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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Registering the Damage.

So what on earth is going on with this Ruth Kelly / sex offenders register(s) / teachers stuff?

What I have learned is:

  1. There is a register, separate from the Sex Offenders Register, known as List 99, which contains a list of people who must never work with children.

  2. One man has been working in a school, despite being on the Sex Offenders Register, having been cautioned for looking at child pornography.

  3. A 'caution' means he admitted to doing it.

  4. Another man who has been convicted of sex with a minor, got a job in a school.

  5. There has even been a case where someone who is on (the aforementioned) List 99, who has been approved, (seemingly) personally by Ruth Kelly, to work in a school nonetheless.

  6. A man who has convictions for abusing young boys, has been allowed to work in an all-girls' school.

  7. The whole world has gone mad
  8. .


So, being on the Sex Offenders Register does not automatically preclude someone from working in a school, but being on List 99 does.

Except that it doesn't, clearly. It only stops you if you don't get personal approval from the Education Minister to work with children despite history of convictions or abuse. And it seems she is reasonably willing to do that - two cases I have heard about, at least.

Now, I am not naive enough to be under any illusion that if people who have convictions of sexually abusing children are not allowed to work in schools, then all children are safe.

Firstly, you don't need to have a conviction to abuse children, or to be a danger to them.

Secondly, child sex abusers are often drawn to professions which will bring them into contact with children, so schools are probably a fairly high risk place to be in those terms.

And thirdly, the vast majority of abuse happens within the home. Kids are at risk from their parents, relatives, friends, babysitters etc., in the very place they live.

However doesn't it seem, well, sensible to actively stop people who have either been convicted of, or have admitted to offences of sexual abuse against children from working in a school?

Well, yes it does.

On a side note, hippie blog seems to be the number one search result for what programmes will there be on the telly on friday nights in march. Should anyone else manage to find me through those search terms, I can safely say, I have no idea. Gah!


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1 comments:

Nella said...

Yes it does, but when have you known our govt to be sensible?