1,000 offences discovered among applicants for jobs in schools
Background checks on those who applied for jobs in schools across Lancashire have discovered more than 1,000 offences.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted to the Disclosure and Barring Service found that applicants for various roles in schools since 2012 had more than 1,000 convictions, cautions, warning and reprimands collectively. Among the most serious were cases involving arson, drug dealing and making an indecent image of a child.
Whilst there were more than 1,000 offences discovered, the number of people who were flagged as having a chequered past was 454. The higher number came either from multiple offences or those with criminal backgrounds applying for more than one job.
Despite this worrying discovery, the number of flagged offences across Lancashire has fallen in recent years. For applicants living in PR, FY and BB post codes, 364 offences were discovered in 2012, rising slightly to 374 in the following year before dropping to 278 in 2014.
Local councillor Matthew Tomlinson told blackpoolgazette.co.uk that, when an offence is discovered, schools can check “its severity and when it was committed.”
He added: “In cases where the offer is not immediately withdrawn, the headteacher could ask for an explanation from the individual concerned, and then make a decision as to the suitability of the individual to work in the school. Another important consideration for the headteacher is whether the individual has been up front and told them about the offence.”