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Sex abuser course to be mandatory

Heads and governors in England's schools will be forced to take a free online course to help them avoid appointing paedophiles and child abusers, The TES has learnt.

The Government plans to make the training a legal requirement after it emerged that more than half of schools had failed to follow guidance aimed at preventing a repeat of the Soham murders.

Extra training for heads and governors was recommended in 2004 by the Bichard Inquiry, set up after 10-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered by Ian Huntley, appointed school caretaker at Soham Village College despite a string of sex offence allegations.

The course includes training on characteristics of child abusers and their behaviour and how to spot them in interviews.

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