Almost 7,000 criminals 'applied to be teachers' last year
Almost 7,000 convicted criminals, including paedophiles, killers, and kidnappers, have applied to become teachers in UK schools, it has been disclosed.
By Graeme Paton
23 February 2009 / Telegraph.co.uk
Brothel keepers, flashers, child beaters and even drug dealers tried to get jobs in the classroom during 2008.
The convictions were uncovered in a Freedom of Information request to the Criminal Records Bureau.
The CRB - a Home Office quango - is tasked with providing information on people who apply for jobs working with children or vulnerable adults.
But education ministers insisted that the disclosure showed the system was working.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families insisted they were "effective in blocking those who should not be working with children".
The list for 2008 showed out of the 248,220 disclosure applications from teachers, 6,750 had criminal convictions.
There were two convictions of making indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children, while three had been found guilty of sex with a girl under 16.
Two convictions were listed for brothel keeping, one for indecent assault on a male under 16 and four for sexual activity with a person under 18 when in a position of trust.
One had been found guilty of possessing obscene articles with a view to publication for gain, while 16 convictions of gross indecency were also there.
A shocking 150 drugs possession offences were featured, as were three for kidnapping and four for manslaughter.
Thirty-two stalking convictions were on the books, as were 11 indecent exposures with intent to insult a female, four flashers on under 16 girls and seven indecent exposures.
Six supplied a controlled drug, three committed indecent exposure to the annoyance of residents, 11 were convicted of wilfully ill-treating a child under 14.
There were nine indecent assaults on female of 16 or over, two indecent attacks, three common assault on child or young person and one neglect of a child.
Other drugs offences showed seven cultivating cannabis, nine cocaine possession, seven producing cannabis and four importing class a drugs convictions.
A spokesman for the DCSF said: "It's important to remember that these figures are for people who applied for a job in teaching and do not refer to those who were appointed. These figures show the system is effective in blocking those who should not be working with children. And since 2007, tough new regulations provide that all those convicted or cautioned of sex offences against children are automatically barred from working with them."
However, a tiny number of offenders are believed to have slipped through the net.
A review of sex offences, carried out as far back as 1940, which was launched after the damaging disclosures exactly three years ago, has so far identified a further 50 paedophiles who were wrongly left off the barred list.