Are school exchange CRB checks going too far?


I have just been listening to the BBC You and Yours item on CRB checking of host families for school exchanges and concerns this would make schools and families even less likely to participate in such activities. We are welcoming a German girl into our home next month, and the school was advised we would have to fill in CRB forms.  On the one hand I recognise that there are few more sensitive things than taking a young person into a home. 

Many years ago my sister was on a French exchange and had a distinctly unsettling experience with her exchange partner's father. But the You and Yours broadcast confirmed that these CRB checks are not reciprocal - so my daughter will go to Germany without her host family parents being similarly checked. And the intrusiveness of the form is startling - bank account details, national insurance number, mother's maiden name.  If it got into the wrong hands the information would be a gift for someone planning identity theft. And why do you need a new CRB form for every activity?  We were CRB-cleared some years ago for scout matters.  A teacher at my daughter's school told me today that he has three current CRB clearances - for church, for scouts, and for school. It feels like a sledgehammer to crack a nut and leaves me feeling very uncomfortable.


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