Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Council promises action on exchange trip protection

At the start of today's council meeting I asked a question about the protection of children and young people who come to Cornwall for exchange trips and to visit language schools, surf academies and outdoor activity centres.

I worry that there is a disaster waiting to happen with an unchecked organisation placing a young person in circumstances where they may come to harm. My fear is that there is no one who will take responsibility.

I got the best answer I could reasonably hope for - a promise to look into the problem. Cabinet Member Sally Bain confirmed that the Council only checks schools. Residential surf schools and other activity centres, foreign language schools and private hosts of exchange students are not checked although they have legal obligations to be properly checked.

I will be pressing her and the Council to make sure that we start working with other authorities as soon as possible to get proper checks in place so that young people coming to Cornwall (and their parents) can have confidence that they will be safe.

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