Stricter Rules To Be Introduced For New Teachers To Enhance Child Protection
In the past, new teachers were allowed to step into the classroom, prior to the city council receiving a PVG [Protecting Vulnerable Groups] form from Disclosure Scotland, which ensures people are suitable to work with children and vulnerable people.
Under the scheme, which has been in place for four years, any new recruit would have to have a PVG from either their previous employer or the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
But now, education bosses have introduced a new requirement where teachers will have to wait until school heads have received updated checks.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the education committee on Thursday after a major investigation was launched into historic sex abuse within football in Scotland and England late last year.
The new policy means it will take longer to get new teachers in post, with checks expected to take about two weeks to be returned to an authority.
An NSPCC Scotland spokeswoman said: “We believe every adult who works with children should be part of the PVG scheme and appropriate checks should be carried out.
“The PVG system has been operational for five years and we want to make sure it is operating effectively and consistently, that organisations are clear when checks are necessary, and that adults who work with children are members of the scheme.”
A spokesman for GTCS added: “The employment of teachers is a matter for each local authority. GTCS, as the self-regulatory body for the teaching profession, ensures that every teacher is background checked before they are registered, and therefore eligible to teach in Scotland.”
Aberdeen City Council Director of Education and Children’s Services Gayle Gorman, added: “We put the safety and well-being of all our pupils at the heart of everything we do.
“The staff within our schools who work with children have all the necessary training, qualifications and background checks needed to carry out their roles.
“The decision made at the Education and Children’s Services Committee is yet another safeguard in our recruitment process.
“As mentioned in the report to committee, newly-recruited employees in our schools have had a PVG check with their previous employer or have a PVG certificate from the GTCS.”