Teachers’ disclosure failures condemned as ‘appalling’

Teachers and other adults working in Shetland schools are ignoring a requirement to declare criminal convictions.

The persistent failure to complete disclosure forms for working with children was condemned this week as “appalling” and “simply not acceptable” by councillor Caroline Miller, who sits on the council’s audit and scrutiny committee.

The breakdown of disclosure checks has been highlighted again by the council’s internal auditors who said even though the problem was identified last year it was still outstanding. Internal audit manager Crawford McIntyre told the committee on Wednesday the matter “needs sorted” although there had been some progress recently.

Checks at the end of 2007 revealed 85 education employees and parent helpers who were subject to disclosure requirements had not completed the task, leaving the council “potentially exposed”.

Over 40 employees who were contacted by their managers and told to comply with disclosure rules did not respond. There was nothing in the SIC’s rules at the time to permit action to be taken “to pursue the refusals”.

At least another 180 people had disclosure records which were out of date by 1st January last year and had not been renewed.

The audit and scrutiny committee agreed renewed pressure should be brought to bear to ensure the schools service, which employs the equivalent of 641 full-time staff, complies with the checks. Progress will be reported in September.


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