Many of us have fond memories of our secondary school language exchange. It was a rite of passage for many British teenagers, who said Auf Wiedersehen, Adios or Au Revoir to their parents and headed off to spend a week with a host family in Germany, Spain or France before then hosting a foreign teen in their own home. But according to a recent report by the British Council, the school language exchange is becoming a thing of the past, and the decline is due to an increase in red tape.
We’ve all seen the press stories about final year medical and nursing students graduating early, and immediately starting work to help in the coronavirus pandemic. Medicine in particular is a 5-year long degree, and it’s only the final year students who have been put to work early. Students in other years of their medical degree are still learning online, but many have come up with other innovative ways of using their skills to assist the NHS.
In recent months, the medical profession has barely been out of the news, given the coronavirus pandemic. One of the ways in which the NHS has been trying to cope with the influx of patients is to issue an appeal for recently retired doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to return. It all seems very sensible, but as many former doctor’s report, the system has not been running smoothly.
One of the biggest changes to the DBS process came into force in August 2019. However, despite the changes affecting perhaps thousands of applicants, the changes went largely unnoticed. The press may have been focused on Brexit rather than disclosure checking, but if you aren’t up to speed with the new rules regarding amendments, then this could cause both serious delays to your DBS check and have financial consequences too. In the worst-case scenario, long delays in getting a DBS certificate could potentially cost you a job too.
Mental health has had a much higher profile in recent years, with everyone from members of the Royal Family to sports stars raising awareness. Although the stigma of mental health has been slowly disappearing, it’s probably fair to say that people are still not as happy talking about mental health issues as they are about physical ailments. For many people recovering from mental health problems, the advice is often to get back to work or volunteering as a way of getting back into society and making a contribution. But what happens about disclosure checks? Can police information about mental health issues appear on a certificate?
Social media has been hitting the headlines again. Or to be more accurate, the things which people write on social media posts. Although #BeKind might be the hashtag of the moment, it won’t be long until people forget about being nicer to each other on Instagram, and many ho back to their old habits. Despite what many people think, the internet isn’t a space where you can do what you want, or say what you want. If you are prosecuted by the police for a posting on social media this could resurface in the future if you apply for a disclosure check in connection with a job or voluntary position.
In most cases, employers fund the cost of disclosure checks for their workers. But there is no law around this, and companies don’t have to fund the cost of the test. Many organisations see asking employees to fund the costs of their own checks as a way of saving money. But this cost-cutting is something associated with small businesses struggling to make ends meet surely? It’s therefore a bit of a surprise to find that many people working for the UK’s biggest employer, the NHS, are being asked to fund their own disclosure checks.
20 years ago, nobody had heard of “sexting”. Since then the number of smartphones in the UK has rocketed, with around 79% of all UK adults having access to one. In younger age groups, this figure is as high as 95%. As with everything technology related, the law has struggled to keep up to date with the rapid pace of change. A recent BBC Freedom of Information request showed that since 2013, there have been almost 4,000 cases of police investigations into sexting, where children under the age of 18 have taken explicit pictures of themselves and texted them to someone else. Shockingly, the youngest children investigated were just 7. Whether you’re a parent, a teenager or an employer, it’s important to understand the rules around sexting, and what could be shown on a disclosure check in the future.
Childcare is one of those topics which is never out of the headlines. Whether it is difficulty in finding school places, or the cost of nursery provision, there’s a lot to worry about. One of the more cost-effective forms of childcare is using a childminder, who cares for children in a family home setting. However, a recent report from Yorkshire highlighted a huge shortage in the number of childminders in the region. The main reason for the sharp decline in the number of childminders is the administrative burden they find themselves under.
Hackney Council in London has announced another crack-down on yeshivas, Jewish faith schools in the borough, many of which are operating without the correct paperwork. Legal battles have been ongoing between the schools and the council since 2013. Should parents be worried?