Anyone who is cautioned or convicted for sex offences against children will be automatically barred from working in schools, the education secretary announced today.
Ruth Kelly also told parliament a new panel of police, child protection workers and medical practitioners led by former head of children’s charity Barnardo’s, Roger Singleton, would take over from ministers in deciding whether to ban people from working with children.
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill will be introduced next month, said Kelly. It will upgrade List 99, the list of people barred from working in schools and the Protection of Children Act list, which covers people considered unsuitable to work with children, with a centralised vetting and barring system.
She revealed that officials had found ten cases of people on the sex offenders’ register who had not been placed on List 99. Ministers had decided not to place the individuals on the list after listening to expert evidence and early inquiries suggested that none of the group were currently working in schools, Kelly concluded.