Help us to scrap ‘disqualification by association’: The government are consulting on changes to the childcare disqualification arrangements
Ever since ‘disqualification by association’ (DbA) hit the headlines about 18 months ago, we have been working to try and scrap the regulations that have had a significant and unnecessary impact on the partners of those with a criminal record.
Earlier this month, the Department for Education (DfE) published a consultation with proposals for change. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 1st July 2016.
In the consultation, the DfE have put forward three options. We’re supporting option 1, which is to remove disqualification by association in schools and non-domestic registered settings.
We’re putting together a formal response to the consultation. We’re keen to build into this response as much evidence as we can to help support our recommendations.
We’ve put together a number of questions that we’re looking for answers to. We need your help!
- Have you been personally affected by disqualification by association? If so, how? What was the outcome?
- Which of the options in the Government consultation do you support, and why?
- Do you think any of the options wouldn’t help? If so, why?
- Would you be willing to be an anonymous case study? If so, please go into more detail about your story
Send your answers, and any other information you think is relevant, to email@example.com. We have a strict policy of confidentiality and will not share any of your personal details – anything we use will be anonymised.
To give us time to build in your evidence, we need to receive your thoughts and evidence by Sunday 26th June at the latest, although the earlier the better.
Make sure you respond too!
The more responses that the government receive, the better. So, as well as sending us your comments, you can respond to the consultation directly. If you can, send us the details of what you submit.
Thank you for your support.
- You can read the Government consultation.
- Find out more about our work on this issue on our policy page for disqualification by association.
- For practical information on how DbA works, read the guidance on our information site.
- Find out more about sending your details to us and what we do with it.
- Discuss this consultation on our online forum.
New statutory guidance on disqualifications in schools recognises role of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
Yesterday, the Department for Education published statutory guidance on disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006.
Most notably in their guidance is the clarity that we have been pushing for, which is the the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act applies to the ‘disqualification by association’ element.
This means that if you’re working in a role in a school which is covered by these regulations, you do not have to disclose the cautions or convictions of those that live or are employed in the same household as you, if they are spent. This applies regardless of the offence, so long as it is spent.
We have updated the practical guide we have on this site.
We have today also issued a press release which explains our broader policy view on this issue.
Primary school teachers/staff ‘disqualified by association’
In October 2014, the Department for Education (DoE) published supplementary advice to schools on what are called the ‘childcare disqualification requirements’.
The requirements have been around for a number of years, and apply to registered childcare provision outside of schools, but it’s only since October 2014 that the DoE has made it clear that these also apply to primary schools, and one aspect that’s received the most attention has been the ‘disqualification by association’ part.
According to the DoE, these requirements relate to people who are working in early years and later years’ childcare – essentially, childcare up to the age of 8.
The requirements apply on top of what schools do in relation to enhanced DBS checks and checks against the barred lists.
For more information
- Practical self-help information – We’ve published a brief guide which summarises how we understand this system to work, but also links to a number of more detailed documents which cover some aspects in more depth.
- Our policy work – We’ve put a call out for individuals who this has affected. If you’ve been directly affected by the ‘disqualification by association’ element, please let us know what’s happened to you. More details can be found in the policy section of our main website.
- Discuss this issue – There’s an interesting discussion on our online forum about this – read and share your thoughts.