The systems that should keep offenders out of the classroom

23rd February 2007 at 00:00
Teachers go through the most rigorous checks of any profession before being employed to work with children. The Criminal Records Bureau discloses convictions, cautions and other police information; the General Teaching Council keeps track of those barred for incompetence or unnacceptable behaviour; and the Department for Education and Skills places those banned from schools on List 99.

After the murders of 10-year-old Soham girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by Ian Huntley, their school caretaker in 2002, the Government said it would tighten checks.

Last year Ruth Kelly, then education secretary, was embarrassed by the revelation that 88 sex offenders had been working in schools despite the safeguards. From next year, the education department will help run a new vetting regime with 10 million personal histories. But critics fear offenders will continue to slip through the net.

Photograph: Rex Features

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today