At the beginning of the 2006/2007 academic year, Garda vetting was introduced for new teachers and other new appointees who have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults.
Note: the Garda vetting process currently takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks.
In June 2006, Minister for Education and Science Mary Hanafin, T.D. announced expanded arrangements for the vetting of people with unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults. This move was based on recommendations made by the Interdepartmental Committee on Garda Vetting.
Vetting procedures have been in place for some time in relation to special needs assistants and bus escorts. The Department, in consultation with the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU), has decided that all new teachers and ancillary staff employed at schools must be vetted.
Teachers Currently in Service
Vetting arrangements will be expanded on a phased basis over the coming years to include all teachers currently in the system.
The Role of the Teaching Council
As part of the process of registering teachers for the first time, the Teaching Council is the authorised body to seek vetting for new teachers. In practice, this means that the Council:
- Receives and checks the completed Garda Vetting Application Forms from final-year student teachers in colleges and universities and from other new teachers.
- Forwards the application form to the GCVU to have vetting carried out in respect of each applicant.
- Receives Garda vetting results from the GCVU.
- Prepares a Vetting Letter for each applicant giving the result of the vetting.
This means that schools do not need to approach the GCVU directly to request vetting of new teachers.
The Role of School Authorities
It is the responsibility of the relevant school authority (Board of Management or VEC as appropriate) to ensure that any proposed new appointee who may have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults is vetted. This should be sought only in respect of a person to whom it proposes offering a job. In the case of new teachers, before they make a formal offer of appointment, schools must request the prospective employee to present the Vetting Letter from the Teaching Council.
Where appropriate, the Teaching Council will have to decide on the relevance of any conviction to the teacher’s suitability for registration. The Council's Evidence of Character Panel assesses disclosures returned by the GCVU.
Further details are outlined in Circular letter 0063/2010 which was issued to employing authorities by the Department of Education and Science, in November 2010 and came into effect from 01 January 2011..
Any queries in relation to Garda Vetting can be made by calling the Teaching Council on LoCall 1890 224 224 or 01 6517900 or by emailing email@example.com.