Could repeat offenders be handed the right to work in schools?

The Mail is reporting that a landmark case could mean people with more than one minor criminal conviction no longer have to disclose their offences to potential employers – even, it suggests, if they want to work with children.

Currently, those with more than one conviction, no matter how minor, are officially required to disclose them to future bosses.

However two individuals who claimed their careers were blighted by past crimes won their case at the High Court yesterday.

The case could pave the way for a change in the current legislation surrounding the disclosure of minor convictions.

One woman, referred to as P, shoplifted a 99p book in 1999 while suffering from a then-undiagnosed mental illness. She later failed to attend court, which meant that she ended up with two convictions – for which she received a conditional discharge.

The 47-year-old woman now wishes to work as a school teaching assistant, and argued that having to disclose her criminal record breached her right to privacy. Another claimant, referred to as A, was convicted of thefts in 1981 and 1982 aged 17 and 18.

He has since become an accountant and a company finance director – work which can often require a criminal record check. He was concerned that he would be forced to disclose his convictions.

Lord Justice McCombe said it was not justifiable or necessary for any individual to have minor offences disclosed indefinitely. Currently the rules remain in place, but the judge asked the Government to make submissions to address faults in the system…

More at: Could repeat offenders be handed the right to work in schools? Landmark case means they may no longer have to disclose criminal records 


So it appears we are talking about minor offences here, but what do you think?

Does it make sense for people to be able to move on from past convictions at some stage, even those with more than one offence? 

Or would you worry if applicants for teaching positions were no longer required to disclose this kind of information?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. According to NACRO, one if four adults of working age has at least one conviction – many more will have cautions, reprimands and final warnings.  It gives advice on how to disclose such convictions when required to do so.
    However, a sense of proportion is needed.  For example, a moment of daftness during teenage years shouldn’t blight someone’s life.   There was a case in Lincolnshire where a councillor who wanted to become a police commissioner was unable to do so because of a prank he committed when aged 16.

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