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Criminal checks for home-to-school drivers will be independently verified in Birmingham Published Date: 02/09/2021

Birmingham Live reported that "Criminal checks on home-to-school transport drivers will be independently checked, it has been announced - following claims it should not be "for the contractor to self-police"."

A report published by Birmingham City Council noted that 59 out of 110 employees at North Birmingham Travel involved in the contract did not appear to have a documented DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check in place.

The council has also suspended its contract with Kings Norton Coaches, saying it failed to meet strict new health and safety standards.

A letter from Cllr Thompson, cabinet member for vulnerable children and families, to councillors said:

“We have written to all transport providers, today (Sept 1), asking them to provide details of any drivers with positive DBS checks that have not previously been disclosed to the council - within the next 48 hours.

“Drivers with positive DBS checks will then be reviewed by the BCC [Birmingham City Council] HR Panel and will not drive until clearance has been provided.

“Travel providers are legally obliged to provide this information to us on a monthly basis in any event, but again we want to ensure that providers are fully meeting their obligations prior to the start of the new school term.

“We will also start the process of independently verifying the DBS checks of all drivers operating within the Home to School Transport service.“Of course, we will have information in relation to the vast majority of drivers, however to ensure that the information that we hold is up-to-date (taking into account new applications) and to provide absolute assurance, this process will begin shortly.

“Given the numbers of drivers involved an external company will be supporting the council with this process.”