April 12, 2016 by johnston00
New child protection legislation (National Vetting Bureau Children and Vulnerable Persons Act 2012) due to come into effect this month will see over 34,000 teachers vetted by Gardai, including those who have been teaching since before 2006 when garda clearance became mandatory for new teachers.
Currently, only newly qualified educators seeking jobs or teachers moving schools are subject to Garda vetting but this practice will change by the end of the month.
Over 34,000 teachers who have been in the teaching profession for ten years or more will face the Garda vetting procedure for the first time in the next few months.
As part of normal checks, enquiries are to be made into gaps in employment history, references and a search of what is dubbed ‘soft information’. According to a circular letter provided by the Department of Education and Skills:
“Soft information” referred to as “specified information” in the Vetting Act, is information other than criminal convictions held by the Garda Síochána that leads to a bona-fide belief that a person poses a threat to children or vulnerable persons.”
Previously, Garda Vetting had been processed by National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 The Teaching Council. According to The Teaching Council.:
“The Council has been advised by the Garda Central Vetting Unit that subject to final confirmation the processing of vetting disclosures will transfer to the National Vetting Bureau on 29 April 2016.”
From 29th April, it will be seen as a criminal offence for a school to employ any person, whether it is a teacher, a sports coach or a volunteer, unless they have obtained a vetting disclosure from the new bureau.
It is unclear how long it will take to complete the new vetting act of over 34,000 teachers. Previously, the process was expected to take a few weeks. An e-vetting system has been developed to make the process smoother.