Criminal checks play it too safe

FURTHER to Fiona Eldridge's letter (TES, August 16) regarding the Criminal Records Bureau, not only will schools have no teachers to teach their children come the start of the next academic year, but they will also have no governors to run them if the CRB continues with its current practices.

After more than 35 years in teaching and 20 years on the governing body of my local primary school, I was very happy to agree to carry on for a further four years when my present term comes to an end at Christmas.

When I received a letter from Essex County Council, half of me thought it was a joke, the other half felt insulted. The letter stated that my re-appointment would only be confirmed if the CRB was satisfied as to my veracity for the appointment and to obtain this I would have to fill in a disclosure application form.

Not only do I have to fill in a four-page form but I am advised to read the 33-page booklet on how to complete the form. I also have to turn up at the school to have my passport or birth certificate checked and to produce two letters addressed to me at my home address from my building society, bank, mortgage company, utility, credit card company or insurance company, one of which will be photocopied and sent to the CRB.

I agree whole-heartedly that children's safety is paramount, but I find this totally over the top and counter-productive. The sooner the workings of the CRB are overhauled the better.

Kathleen Galbraith 2, Apple Gate Brentwood, Essex

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you