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Child Welfare

Volume 124: debated on Friday 11 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will increase the monitoring of teachers in special care schools so as to ensure that children at such schools are not sexually interfered with;(2) what facilities are at present available to him for monitoring potential dangers to handicapped children from teachers disposed to abuse them in any way.

Responsibility for ensuring that children at school are not subject to abuse rests with the managers of schools, principals and teachers. My Department, however, maintains a system for recording misconduct cases among teachers, enabling it to initiate appropriate action; new appointments are also checked against this record.

a result of a nuclear attack or a civil emergency, vary unpredictably, it is not feasible to issue guidance on the medical criteria used to decide priorities for treatment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he anticipates that detailed guidance relating to armed forces casualties, and to host nation arrangements, as referred to in paragraph 4.4 of the Scottish Home and Health Department's circular SHHD/ DGM (1987) 41 "Emergency Planning in the National Health Service: Civil Defence Planning" will become available.

The review of joint civil and military medical planning requirements is complex, and a firm date cannot yet be given for its completion. Guidance to the Health Service will be issued as soon as possible after the completion of the review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much civil defence grant was paid to each health board in each of the last five years; and what proportion these sums constituted of the total emergency planning budget of each health board.

Funds allocated to health boards and the Common Services Agency specifically for civil defence planning purposes in each of the last five years are set out in the table. Information on the total emergency planning budgets of health boards is not held centrally.The Department is empowered to withdraw recognition from a teacher on grounds of misconduct and to direct that the teacher's employment be terminated. There is also a requirement for schools to be open to inspection by inspectors and other officers of my Department.There are no plans to increase monitoring of teachers in post. However, an interdepartmental working party is currently drawing up proposals for a system that would enable employers to check the criminal background of persons being appointed to posts involving substantial contact with children.