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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Somebody educate me about British Councils
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07/11/2008 02:01:17 AM · #1
It seems you can't escort your own child to school in the UK unless you've had a criminal record check. How am I mis-understanding this? It just doesn't make any sense.

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"This is a standard requirement and has been for several years.

"Any adult acting as an escort will, in the public gaze, be viewed as acting with the full acquiescence of the council and hence with its implied authority.

"For the protection of the council and all vulnerable persons in its care it's essential all those endowed with an authority, implicit or explicit, should meet the security requirements within the transport contract provisions."
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Taken as fair use from:
The BBC

Is this an issue because the Crown or Council is paying for the taxi ride? I'm bewildered at this.

I'm sure you Brits would be bewildered at some of our laws here in the states!
07/11/2008 02:45:15 AM · #2
It looks like it is because the council is providing the transport and so they have a duty of care. They then need to follow their standard procedures for validating people who they have authorised to look after people in their care. The procedures don't seem to allow for a child to be in its parent's care as well as in the council's care. If you think about this, the lines of responsibility are then clouded, and the question may arise as to whose care the child was actually in during the trip?

The council's concern would be that if anything happened to the child while in the taxi, would the parent be able to sue the council for breach of care?

If the parent paid for the taxi, I don't believe there would be any problem. The council would have no duty of care.

(edited to fix some spelling)

Message edited by author 2008-07-11 02:46:02.
07/11/2008 04:05:10 AM · #3
Yes, Chris has got that pretty much spot on. Anybody in the UK who works with children or vulnerable adults, whether as a volunteer or in a paid capacity has to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check completed. This doesn't mean that anyone with a conviction is discounted from working with children/vulnerable adults, rather that the employing authority can make an informed decision balancing risk. That said, any sexual offence does immediately debar you from such work.
07/11/2008 04:38:49 AM · #4
A process that's not without it's problems

07/11/2008 07:23:40 AM · #5
Thanks Sara, and Chris for the info. That was the only thing I could figure.
So if the Council is worrying about being sued they must be a NGO non governmental organization right? Otherwise the government couldn't be sued except under unusual circumstances.

Also interesting information about the actual criminal check Kevin. Much like our system which is full of errors.
07/11/2008 08:14:46 AM · #6
Originally posted by fir3bird:

Thanks Sara, and Chris for the info. That was the only thing I could figure.
So if the Council is worrying about being sued they must be a NGO non governmental organization right? Otherwise the government couldn't be sued except under unusual circumstances.

Also interesting information about the actual criminal check Kevin. Much like our system which is full of errors.


Councils aka Local Authorities are the local wing of government, and run services such as roads, schools, street cleaning, social services, waste disposal etc etc. Whilst I am quite sure the fear of being sued is a driver, the welfare of children is the primary motive for the use of the CRB. We had a very high profile case a few years ago where two young girls were murdered by a school caretaker; it later came to light that whilst he hadn't got a conviction for sexual offences he was known to the police, and accusations had been made against him in the past - the enhanced CRB check is designed to stop people such as this working with children.

Local Authorities can be sued - and regularly are.
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