Thursday, 19 January 2006

I don't know about you but...

...isn't there something vaguely depressing and offensive about a headline in New Labour's 2006 that reads "Sex offenders banned from working in schools" (BBC). Such a proud nation we are, indeed.

And another thing.

If you bring in legislation that specifically rules out any person convicted or cautioned for a sexual offence from working in our schools and places their name on a single register through which all teacher candidates are screened, precisely what "expert" skill do you need to determine whether someone can be employed in a school? Might I suggest - the ability to read names off a list.

I despair that both Parliament and the public appear to believe our children are safer in the hands of an independent, "expert" decision making panel. Elected Ministers are precisely the people who should both take and be responsible for such decisions. After all to whom is the expert panel responsible - that's right, Ministers.

A caution or conviction for a sexual offence is a definable thing; your name then goes on a list; if your name is on the list, the law will state that you can't work in a school or with children - where is the decision in that process that requires an expensive, tax funded expert quango.

Sadly - austere and sincere as Mrs Kelly was - if the mindless slaughter of two beautiful young girls by a pervert known to the authorities but freely permitted to work and live among children doesn't spur the Government into action within two years, I am unable to invest any confidence in them to act now.

A fiver says that a year from now, still nothing will have happened.

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