A reminder of Soham

So what does a person have to do to be barred from working with children? Apparently visiting child pornography sites and being placed on the sex offenders register is not enough for either education secretary Ruth Kelly or the Hewett School in Norfolk, which appointed someone on the register as its PE teacher with Kelly’s blessing. She decreed that the risks of the man teaching were “acceptable”.

The teacher had not been placed on List 99, which bans people working with children, because his case had not made it to court.

But the offence for which he was registered as a sex offender involved him watching children being abused and violated. It beggars belief that it can then be deemed “acceptable” for him to work with children, particularly in a subject where he can initiate physical contact and see children undressing.

It wasn’t until Norfolk police raised their concerns that the school suspended the man and he resigned. The Department for Education and Skills says it will review the case to see whether it raises any policy issues. It shouldn’t take a review to work out the answer. The question is: has Soham been forgotten so quickly?

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