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Innocent teachers left unemployed after police checks

Discussion in 'Welcome lounge and forum help' started by 1Spartacus, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. 1Spartacus

    1Spartacus New commenter

    Dear fellow professionals,

    My CrowdJustice page is now live on https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/innocent-people-left-unemployed/.

    We are fundraising to take legal action against Metropolitan Polices. This affects many and the broader community because we require periodic DBS ECRC checks, and we are hoping that the impact of our legal action will bring about change. You can take action now by:

    Here are some useful sites with further information copy and paste them into your browser.


    We can't do this without you. We will update you of our next steps through the platform so please pledge and be part of our movement.

    Thank you very much.

    Best wishes,

    A fellow teacher
  2. PersianCatLady

    PersianCatLady Occasional commenter

    Good luck with your campaign.

    You have been treated appallingly.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Thanks for bumping this up @PersianCatLady, looks like no-one else noticed it when originally posted.

    I've no idea whether the original objective of the OP had any chance of success, but the fundraising on the link has now been closed having secured just a single donation, of £50, against the OP's fundraising target of £3,000. Sadly for the OP it seems the rest of the world didn't share his outrage.

    I have no opinion about the non-conviction information disclosed on OP's DBS - we know neither what it said nor what originally happened - but I don't disagree with the principle that sometimes non-conviction information should be disclosed. I understand it is fairly rare in practice (not for OP obviously).

    Remembering back to why the whole DBS procedure was introduced, the Soham murders, the whole issue there was that the murderer had come to the attention of police from multiple allegations and been questioned several times but never charged. It was argued that if this had been known to the school the murders could have been prevented. That's arguable in the case of Soham, but it was the rationale underlying the disclosure of non-conviction information. (I make the disclaimer again, this is a general observation, I am in no way suggesting this profile fits OP.)

    There's detailed Home Office guidance to Chief Constables, easily found online, on when they should and shouldn't disclose non-conviction information. It isn't just at their whim.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I didn't know that As a teacher, I was required to undergo periodic checks by the DBS to ensure my suitability to work with children. 'I thought we only had a check done when we changed employer?

    In 2013, my employer requested an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (‘ECRC’), but when it was eventually issued in September 2013 it included ‘non conviction’ information which had been passed to the DBS by the police. The information related to two malicious allegations made against me by pupils, one in 2005 and another in 2013. Neither allegation was substantiated and the police and the teaching regulator had both concluded that no action should be taken against me.

    I was shocked that this information could be shared with my employer, despite having already cleared my name.
    Presumably the OP's employer would have been aware of the 2013 allegation already, given they must have passed details to the police and the TRA?

    I pursued the DBS disputes process and finally, in 2015, I succeeded in having the information removed from my ECRC on the basis that it was irrelevant to my work. I can't see that this would be a basis to remove the allegations. Surely allegations by pupils are most definitely relevant?

    The police should have known at the time of disclosing the information that the allegations were unsubstantiated, out of date and in any event extremely minor and should never have been disclosed. Extremely minor allegations by pupils don't tend to make it to the police or the TRA. And they would not stop someone from gaining work in the future, nor lose them the job they already had.

    The Data Protection Act 2018 requires data controllers including the police and the DBS, to process data fairly and lawfully. Where there are breaches of those duties (for example, where data is unlawfully shared) it may be possible to recover damages (financial compensation) for any distress and financial losses which flow from those breaches. As the OP's problems relate to issues in 2013-2015, using a 2018 act seems a little odd.

    I also want to consider whether I might have a claim against the police for misuse of my private information. Such a claim may be possible if I can establish that I had a ‘realistic expectation’ that the allegation information would be kept private and the police breached that by disclosing the information. If the allegations were such that the police and TRA were involved, chances are they would have been mentioned in a reference as well as DBS check. I don't think any teacher would have a 'realistic expectation' that allegations of this kind would be kept private.

    Or that they were as cynical as me about the accuracy of the story?
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Many schools require staff to obtain a new DBS Disclosure every 3 years, and many (most?) LAs recommend this even though it is not required by the school staffing or safeguarding regualtions or guidance. DfE's position on this has always been that rechecking existing staff is allowed but not required and is at the discretion of individual employers.

    Singing up to the DBS Updating service should make that unnecessary but other posts on here suggest many schools don't understand this (or possibly think it lead to Union demands to pay the Updating Service fee).

    In fairness to OP the same legal duty applied under the previous Data Protection Act.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Well there you go... I never knew that!
    23 years and I've only had them done when I change employer.

    However, I'd still say the OP's employer should have already known about the allegations...the 2005 one when they took up employment and the 2013 one because the OP worked in their school at the time.

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