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SURVEY REVEALS UNOFFICIAL 'BLACKLISTS' OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE TEACHERS

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A survey has found 39 local authorities who have admitted to keeping unofficial 'blacklists' of teachers against wh...
A survey has found 39 local authorities who have admitted to keeping unofficial 'blacklists' of teachers against whom allegations of child abuse had been made - but not proven.

The Express (p2) reports that the existence of the blacklists is disclosed by the BBC2 education programme Just One Chance, due to be screened today.

The lists include a total of 1,000 entries, although a spokesman for the programme could not guarantee there were no duplications. Becuase the lists have no legal status, information is often not shared between the LEAs, so allowing teachers whose names are on them to work elsewhere.

But David Mallon, chairman of the Association of Chief Education Officers, said he thought their existence showed that the government's official List 99 - the official blacklist - was 'not working'.

He added: 'We need to examine whether the rules for getting on List 99, which appear to be criminal convictions, are too tight in order to have child protection. List 99 ought to work in such a way that parents have a pretty well 100% certainty that their children are safe. I really don't think it does.'

Matt Dunkley, assistant director of education for East Sussex, told the programme: 'The kind of problem we have is that there may be someone who has been found guilty by us to have been guilty of a sexual assault on a child.

'But if that has not resulted in a criminal conviction, for whatever reason, the education department are unlikely to put them on List 99 - although we may be completely convinced of their guilt. They may even have admitted it

'Some teachers that I and my colleagues are convinced are guilty of abusive acts towards children are still teaching and there's nothing I can do about it.'

The department for education and employment told the programme it believed List 99 struck the right balance between protecting children and protecting the interests of teachers who could be targets of false allegations.

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