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Parents have a right to know

here is a certain irony this week in Stuart Waiton's article warning of panic about the dangers of the internet and online grooming (opposite page). The director of Generation Youth Issues argues that children are not as stupid or vulnerable as some people think, and that parents are not helplessly dependent on the guidance of caring professionals. That's as well. This week (page three), we also have a story about the General Teaching Council for Scotland deregistering teachers who have been convicted of downloading and holding child pornography on their home computers, even taking inappropriate photographs of girls in the playground. It's a classic case of the danger lying nearer home.

Each year the GTC strikes off teachers for inappropriate behaviour, but its website reveals nothing of the cases. Yet in England, the teaching council's website publicises hearings in advance and invites the public to attend. If teachers are struck off or suspended, details are published of their names, schools and the findings. The GTC says this may happen towards the end of the year. Nobody wishes to see a witch-hunt, but these are surely details which parents and schools require to know.

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