Eleven million names on school vetting database

Outcry grows as scale of Government's child protection register revealed

Parents who help out on school trips or accept foreign exchange students into their homes will have to register on a government database in order to prove they are not a danger to children.

Within five years, more than 11 million people will be stored by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) as part of the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS), which launches in October and is intended to protect children from paedophiles. By November next year, it will be mandatory for all individuals who work with children to be registered.

MPs who regularly visit schools in their constituencies, parents who allow foreign pupils to stay in their houses as part of school exchange programmes and builders who carry out work on school buildings during term time will all need to register, as the list includes anyone who comes into contact with children in a professional or voluntary capacity. They will have to register with the national database for a one-off fee of £64. Those who have already had a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and are cleared to work with children will still have to sign up and pay.

People who regularly volunteer to work at schools – such as parents helping out on school trips or sports days – will also need to register, although they will not have to pay the fee.

The new rules mean that millions of people who have jobs which involve indirect contact with children will have to be assessed in case they pose a risk. School janitors, cleaners and kitchen staff will have to pay the registration fee, as will electricians, plumbers and joiners if they are regularly employed by schools. Members of the fire, police and ambulance services who tour the country talking to pupils about issues such as road safety and sexual health will need to be vetted, as will members of the armed forces who give frequent careers talks and cadet instructors.

The Home Office estimates that the database will hold the details of 11.3 million people within five years. Even if just half of the participants pay the £64 fee in this time, the Government will have raised about £360m in revenue.

The scheme is being managed by the ISA, which was set up after the 2002 murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by Ian Huntley, a college caretaker.

The VBS has already provoked anger among people who are accustomed to visiting schools on a regular basis. Yesterday, The Independent reported that a group of respected British children's authors and illustrators intended to stop visiting schools in protest at the scheme. Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo and Quentin Blake all said they objected to being registered on the database. Mr Pullman described the policy as "corrosive and poisonous to every kind of healthy social interaction", while Mr Horowitz said the £64 registration fee had "a nasty feeling of a stealth tax about it".

David Lyscom, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council, which represents 1,280 schools and more than 500,000 children across the UK, said the VBS was a "knee-jerk reaction" to the issue of child protection which was "full of unintended consequences".

He said it had been mishandled in the same way as ContactPoint, the government database which holds information on every child in England under the age of 18. ContactPoint was set up following Lord Laming's inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié, who was murdered by her guardians in 2000. "Our view is that this is another example of the Government identifying a problem of limited size and producing a global solution to deal with it, using a sledgehammer to crack a nut," he said.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The UK already has one of the most advanced systems in the world for carrying out checks on all those who work in positions of trust with children and vulnerable adults. From October this year, the new VBS will ensure these regulations are even more rigorous."

£360m

The amount the Government will raise if half the 11.3 million people who will be on the database in five years pay the £64 fee.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Administration Assistant / Apprenticeship Industry

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity for an e...

Recruitment Genius: NVQ Assessor

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Private Training Provider off...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders