What is List 99? – a Times Article
List 99 is a secret register of men and women who are barred from working with children by the Department of Education and Skills (DfES). More than 80 years old, it is maintained by the Children’s Safeguards Unit of the department and contains the names, aliases, dates of birth and national insurance numbers of all those forbidden to work with children in schools, social work and voluntary settings.
How are people added to the list?
All additions to the list are made at the discretion of the Secretary of State for Education. Although there are some automatic grounds for inclusion on the list, ministers have a broad range of reasons for barring people from schools, including stealing and helping students to cheat in exams.
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What automatically places people on List 99?
Adults convicted of serious sexual offences committed against children under the age of 16 since 1995 can automatically be placed on List 99. Those convicted of possessing indecent photographs of children can only be automatically barred if they were convicted after 1 June 2003. Since June 2003, a judge can also effectively bar an offender from working with children by giving them a “disqualification order” as part of their sentence.
What other grounds are there?
The DfES has a wide list of reasons why people can be barred from schools. Sexual or violent behaviour towards children, abuses of trust, drug related offences, any violent crime, stealing school property and deception in job applications can all lead to a ban. Medical conditions such as drug or alcohol abuse and mental illness are also grounds for exclusion.
How is the list updated?
According to DfES regulations, names are considered for List 99 through a variety of sources. Schools that dismiss employees because they consider them unsuitable to work with children are obliged to report the case to the DfES, which may bar them from working in a school again. The DfES also receives police reports and follows up articles in the media, but there is no automatic updating of List 99 from any other databases such as the Sex Offenders’ Register. All schools, however, must check prospective employees with the Criminal Records Bureau and local police forces.
Can people come off the list?
Many of those on List 99 are permanently barred from working children. Nonetheless, they can appeal against their inclusion to the Care Standards Tribunal. All people directed to List 99 can seek a review of their ban 10 years after it was made. Ministers can revoke their decisions if new information comes to light of if “he or she… is satisfied that the original direction is no longer appropriate”.