School Safety Protecting Children From Criminals In Uk Schools

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It is well known that following the death of two 10 year old girls in 2002 murdered by Ian Huntley, a 31 year old school caretaker, at Soham in Cambridgeshire in England that there were failings in the screening system used to check the murderer’s background.

The screening system is referred to as Disclosure and a full system of Disclosure was actually in place at the time of the Soham murders. This system was set up to ensure unsuitable persons did not come into contact with children but reports showed that it failed the two girls murdered by Huntley. It failed because information regarding Huntley’s background which included burglary, indecent assault,4 allegations of underage sex, 3 rape allegations including one rape charge was never passed on to the school which employed him.

The information fell through gaps in police procedures in handling and storing data. This led to the end of the career of the Chief Constable responsible for the force following demands from the Home Secretary.

This was a timely warning that no matter how good a system is in theory that the devil is still in the operational detail.

It is the system of disclosure and its’ use in Education and elsewhere which forms the basis of this short article

Legal Base

The enabling act for disclosure is the Police Act of 1997. This is an Act of Parliament of the Westminster Government, that is to say it applies to all parts of the United Kingdom, just like Safety law and Employment Law.

However since both devolution and history speaks on this Scotland with its’ own legal system and Northern Ireland as a separate entity currently run by a Westminster appointed Secretary of State can be regarded as separate entities for the purpose of the detailed administration and response to the law.

Thus we have three separate responses to the requirement of Part 5 of the Police Act which requires the Administrative Authorities to set up systems to carry out such checks as may be appropriate for persons involved with or working directly with children.

The information derived from such checks is called Disclosure and is described under the various Sections of the Act:

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