volunteer at their child’s school even if it is for an isolated occasion, but Manifesto Club – which challenges the regulation of everyday life – believe this is having a negative impact for potential parent volunteers.

The study cited that in 2002 only 210, 571 DBS checks were carried out on parent volunteers. This is in stark contrast to the 875,000 checks completed in 2017/18.

The Manifesto Club claim that this increase in numbers reflect how parents are now obliged to undertake more vetting than a person who wants to own a firearm or sell explosives.

The study also highlighted that parents had to be interviewed and evaluated for a volunteer position and were even asked to sign documents on whistleblowing policies.

These measures may seem unnecessary to some people, but DBS regulation states that any adult who wishes to participate in the care or supervision of a child must undergo a criminal record check for safeguarding purposes as children are classed as a vulnerable group.

Consequently, potential parent volunteers are withdrawing their offers to help because they are subject to checks that are still in progress and therefore cannot start any volunteer placement until completion ensues. The schools then must rely on the small pool of parent volunteers who have already been vetted.

The Manifesto Club believe that the system of vetting volunteers is completely flawed and creates a negative effect on schools because parents are attempting to deliver an act of good for their children’s school, yet it is made difficult solely because of the subject of trust.

Manifesto Club director Josie Appleton told The Daily Telegraph that “there is simply no need for mothers and fathers to prove they are not paedophiles before they are allowed on a school trip. The government promised to reduce vetting to common sense levels, but unfortunately over-checking is continuing apace”.

If you would like to discuss DBS checks for parent volunteers in more detail, please contact Care Check on 0333 777 8575 and we will be happy to discuss this with you.