Criminal checks take six weeks

Schools should expect to wait up to six weeks for criminal checks on new staff, Home Secretary David Blunkett said this week. He described the Criminal Record Bureau's performance as unacceptable. The Universities Council for the Education of Teachers said that thousands of trainees could be barred from school placements because of continuing delays with criminal record checks. A UCET survey found that 11,000 of the 30,000 people starting courses this month had not been cleared. The Department for Education and Skills says that unchecked students can teach providing they are supervised.

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