A spokesman for Anglesey council said that Arriva had been excused the checks because of the widespread nature of its business.
He said: “All drivers and passenger assistants used on our [school bus] contracts by all companies apart from Arriva have been CRB checked.
It seems that there is one rule for one bus operator and another for 'smaller' bus operators; but that is not the only point. The other and far more important point is that there is a very good reason for enhanced CRB checks and that is Ian Huntley.
Huntley killed Jessica Chapman and Hollie Wells in Soham in 2002 and was later convicted of murder. Huntley was a school caretaker with no convictions but had previous arrests for sexual offences. An enhanced CRB check would have identified his previous arrests and intelligence. As it was at the time, checks revealed nothing.
Following on from Soham the Bichard enquiry made a number of recommendations in relation to safe recruiting of staff to work with children. These recommendation were encapsulated in legislation The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which places requirements on employing staff engaged in 'regulated activities' that is working with children. Amongst those requirements are enhanced CRB checks; school Bus driving is a 'regulated activity.'
I therefore cannot see how Anglesey Council can legally exempt Arriva from conducting enhanced CRB checks on drivers of school buses.
I for one will be seeking reassurances from Wrecsam Council that ALL school contracts will stipulate that the drivers were subjected to enhanced CRB checks.