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No way back for banned teachers

NEW measures blocking banned teachers from returning to schools through the back door will come into force next month.

Schools minister Charles Clarke wants teacher employment agencies to check names of recruits against List 99 which covers teachers who have have been struck off or restricted from working with under-19s. These agencies are filling the thousands of temporary vacancies in schools, particularly in London.

The regulations will cover catering and cleaning staff, sports coaches, school bus drivers, and volunteers who have regular contact with children. The definition of "regular employment" will be extended by amending the 1993 Education Regulations.

The National Union of Teachers welcomed the clampdown.

Where a teacher is dismissed for an actual or suspected offence against minors, or has been persuaded to resign before disciplinary action, or has medical problems, the school must inform the Department for Education and Employment. The department may then put the teacher on List 99. Copies of the list, updated at least twice a year, are held by local authorities, independent schools associations, teacher unions and supply teacher agencies.

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