HC Deb 14 May 2002 vol 385 cc532-3W
Mr. Andrew Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many criminal offences have been(a) created and (b) abolished by her Department since 1997.[55436]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

A comprehensive list of new and abolished offences could only be provided at disproportionate cost. We can however provide the following information about the following education measures of the Department for Education and Employment enacted since January 1997 and before June 2001. No criminal offences have been created or abolished by the Department for Education and Skills since June 2001.

The Education Act 1997 created the offence of obstructing the Chief Inspector of Schools for England in the performance of his duties and a similar offence in relation to the Chief Inspector for Wales.

The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 created two offences: obstructing a member of the Inspectorate or a registered nursery education inspector in the exercise of his duties and a similar offence in the Nursery Education and Grant-Maintained Schools Act 1996 which was repealed when the 1998 Act offence came into force.

The Learning and Skills Act 2000 created six offences, all concerned with the obstruction of persons carrying out school inspections in England or in Wales.

The SEN and Disability Act 2001 inserted section 28J into the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, creating an offence of failing to comply with a requirement to disclose documents.

Three offences not contained in education legislation but relating to teachers are section 3 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 (having sex with a person under 18 where in a position of trust) and section 35 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (a person disqualified from working with children applying to work in a regulated position, including teaching, and knowingly to offer such a person such work).

The total number of offences created and listed above is 14.