Teaching and criminal records(4 Posts)
I am currently completing an OU History degree and am thinking of teaching as a career at the end of it. However there has been a news story this week about a teacher assaulting a child and losing his job.
I'm a bit concerned now because I do have criminal record. I was arrested for ABH when I was 18 and cautioned. It's a long story but after a history of physical abuse my parents assaulted me and rang the police when I tried to defend myself and the police browbeat me into not getting a solicitor and accepting a caution because they couldn't be arsed with the paperwork.
I was made homeless after this and had no money or means of support and was arrested for catching a train without a ticket and subsequently pleaded guilty (because I did it) and was convicted and fined for that.
This was 16 years ago when I was 18. I am now 34 and have never been in trouble since then. I have also worked from a few weeks after the last conviction, I'm a responsible member of society and have a young son and am very happy and settled.
But will these criminal convictions stop me from getting a job as a teacher? Honesty, please, because I don't want to spend a year doing a PGCE then find out it was pointless because I can't get a job.
The important thing is to be completely transparent and honest about this when applying for teacher training. Your careers advisor should be able to tell you whether it would be a problem.
Do some research, as the rules have recently changed. Check out the Disclosure and Barring Service's website.
Sorry I may not be much help but... When I did my PGCE the place was subject to an enhanced CRB (now DBS?) so you wouldn't get a place if your conviction was a problem. As it is presumably spent and a long time ago, I can't imagine it will prevent you from training.
As for jobs, it is down to the individual school. In my experience, honesty is the best policy and I'm sure they will appreciate that you're not trying to hide anything.
Good luck OP!
There have been recent changes to the rules which mean that some spent offences will no longer be recorded on the DBS certificate. But you need to check the details on the DBS website very carefully because I think a caution for ABH received while an adult would still appear. It's likely that a more sympathetic view would be taken by those selecting for PGCE than for an actual teaching job. I think that if you admitted to causing ABH (which presumably you did as you were cautioned) you could have difficulty in getting a teaching job if there were suitable candidates without cautions/convictions. You might stand more chance if you are qualified in a subject where there is a shortage of teachers, or if you were willing to move to an area where it is difficult to recruit. I think you are wise to ask the question whether it is worth pursuing a PGCE under the circumstances, and if after checking you find that your caution for ABS will appear on the DBS check then IMO it would be advisable to seek another career.
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