HC Deb 12 November 1979 vol 973 c474W
Mr. Canavan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will take steps to ensure that people with a record of criminal offences against children have to declare such when applying for a teaching post.

Mr. Alexander Fletcher

Statutory responsibility for the appointment of teachers in education authority and grant-aided schools rests with the employing body concerned, and all such teachers must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, a registered teacher is exempted from those provisions of the 1974 Act which make it lawful in certain circumstances not to disclose previous convictions or offences. It is, therefore, already open to a prospective employer to satisfy himself as to the previous criminal record—if any—of an applicant for a teaching post. I propose to ask those concerned to review their procedures in this regard.