Anger at 'ludicrous' vetting procedure; Hockey team couldn't stay with families.Byline: Tom Mullen
THE headmaster of one of the North East's most prestigious schools has hit out at "ludicrous" new vetting guidelines that meant a visiting hockey team were not allowed to stay with his pupils' families.
Dr Bernard Trafford, headmaster of Newcastle's Royal Grammar School There are several schools of the name Royal Grammar School in the United Kingdom:
A hockey team of 13-year-old girls almost had to pull out of a visit to the RGS RGS Royal Geographical Society
RGS Rio Grande do Sul (Brazilian State)
RGS Regulators of G Protein Signaling
RGS Royal Grammar School (England)
RGS Royal Grammar School (UK) because the families the girls had arranged to stay with had not been vetted.
Despite Dr Trafford having met the families concerned and his assurances there was no cause for concern, the Midlands-based school felt forced to arrange bed and breakfast accommodation for the team for fear of breaching the rules. Last night Dr Trafford said the draconian dra·co·ni·an
Exceedingly harsh; very severe: a draconian legal code; draconian budget cuts.
[After Draco. measures from the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA (1) (Instruction Set Architecture) See instruction set.
(2) (Interactive Services Association) See Internet Alliance.
(3) (Internet Security and Acceleration) See .NET. ) were unnecessary and damaging.
He said: "Ask any headteacher and they will tell you it's bureaucracy gone mad. The loss of trust in decent, law-abiding adults is a huge worry, and we resent re·sent
tr.v. re·sent·ed, re·sent·ing, re·sents
To feel indignantly aggrieved at.
[French ressentir, to be angry, from Old French resentir, being the agency of this.
"The hockey team's trip was all arranged, we had spoken to the host families. It was supposed to be a nice way for them to spend time in the region. This was the sort of thing you did when the world was sane sane (san) sound in mind.
Of sound mind; mentally healthy.
"But schools are feeling the pressure and like with most things with schools. you have to follow the guidelines.
"I think the whole thing is going mad.
It's going well over the top." The new rules - which will require all people working with children or vulnerable adults to have screening - are not set to come into force until November next year, but some schools have already embraced the principle following seminars from ISA officials.
Exchange visits around the country are already reportedly being scrapped because some parents object to being vetted, feeling it to be degrading TO DEGRADE, DEGRADING. To, sink or lower a person in the estimation of the public.
2. As a man's character is of great importance to him, and it is his interest to retain the good opinion of all mankind, when he is a witness, he cannot be compelled to disclose . Sir Roger Singleton sin·gle·ton
An offspring born alone.
singleton Medtalk One baby. Cf Triplet, Twin. , the ISA chairman, insisted the scheme was proportionate, adding that some people, such as piano tuners or electricians might choose vetting even if they didn't have to for "commercial advantage". But Dr Trafford - who is also vice-chairman of The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) is an association of the headmasters or headmistressess of 242 leading day and boarding independent boys' and coeducational schools in the United Kingdom, Crown dependencies and the Republic of Ireland. - said the project could lead to genuinely dangerous adults slipping under the authorities' radar.
He said: "If you go mad like this you're not going to make anyone safe. You're just going to get a lot of overcompensating for something that in the end doesn't work. It's not that we don't want the work. The problem is you create little dark corners where genuinely dangerous people can hide."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Children, Schools and Families said: "The Vetting and Barring Scheme will not put school exchange trips under threat - we already strongly recommend that host families are CRB CRB
See: Commodity Research Bureau. checked.
"When ISA registration becomes mandatory from November 2010, families will need to register. This will be a one-off registration and should be easier than the present arrangements where families would have to undergo CRB checks for each visit they host in order to comply with the guidance.
"Host families who are not being paid anything more than their expenses will be considered volunteers and we have made it clear from the outset that the ISA registration fee (pounds 64) will be waived for volunteers."
HITTING OUT Bernard Trafford, headmaster at Newcastle Royal Grammer School.