Disclosure reform welcomed by committee

17.12.2019

Legislation to update the Disclosure system protecting the most vulnerable in Scotland’s society has passed its first parliamentary hurdle today.

The Disclosure (Scotland) Bill aims to update the protection given to children and other vulnerable people by simplifying and strengthening the law governing how previous offending behaviour is disclosed.

Now Holyrood’s Education and Skills Committee has published its stage 1 report on the Bill which makes it clear that whilst the Committee is supportive of the principles of the Bill, there is concern over how some of these measures will work in practice.

These include how the discrepancies between the Bill and Acts recently passed by the Parliament on the management of offenders and the age of criminal responsibility will be resolved. The report also calls for greater clarity about some decision making processes as well as ensuring that care experienced young people are not disadvantaged by the regulations relating to the disclosure of childhood offending.

The Committee has today welcomed the Bill and will work with Scottish Government to make sure the concerns are being listened to.

Committee Convener, Clare Adamson MSP said:

“This Bill seeks to simplify and strengthen the legislation that protects Scotland’s most vulnerable people. The Committee has heard concerns from those who will be most affected by these changes, including care experienced young people

“There is clearly a balance to be struck with any disclosure scheme. And while we must ensure that children and young people are protected, we must also support those who are moving on from a troubled past.”

The Bill makes a series of changes to the current scheme including introducing a range of new disclosure products, ending lifetime membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme and stopping those under 16 from being eligible for PVG checks.

Clare Adamson MSP continued:

“It is important the new scheme is fit for purpose and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government and stakeholders to ensure the concerns raised in the report can be addressed as the Bill continues its progress through Parliament.”

Background

The Disclosure (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2019 with the aim of simplifying the system for users and organisations.

The Bill reduces the number of disclosure products from four to two as well as ending lifetime PVG scheme membership.

More detail of the Bill can be found at:

https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/111895.aspx

The Bill is seen as a package of reforms for the management of offenders and treatment of convictions of individuals under 18 years of age. The Bill will interact with the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act and the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act, both of which were recently passed by the Parliament.

More information about the Committee’s consideration can be found at:

https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/112286.aspx

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body securely processes journalists’ data for the purpose of enabling reporting on the work of the Scottish Parliament, in line with current data protection requirements. You have the right to unsubscribe at any time. For further information, please see our Privacy Notice

Contact information

Media information

Linda Peters: 0131 348 6269

Text Relay calls welcome li[email protected]

Committee information

Gary Cocker: 0131 348 5204

Text Relay calls welcome [email protected]

Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • [email protected]
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

You can also follow us on twitter @scotparl and to keep up to date with the Committee @SP_EduSkills

Like us on Facebook for updates on news and events

Or find out more on YouTube

This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.