Child Protection

Education and Skills written question – answered on 13th March 2006.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her policy is on teachers working without police record checks in (a) state and (b) private schools; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills) (Children and Families)

We strongly recommend Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are made as part of the appointment process on anybody who will be working in a maintained school, further education institution or LEA education service. The law already requires independent schools to make CRB checks on the suitability of staff to work with children prior to confirming their appointment.

Safeguarding children in education" (September 2004) emphasises the wider responsibilities of employers, including adopting recruitment practices which involve scrutinising applicants, verifying any qualifications, obtaining references, checking previous job history, as well as checking List 99 and making a CRB check where appropriate.

Changes announced recently by the Secretary of State will make a CRB check compulsory prior to appointment, or as soon as practicable after, for all new appointments to the maintained school workforce where the individual concerned has not worked in a school or institution within the further education sector for at least three months prior to the appointment. There is no requirement to obtain a CRB disclosure on existing staff. Employers will continue to have discretion to seek a disclosure where they have grounds for concern about the suitability of an existing member of staff.

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