Teachers had criminal records

NEARLY 30 teachers with criminal histories were employed in Suffolk schools during the last four years, figures revealed today.

NEARLY 30 teachers with criminal histories were employed in Suffolk schools during the last four years, figures revealed today.

An Evening Star investigation has found that 27 applicants were given jobs despite Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks flagging up previous convictions.

Although the CRB said it was unable to release the types of offences uncovered, the organisation claimed only those with minor crimes which were committed several years ago were given jobs.

A spokesman said: “When a teacher's CRB disclosure reveals a previous conviction, a confidential conversation takes place between human resources and the school's headteacher.

“The nature of the conviction, the date that it took place and its relevance to the job being offered is discussed.

“Where the conviction is serious and closely related to the job being offered, the offer will be withdrawn and the teacher will not be employed.

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“In some very limited circumstances, where the offence is less serious and took place many years before without repetition, the offer may not be withdrawn.”

The figures were uncovered following a Freedom of Information request to the CRB, the Home Office agency tasked with providing information on those who apply for jobs working with children or vulnerable adults.

Earlier this year, a Star probe revealed that criminals found guilty of wounding, rioting, arson and passport forgery applied to become teachers in Suffolk in the past three years.

The list relating to 2008 revealed that out of the 2,097 applications for the position of teacher in Suffolk, 26 people had criminal convictions listed on the Police National Computer.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “When the CRB check reveals a conviction, it is treated as a very serious matter because of the consideration that this person could be working with children.

“We immediately contact the school and we work together on each individual case to agree what should be done.”