New figures show almost 10,000 people who committed crimes applied for jobs in UK schools in the past three years but education chiefs won’t tell how many are in the classroom
- Majority of criminal acts do not prevent people teaching in UK schools
- 100 heads, 800 teachers and 600 teaching assistants found to have previous criminal records
- Schools get to decide if a teacher should be employed in most cases
- MP calls for ‘transparency’ on issue because parents ‘have a right to know’
More than 1,500 teachers with criminal convictions, including paedophiles and attempted murderers, have applied for jobs in schools in the past year, MailOnline can reveal.
Candidates also included drug dealers, burglars, thieves, fraudsters, flashers and blackmailers, and some may already have been working in a school or were given the job they wanted.
Officials do not know exactly how many of the criminals were taken on, as recruitment decisions are often at the discretion of individual schools.
An MP today demanded more transparency on the issue because ‘public confidence’ is at stake and ‘parents have the right to know’.
Around 100 headteachers applied for new jobs even though they had criminal convictions, new figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show.
These individuals had carried out offences including wounding, cottaging, ABH, theft, battery, burglary, benefit fraud, drugs offences, hit and runs, violent disorder and one even planned a bomb hoax.
On top of this around 800 teachers and 600 teaching assistants with criminal records also asked schools for work in 2012, many with some of the most serious convictions possible, including for child sex offences.
The data also shows murderers, rapists and paedophiles were among 1,700 individuals who applied for jobs as caretakers, cleaners and dinner ladies.
The details have been revealed by the Disclosure and Barring Authority, who carry out criminal record checks for schools.
Every year there are also dozens of teachers and headteachers who carried out crimes while in work and were allowed to keep their jobs.
In June a teacher who downloaded child porn was allowed to resume his career by the Department for Education.
Geoffrey Bettley, 36, was sacked, given a police caution and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register after admitting viewing sickening images over several years.
But a professional conduct panel said the married RE teacher could return to the classroom because of his ‘excellent teaching’.
Conservative MP Priti Patel told MailOnline: ‘This is an issue of safety and parents need to have confidence about who is having contact with their children at school.
‘There needs to be an element of transparency about who has been employed and where. Parents have the right to know.’
Certain serious criminals are almost always automatically barred from working with children, but in the majority of cases the final decision is at the discretion of the school.
New figures show that almost 10,000 of people who committed crimes applied for jobs in UK schools in the past three years.
In Britain there is a list of crimes which automatically bans people from working with children.
Usually any child sex offenders cannot work in schools, and nor can murderers and kidnappers, for example.
Those who have committed violent acts on vulnerable people including the mentally ill or disabled would also be barred automatically.
It is also a crime not to declare your criminal record when applying for a teaching post.
But with the majority of crimes candidates are allowed to explain themselves and get the opportunity to convince employers to take them on regardless of their past.
The Government said today there are strong procedures in place to protect children from criminals and said systems do stop criminals getting jobs in schools.
‘Schools must carry out comprehensive disclosure and barring checks for anyone who applies to work with children’, a spokesman said.
‘People who have committed the most serious crimes- as set out by the Disclosure and Barring Service – are automatically barred. Employers review all applicants’ criminal records before making a decision about whether to allow them to work in a school.’