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Working with Children (under 15)


Normally when working with children a person is required to have a Criminal Records background check.  The Criminal Records Board wishes to avoid a backlog of submissions from academic researchers working in universities and request that ethics committees deal directly with as many requests as possible.  As such, JOMEC has put together the following policy when carrying out researching that requires interviewing or observing children – AGE 15 and UNDER.  These steps should be followed:

Staff research projects

  1. Fill out the ethics form detailing the research to be carried out and how you will seek access to children (eg. which school / youth club).
  2. The chair of the Ethics Committee will hand over all forms dealing with children to Head of School (HoS)
  3. HoS will ask the member of staff:
    1. Is there anything that you would wish to declare that either you or I might suspect could cause a problem if you are to come into contact with children?’
    2. Have you been either cautioned for or convicted of any offence  relating to children?
    3. Is your name on the Sex Offenders Register in this country or any similar Register in an overseas country?
    4. Do you consent to the HoS making further enquiries should he/she believe it to be necessary?
  4. If approved, HoS will write a letter to school/parents stating ‘Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies has formally approved this research work… The HoS has no reason to believe that the researcher will present any risk to children. The researcher has worked for the University for ** years.  The HoS requests you to allow the research to be completed subject to the schools/parents own requirements’. 

Student research projects (PhD, MA, BA)

All student projects with children (15 and under) must involve supervision by a competent adult (for example, a teacher, head teacher, parent or legal guardian). 

  1. Fill out ethics form detailing the research to be carried out and how you will seek access to children (which school / youth club).
  2. Student to attend Ethics committee meeting to answer:
    1. Is there anything that you would wish to declare that either you or the Committee might suspect could cause a problem if you are to come into contact with children?
    2. Have you been either cautioned for or convicted of any offence relating to children either in this country or overseas?
    3. Is your name on the Sex Offenders Register in this country or any similar Register in an overseas country?
    4. Do you consent to the Committee making further enquiries should it be believed necessary?
  3. If approved, the Ethics committee will write 2 letters:
    1. To the student: “Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies has formally approved this research work…The Ethics Committee requests you to allow the research to be completed subject to the school’s/parent’s own requirements’. 
    2. To parent/school:  “Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies has formally approved this research work.  The student has formally declared that there is no cause for concern and the School’s Ethics Committee requests you to allow the research to be completed subject to the schools/parents own requirements’. 
  4. The student must send a signed letter to the Ethics committee agreeing that they will agree to carry out research only when an adult (as stated above) is present.