Two supply teacher agencies have raised concerns that staff could start next term without full scrutiny for any criminal past. Schools complain that the checks take too long and that the backlog at the Criminal Records Bureau means that requests are not dealt with for months.
'This is totally unacceptable and is against the DfE guidelinesthat have been given to agencies for implementing the CRB procedures. It is an additional worry that if this situation is not resolved, nurseries and schools may be forced to compromise their own quality standards by employing staff who are not cleared', said PAT general secretary Jean Gemmel.
The government announced last week that it was bringing in up to 100 emergency staff to the CRB to try to clear up a mounting backlog of checks that have to be undertaken before the new school term starts next month.
A DfES spokeswoman said that the government was aware of the allegations and would launch an investigation if any 'hard evidence' could be brought forward.