5421 WORKING WITH KIDS IN QLD WITH NO BLUE CARD
MORE than 5000 people statewide are working without a Blue Card under the same loophole that saw Townsville Year 4 students allegedly shown a nude photo by a teacher aide last month.
The Labor State Government says it will close a loophole allowing people to work while a Blue Card application is pending – should it win re- election – but parents are calling for all employees awaiting a Blue Card to be stood down immediately.
The accused was hired by a Townsville primary school, which cannot be named, without a Blue Card because he claimed he had applied for one. The mother of one of the alleged victims said it was disgusting that people were allowed to work without the card.
“As from right now anybody who doesn’t have a Blue Card should be stood down until the law is changed,” she said.
“This should have been the law all along.”
There are 5421 people statewide in jobs which require working with children’s checks but their Blue Card applications are still pending.
A Blue Card Services spokesman said once an application was lodged, the applicant was monitored through a system put in place between Blue Card Services and the Queensland Police Service.
“This constant monitoring minimises risks to children as it enables Blue Card Services to be immediately informed of a person’s change in criminal history and allows appropriate action to be taken to protect children from harm,” the spokesman said.
“Additionally, employers should be regularly monitoring employees’ performances, engaging with them about expected behaviours and reviewing their policies and procedures to make sure that they are focused on minimising potential harm to children.”
The mother of one of the children involved in the Townsville school nude image scandal said no checks had protected her child.
“The ( alleged offender) was employed at the school since May … how could they let him work there for five months without a Blue Card?” she said.
“Something needs to be done about this to protect other children.”
Neither the Department of Education, Education Minister Kate Jones’s office or the LNP have answered the parents’ call for the 5000 workers to be stood down pending the loophole closure.
A department spokesman said: “Given that the state election has been called and the government is in caretaker mode, the department will await the instructions of an incoming government regarding any policy change.”
Opposition education spokesman Tracy Davis said people without a Blue Card or the proper checks should not get a job in schools, but did not commit to changing the current policy.
SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS TO PROTECT OTHER CHILDREN THE MOTHER OF A CHILD INVOLVED IN THE TOWNSVILLE SCHOOL NUDE IMAGE SCANDAL