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back to article Nation's parents prepare to be vetted

Ofsted has blown a hole in Home Office claims that deciding who needs to be vetted is a simple matter, after the education quango tarred parents who share childcare arrangements as "illegal childminders" and potential criminals. The issue came to light at the weekend, when the Daily Mail reported that Ofsted had made a surprise …

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So...

Ofsted have no problems with schools run by religious maniacs and the shocking standard of [pick any or all of the following] literacy, numeracy, basic science, physical education, history, geography or languages; but woe betide anyone trying to do some babysitting.

Is it possible to pin down the actual date this country became a dystopian joke?

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Grenade

@ Julian I-do-stuff

<<Perhaps someone graphically gifted could offer an icon for a purblind, anencephalic civil servant/ minister attempting to blow his/her brains out with an unloaded banana pointing the wrong way.>>

Gerlad Scarfe springs to mind. Oh, I think he's already done it.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article6446488.ece

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How does this work in Wales?

As you can probably tell from my user name I live in Wales where (at least some of) the functions of Ostead are performed by Estyn. Do Ofstead have any say in Wales at all? Do Estyn have similar rules to Ofstead?

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Hmm..

Ok, I'm usually against this sort of thing (tm), but I kind of think that Offstead are in the right here. Each of these mothers is spending a large amount of time with a child and they are not registered child minders. The arrangement is reciprocal as they are both job sharing each other's job and then child minding the other half of the time, so they are acting as professional child minders for half the time. Could offstead ignore any other part time child minders? I think not.

What would happen if the children in question were kids of two crack addicted prostitutes (extreme and unlikely example to make a point) who had a similar reciprocal arrangement? I can't help thinking the lots of people would have something to say about that, expecially if some harm came to one of the children.

To sum up: Has child protection law gone too far? Probably, yes.

Is this an example of it going too far? I don't think so.

Should they be locked up and the key thrown away? No.

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Flame

The nark was a neighbour

The nark who reported the two women to OFSTED was a neighbour of one of them. This person is a busy body of the highest order and probably saw the two women dropping of and picking up their kids regularly since the two had been carrying on this arrangement for quite some time. They then must have had some issue with one of the women to actually look up the law (it's not an obvious issue) and report them to OFSTED. It might even be the case that the person is a employee of OFSTED.

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On the plus side

It means my daughter cannot have her friends around for sleepovers any more!

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Alert

Timely!

Just yesterday I was saying to a friend that the problem with the CRB checks is that HM.gov have explicitly excluded parents and family friends from the list, the first people you'd be checking if the project was genuinely aimed at preventing child abuse (and, for the record, actually stood a chance of having the stated effect, which it doesn't). However, even the politicians realised that that might be a step too far. Seems like Ofsted have found a way of plugging the gap.

Should be interesting when they notice that 100% of child abuse cases involve children :-o

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Big Brother

Is this government beyond subterfuge?

I mean vetting all people who look after kids is one way of quickly and easily populating an ID database...

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Anonymous Coward

Society? What society?

The Margaret "Air Brushed Out of History" Thatcher once exclaimed that there was no such thing as society.

Now, under NuLab it comes to pass, as the volunteers who do so much to make all our communities work stop volunteering and tell the CRB et al to go forth and multiply.

On second thoughts we don't want any more of the bastards, so no multiplying. Just FOAD.

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Exemption

The Reg Writer will be able to go out with his wife as that will presumably be between 6pm and 2am. I'm not sure what happens before or after this period which means that others cannot be trusted with your children.

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Stop

@Fraiser

However those 2 crack addicted prostitutes would probably live in the same house, and so it would all be legal. Hell if the to ladies had swapped door keys, and did the baby sitting at each others house, it would be legal.

It's only because they were baby sitting at their own homes that they're in trouble.

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Clap 'em in irons

Well, looks like there may be a few more prisons built to house all these obviously fiendish and outrageous law-breaking citizens.

Just what the hell is going on in the UK? I think I shall wake up and it'll all be a bad dream.

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Happy

the real problem is

that all over the country people are shagging each other left right and centre with no CRB disclosure or proper understanding of safeguarding. Some of these people then go on to become pregnant and read children, which involves intense and frequent contact with a child in an unmonitored environment (the home).

Maternity ward staff must ensure parents produce a CRB disclsure before they are allowed to take their baby home.

There's no knowing what might be going on behind closed doors.

For the sake of the children, any mother would surely agree maternity staff ensure she and her partner are checked out as fit to parent

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Megaphone

@Shakje - complacency like that makes you complicit

"But really, really, is it going to turn into an apocalypse of parents being arrested for looking after a neighbour's kid for a few hours?"

It might, yes. For a while now there have been highly visible posters around these parts encouraging citizens to dobb each other in for precisely this and publicising the hotline number for doing so. I kid you not.

It would seem pretty fucking pointless to do that and then not bother to follow up with enforcement, particularly as every report leads to a "child at risk" scenario (in the minds of the hysterical righteous, not in reality). Expect to hear more stories like this.

"and for all the protesting, the law will still go through"

That's true at least. The law HAS gone through, it is part of the Childcare Act 2006. And no, nobody listened to the protests.

"and the next day, things will pretty much be the same."

No, that's not the case. After this bill passed into law, millions of people who were previously ordinary citizens partaking in the life of their communities became criminals.

After this bill passed into law, the right of a parent to decide who looks after their children no longer existed. After this bill passed into law, virtually any childcare that was not regulated by the state became a criminal offence. After this bill passed into law, the parents of children were stripped of their responsibility for deciding which other people could be trusted to look after their children, and that responsibility was arrogated to the state, by the state.

"There's more important things going on, and things that have a slim possibility of being changed."

Name one, go on. Name me one thing that even this current bunch of Stalinist pigfuckers have done that is more apocalyptically horrible than mandating that children are chattels of the state.

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Anonymous Coward

Good-intentions...

The road to hell is paved with good-intentions. Welcome to hell.

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Anonymous Coward

Police

Of course the police aren't allowed to have any 'second jobs' in the UK, they work for the police, that's it. In this case Ofsted deemed that they are 'gaining' which would mean that they are also in breach of these regulations. I suspect a showdown between the police and ofsted in the coming weeks.

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The solution ...

Easy, just say they are a co-habiting couple and very much in love and therefore the children are therefore each others step sister and thus problem solved.

The fact that they live in different houses is just because they have been unable to afford to put their houses on the market due to the cost of HIPS!

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@AC 15:58

Maggie is airbrushed out of history? You probably shouldn't say that anywhere there was a coal mine, lots of people still remember and they're still not particularly happy about it.

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Coat

And the jack-knife barber drops her off at school...

So it sounds like the only way to stay "legal" here is to limit ones exposure to children to under two hours or so ... and at the 90 minute mark, kick them off to the next house ...

"Hey little girl - do you believe in the hereafter?"

"Good, because that's what I'm here after ..."

Mine's the raincoat with the Aqualung CD in the pocket...

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Labour in third place

They were neck and neck with the lib dems at the weekend when this story broke. I can see no other way to communicate how much they've overstepped their bounds.

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Stop

Government.

Take due note, Government.

You come anywhere near my child in a manner I don't like, in whatever guise you choose, be it ofstead, family services, the law, education, and I will take action against you. If the law won't stand with me then I will take 'illegal' action.

If you try to take my child away from me because of some petty rule, I will burn, fight and kill to get her back, and you will be my target.

I would suggest that if you don't want millions of people saying the same thing, and if you don't want to create a whole new form of terrorism, then you have best drop this deeply stupid and immoral set of laws immediately.

Consider yourselves warned.

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Big Brother

sowing and reaping

We are now just beginning to reap the harvest that has been sowed by the tabloid paedo-hysteria over the past few years. It as led to situations where a man has almost been unable to even glance at any child by chance in the street without being thought of as a potential child abuser; where injured children have been left for fear that helping them may lead to a charge of child abuse; and where people have been told that they cannot take photographs in public places because the risk is that the photographers are child abusers. All of these would effectively ruin lives. Up to now, only a few people have realised that these are ridiculous over-reactions on the part of the public and police, largely whipped up by the tabloid press and others who attempt to justify it with the "if only one child is saved, it is worth it" specious argument. This latest spasm may be the turning point, but I wonder whether it may be the turning point only because we now have two *policewomen* become the victims of this brain-dead application of an ill-thought out piece of legislation.

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WTF?

A few questions

Every morning on my way to work I walk past a bus stop full of kids waiting to go to school. Sometimes they shout hello to me and I wave back.

Do I need to be vetted?

When I go to my local pub, sometimes my mates have their kids with them. Last week one kid complained he was bored, so I let him play Tetris on my PDA.

Do I need to be vetted?

One of my relatives has two kids, and sometimes when I visit I watch the Simpsons with them.

Do I need to be vetted?

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FAIL

Step Parents

Was listening to the news last night, and Step-Parents are only covered when care of the children is in the home.

Outside the home they are not exempt, and would potentially need vetting it they take longer than 2 hours shopping, zoo visits and other such days out that last longer than 2 hours on more than 14 occasions per year except between the hours of 6pm-2am.

My head hurts this is so stupid.

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Anonymous Coward

Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime

Stupid MPs passing Legislation without proper thought and consideration.

Maybe we should find out which MPs voted on this legislation and target them for Stupidity Awards or Ignobles.

It's no wonder Yooof Organisations have huge issues recruiting and waiting lists for Yoofs.

Won't somebody fink of the Yoofs!

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Happy

Another solution

It appears that the rules are different depending on where the child is cared for. It would be legal to look after someone else's child in the /child's/ home for as long as you please and you could bring your own sprogs round too, because they'd be with you.

So if the women in this case are willing to swap house keys, the problem is solved. Since they are willing to swap children, this isn't terribly far fetched.

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Anonymous Coward

@Fraser

Firstly - I'm glad someone has finally posted a comment arguing the government's side of this! At least now it means we're having a debate instead of a rant...

I agree that the childcare industry needs to be regulated. That's totally appropriate action to take. If I take my child to a nursery, school, cub scouts, dance class or whatever, I expect the staff to uphold certain standards and be trained and proven to act properly. I've got no argument against this.

The issue here is with over-regulation. In a free society, parents should have basic rights to decide how they bring up their children. In this instance, the law is so broad that it encroaches on normal family life. To use your example, even crack-whores have the right to be parents and to take on all of the responsibility that it brings. If this article was really about crack-whores, I would at least expect people to be saying "Hang on, I think this applies to decent folk too!"

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WTF?

Political Correctness ?

"I'm not generally minded to Daily Mailisms, but this really *IS* political correctness gone mad."

It doesn't matter how many asterisks you use or how upper your case is, this has nothing to do with 'political correctness', mad or otherwise. Over-intrusive beaurocracy gorn maaaaad, perhaps.

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Exempt form

Can't they just sign a form saying that whatever the government/ofsted are protecting them from with this law, that they take the risks of leaving their kids with those other people in their own hands?

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Big Brother

Arrest Ofstead?

I am surprised they didn't arrest the Ofstead lacky for wasting Police time.

I was gobsmacked when this came out, as where my children.

They occasionally have friends round after school.

Sounds like this is now illegal, WTF has this country come to.

BTW Don't blame me - I have never voted Labour

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sleepover

That's the sleepover wrecked then ... "only during the hours 6pm to 2am"

So at 2 am I bundle the visting kids into a car and drop them off back at their homes.

I'm sure little Jimmy and Theresa and Mark etc all aged 2 and a half will fully understand why I am doing this.

Fuckwits.

Not AC because I used to be chairman of a lovely and highly sought-after primary school, that Ofsted wrecked in 2 weeks afetr 10 years building it up. I'd love a chance to have a pop at them. Come and get me you cunts and see what happens

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WTF?

Waste of f**king space!

So me and missus taking turns to drop young'uns off at school, in exchange for various "rewards" between us, is now illegal then?

FFS! Will this crap ever stop? Backroom gov officials with nothing better to do! How about you start poking you nose into more "families" like that poor 2 year-old kid that got beaten to death in his own home?

How about you useless f**kers go out right now and find every poor kid, sitting at a school desk, absolutely terrified to go home tonight, 'cos they don't what nasty thing is going to be done to them in their own home by people they're supposed to trust?!

How about you save just one more Victoria Climbe, by coming up with some sensible ideas, rather than wasting my f**king time and MY f**king taxes on this utter shite!

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@Mark Johnson1

I wouldn't say that I was taking the side of the government, rather that if you professionally look after children, you should be properly trained to do so. If half of your job is looking after other people's children, which in this case it is, then you are therefore a part time child minder. You wouldn't expect any other part time child minder to be allowed to look after children without proper training.

It's possible that the definition of how long you need to be in the care of other's children could do with tweaking, as there is a 'how long', 'how regularly' and 'is there compensation' components this would seem to cover most situations.

As for some of the cack that other people are speaking here:

No it doesn't mean your children can't have their friends round.

It doesn't mean that they can't sleep over.

It doesn't mean you can't look after your friends/neighbour's kids as a favour.

It doesn't mean that you can't give kids a lift to school, etc. etc.

It does mean that you can't look after other people's kids, regularly and recieve some sort of payment/other reward for it.

Don't get me wrong - I have to deal with child protection regulation as part of a voluntary job that I do, it can be a massive pain, lots of parts that result in non-intended consequences, but I do think that this particular bit is about right. You shouldn't be able to commercially look after a child, if you aren't proven to be able to do so.

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Flame

what a load of bollocks

What ever the colour of the politicians the general public don't trust them, they now have taken away the right of parents on deciding their own child's child care arrangements. Next thing there will be legislation to control who can have children. I say bring back Guy Fawkes so he can do a proper job of it, then start again and have people we can trust like big busness directors who we know will not fiddle the expences claims.

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WTF?

@Fraser Posted Tuesday 29th September 2009 12:45 GMT

"No it doesn't mean your children can't have their friends round."

Unless they are round for more than 2 hours at a time, and more than 14 times a year (52 weeks in a year last time I checked)

"It doesn't mean that they can't sleep over."

unless the sleep overs happen more than 14 times a year, and your kids have sleep overs at the other families house. - say to give each family a night off every couple of weeks?

"It doesn't mean you can't look after your friends/neighbour's kids as a favour."

See having friend round, esp. if they "recpricate" by looking after yours occasionally

"It doesn't mean that you can't give kids a lift to school, etc. etc."

Depends on how far it is to school, and whether you do it on the way back too.

"It does mean that you can't look after other people's kids, regularly and recieve some sort of payment/other reward for it."

If being able to work is considered a reward, then so is being able to go to the cinema, have a lie in, having a romantic evening, being able to go to the pub, etc.

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Big Brother

Paranoia and re-engineering

In the case of the policewomen, a neighbour reported them to Ofsted.

So after they roll out the ID Card scheme <coughcough> I mean background checks to anyone that even sees a child during their day the government will start to publish 'dos and don't' for parents in the home.

Words that you can and can't use; phrases that shouldn't be used.

Neighbours, friends, families and even our own children will be rewarded for reporting breaches. Cameras with audio recording and behavioural analysis will patiently watch over us.

We will be taken away and re-educated in the correct manner.

Sound like a conspiracy theory? Look at Germany, Cambodia, Modern China and a host of others for actual history.

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Coat

@Ponmyword

You wrote:

Ofsted, a quasi-autonomous governmental organisation, was created originally to be the watchdog for standards in school education.

Yeah, and how successful have they been at their own job? Of youngsters leaving school these days, 35% can´t read and the other 75% can´t add up!

OK, there is a ready reckoner (remember them?) in the pocket.

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Neat

"It is not just the vetting act, it is 90% of the system which has been allowed to simplify their operation through "Guilty until proven innocent". H&S in schools, LEA, Ofsted, Social services - you name it. Every single one of them has gotten themselves at least 3-4 nice "levers" to use against any "unrepentant" middle class citizen which refuses to fall in-line. Nearly all of them established during Vladimir Ilich Blair and Joseph Vissarionovich Brown's rule."

"Guilty until proven innocent" sums it up. And in the "Child Protection" racket the same individuals can be accusers, investigators, prosecution, judge, jury and executive agency!

Teachers, school nurses, school doctors, GPs, social workers and police officers all score brownie points when they express a "concern" at their joint meetings for such purposes. And once the "concern" has been taken up by another body within the cartel it becomes a "professional opinion" when passed on by them to a third body. And "professional opinions" have the same status as "fact." Neat, isn't it?

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