Edinburgh ready to act on Cullen inquiry

19th July 1996 at 01:00
School lets and youth registration procedures are set for "substantial revision" in Edinburgh following publication of the Cullen report in the autumn.

The city council's education subcommittee was told yesterday (Thursday) that the council had consulted with youth organisations and its own employees over plans to tighten procedures after Lothian Region's entanglement with the Dunblane killer Thomas Hamilton.

The committee was informed that regulations inherited from Lothian on lets and youth registration "require to be substantially amended".

While the findings of the Cullen inquiry are awaited, community education managers are to vet organisations using education premises. Staff will visit youth groups where there has been no previous contact.

Paul Williamson, the council's education vice-convener, said he had already met major youth organisations to discuss common approaches to the recruitment and scrutiny of volunteers working with children and young people in schools and community centres.

"We are looking to expand training opportunities for volunteers so that they are working within a proper framework and affiliated to recognised youth organisations," Mr Williamson said.

The council also hopes to provide training facilities for voluntary organisations that do not come under its control.

In a written submission to the Cullen inquiry, Glasgow, with other councils and national agencies, highlighted the difficulty in transferring information about an adult deemed unsuitable to work with children and the lack of consistency and guidance on access to criminal record checks, particularly in voluntary organisations.

The submission also pointed to the ease with which an individual can establish a youth group not registered through a parent organisation and to a diversity of approaches throughout the country.

It advised that all organisations and youth groups should establish child protection policies and revise selection, supervision and training of adult workers. A central register of youth workers and clubs would be one option.

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