Hundreds of criminals apply to work in Sheffield schools

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MORE than 200 criminal convictions were flagged up among job seekers applying to work in Sheffield schools in just two years.

Data obtained through the Star’s Your Right to Know campaign has found Criminal Records Bureau checks carried out by the city council revealed previous convictions were flagged up for 84 applicants who applied for jobs in primary and secondary schools.

Of those, 14 were applications for teaching roles, while 70 were for support staff.

In six cases, the convictions meant applicants were banned from working with children.

In 2010 to 2011 the figure was significantly higher, with 134 applicants having criminal convictions - of those 118 were offered jobs.

That year there were seven applicants were legally prevented from working with minors.

The council has refused to reveal the specific criminal convictions highlighted.

But regulations introduced in 2007 mean those convicted or cautioned of sex offences against children are placed on barred lists, making it a criminal offence to employ them.

A council spokesman said: “We want to reassure parents we take the safety of children in our schools very seriously and scrutinise appointments closely. 

“We would not allow anyone convicted of certain offences to be in contact with children.  

“The national guidelines ensure children are not put at any risk from those working in our schools. 

“The law requires all convictions have to be disclosed for jobs where people are working with children so it is possible the convictions date back many years.

“The council considers each case individually and very carefully when it is making decisions about appointments.”