I am delighted to launch the Scottish Government's consultation on the disclosure regime in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has a clear and enduring commitment to making Scotland a safe and nurturing place for all of us; children and adults alike. We also have an equal and determined commitment to the social inclusion of our most marginalised and stigmatised groups, including those who have convictions.
These aspirations can be seen throughout our current legislative programme. We are taking legislation through the Scottish Parliament to raise the age for criminal responsibility from 8 to 12 and another bill will bring forward new legislation that will reform the rehabilitation of offenders legislation, making sure that, where appropriate, people with convictions can move on more quickly from mistakes made earlier in life to secure employment and make a good contribution to society.
This PVG Review consultation is therefore part of a bigger coherent theme; the PVG Scheme and disclosure system generally must continue to offer world-class protection and safeguarding but also play its part in helping people get into work. A disclosure regime fit for 21st century Scotland must strike the right balance between protecting the public from those whose past offending may indicate unsuitability for a specific post or role while also enabling those people with previous criminal activity to enter the workforce and make a positive economic and personal contribution to society. These are not contradictory ambitions, we must achieve both.
I hope that you will take the time to respond to this consultation. It is a real opportunity to be heard and we want to extend out to as wide an audience as possible. The PVG Scheme is a success; you have told us that and about how much you value it. Let's make it even better.
Minister for Childcare and Early Years_