§ Mr. Collins
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teacher vacancies there were in(a) primary and (b) secondary schools in each year since 1997, broken down by parliamentary constituency. 
§ Mr. Collins
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many vacant head teacher posts existed in(a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) special schools in each year since 1997, broken down by parliamentary constituency. 
§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what guidelines his Department issues on disciplinary action schools should take against teachers who develop inappropriate relationships with pupils outside of school hours; 
(2) what guidelines his Department issues on investigations schools should conduct into allegations of impropriety against a teacher; 
(3) if he will make a statement on his policies on the prevention of inappropriate relationships between teachers and pupils. 
§ Mr. Miliband
My Department does not issue guidelines about the disciplinary action that might be appropriate to particular issues. The disciplinary sanctions that can be applied against staff in schools are governed by employment law in the same way as for any other employer, and each case must be considered on its merits.
Guidance about procedures for dealing with allegations against teachers, and other staff, including guidance about conducting disciplinary investigations, is annexed to my Department's Circular 10/95: "The protection of children from abuse: The role of the education service". However, the guidance also makes it clear that allegations involving a possible criminal offence, and allegations of possible child abuse must be investigated by the police and the social services respectively because those are the agencies with statutory responsibility for such matters.
An inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a pupil has always been regarded as professionally wrong, and as misconduct that is grounds for disciplinary action, including dismissal, by an employer. That kind of behaviour is also grounds on which the Secretary of State will consider exercising his powers under section 142 of the Education Act 2002 to prohibit the person from future employment as a teacher and other work involving regular contact with children and young people in the education service.
The Government also introduced a new criminal offence of abuse of trust in the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2001) to protect young people under 989W 18 years of age who are in full time education, or looked after by a local authority, or resident in NHS or other institutions, or in detention under an enactment. As well as teachers it applies to any adult working in one of those settings who is regularly involved in caring for, training, supervising, or being in sole charge of children under 18. As far as teachers it is an offence for a teacher to have relationship that involves sexual intercourse, or any other sexual activity, with a young person under 18 who is a pupil at the teacher's school. That offence is punishable by up to five years imprisonment, and it is repealed and re-enacted in the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
In addition, cross departmental guidance "Caring for Young People and the Vulnerable?" about preventing abuse of trust was published jointly by the Home Office, my Department, and the Department of Health in 1999. The guidance aims to help organisations create their own codes of conduct to prevent abuse of trust, either as part of wider codes to prevent abuse, or separately.