Schools: Essex

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th October 2014.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to prevent those banned from working with children or adults in Essex following the recent investigation by Essex County Council into child sexual exploitation from working in other maintained educational institutions.

Photo of David Laws David Laws The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, The Minister for Schools

All schools and colleges have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

All schools are required to carry out mandatory ‘safer recruitment’ checks that help to identify individuals who are not suitable to work with pupils. The Department for Education’s statutory guidance on ‘Keeping children safe in education’[1] makes clear that when appointing staff, schools must check police records, police intelligence and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) barring lists. Furthermore, anyone who is appointed to teach must not have been prohibited from being so appointed by the Secretary of State.

These checks ensure that individuals who are barred from working in regulated activity by the DBS are not employed to work with pupils in schools. They also allow schools to identify any additional risks to children and make informed decisions about an individual’s suitability to work in a school environment.

[1] www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education

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