More than 4,000 convicted criminals applied to teaching jobs last year – including paedophiles, kidnappers and drug dealers – it has been revealed.
Figures obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) show the number of teaching applicants with convictions rose by 26 per cent compared to 2016, up to 4,362.
The most common crimes caught out by DBS checks on potential teachers included “driving with excess alcohol”, with 1,282 cases, according to a Freedom of Information response to training provider The Knowledge Academy.
This was followed by drug-related crimes, then shoplifting, assault, using a vehicle while uninsured, battery, theft, obtaining property by deception, destroying or damaging property, and common assault.
There were also two convictions for kidnapping, one for attempted murder and 32 cases of sexually motivated crimes, including a rape – more than a fifth of which involved children under the age of 16.
There were also 26 racially motivated crimes, 12 acts resulting in death, 157 crimes that mentioned the word “violent” and 229 cases of burglary.
The DBS told the Knowledge Academy that it was “unable to confirm if any of the individuals were employed as a result of the information being included on a certificate, as the DBS has no involvement in any recruitment decision made. The recruitment decision is made by the employer or other body."
The statement goes on to say: "The protection of children and vulnerable groups is of paramount importance and DBS checks are an important tool for informing employment decisions. Nonetheless, it is important that employers do not just rely on checks by the DBS to make their recruitment decisions.”