Will The New CRB Ruling Effect My Music Teaching?
The short answer is, no body knows right now, but any CRB or disclosure checked ‘My Keyboard Lessons’ tutor could be effected in the long run. The story is that the government is to seek leave to appeal against a court ruling that the law which requires people to disclose all previous convictions to certain employers is a breach of human rights.
The Court of Appeal ruling could mean job applicants in England and Wales do not have to disclose all criminal records when applying for certain jobs. The case at the heart of the row involves a job applicant, known as T. He had to disclose police warnings he got at 11 over two stolen bicycles.
Delivering the ruling, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, said the disclosure of old convictions and cautions was designed to protect children and vulnerable adults. Todays judgement will affect parents and children, employers and employees. The Court of Appeal has ruled that the current system which requires the blanket disclosure of criminal convictions, cautions and warnings, is disproportionate and incompatible with the right to a private and family life.
That raises the issue of when crimes committed by children should be expunged from their records. The court has said, firmly, that it will now be a matter for parliament to decide what amendments to make to the current system. However, the potential implications of the judgement go beyond children. All criminal records checks are carried out under a system which is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
Today’s ruling could apply to all of those checks, effectively throwing the entire system of criminal records checks into confusion. However, he said, “requiring the disclosure of all convictions and cautions relating to recordable offences is disproportionate to that legitimate aim”. But Lord Dyson added: “We are willing to direct that our decision shall not take effect pending determination by the Supreme Court of an application by the Secretaries of State for permission to appeal.”
The court said T was a “man of good character” apart from the police warnings when he was 11. Lord Dyson said: “He believed that his warnings were spent. But he was disabused of this in 2008 when (aged 17) he sought a part-time job at the local football club.” Criminal record checks were beefed up after the case of Ian Huntley, who was jailed for life in 2003 for the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire. It subsequently emerged that Huntley had obtained a job as a school caretaker – which is how he befriended Holly and Jessica- because his criminal past had not been shared by Humberside Police.
In 2004 the Bichard Report into the case recommended that all applications for positions in schools should be subject to a requirement for enhanced disclosure criminal checks. In the case of T, the club requested an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (ECRC) because he might be required to work with children.
My Keyboard Lessons will continue to offer the checks for its tutors until further notice.