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Last Updated: Friday, 13 January 2006, 22:42 GMT
Second teacher was sex offender
Children in playground
The teacher worked at three schools in the North East
A second case of a sex offender working as a teacher has emerged just one day after ministers revealed plans to tighten rules on offenders in schools.

William Gibson, 59, was convicted of indecent assault on a child in 1980, but found work as a supply teacher in South Tyneside during 2003 and 2004.

Gibson, who was jailed for fraud in 2000, also taught in County Durham.

The government ordered an inquiry into sex offenders in schools following a similar case in Norwich.

In that incident, former education minister Kim Howells approved the appointment of a PE teacher who had been cautioned for accessing child pornography on the internet.

Opposition MPs and school groups have criticised Education Secretary Ruth Kelly over the incidents.

Shadow schools minister Nick Gibb said Mr Gibson's case raised more concerns about the measures in place to protect pupils.

"It will undermine confidence that parents have in the system that's meant to be there to protect their children from this kind of thing."

'Enhanced checks'

It is believed Gibson was not placed on the Department for Education list of individuals banned from working with children, known as List 99.

This is not just about this one person but what, to me, are definite loopholes in the law
Susan Moore, supply agency managing director

He worked as a maths teacher at St Joseph's RC Comprehensive School in Hebburn in 2003, but was dismissed after the school discovered his convictions.

In October 2004 he found work through a supply agency at Hebburn Comprehensive, but was dismissed after one day's teaching.

In March 2005 he found temporary work at another school in Co Durham, but was again asked to leave after a day.

In a statement, South Tyneside Council said Gibson had been employed on the basis of initial checks, but was "deemed unsuitable to work with children once enhanced checks had been processed".

'Better procedure'

Both South Tyneside Council and Durham County Council said List 99 was the responsibility of the Education Department.

But a spokesman for the department said all schools and supply agencies should carry out the necessary checks for permanent and supply teachers themselves.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Media driven hysteria is alive and well
James C, UK Midlands

"These checks will reveal whether someone has a conviction, past or present," he said.

John McCabe, a governor of the St Joseph's school in Hebburn, said the local community was shocked that the school had employed a sex offender.

"There has got to be a better procedure so that these things don't happen," he said.

Susan Moore, who runs a teaching supply agency which refused to find work for Gibson, has called for tighter controls.

Ms Moore, from STC Consortium in Newcastle, said: "This is not just about this one person but what, to me, are definite loopholes in the law."

She said supply agencies should be licensed and audited, and should have to meet certain standards.

She added that she was "amazed" that other schools in the area had employed him.

A Quality Mark scheme for teacher supply agencies was introduced in 2002 after a similar incident.

Canadian teacher Amy Gehring was taken on by a UK agency despite having been warned she posed a risk to teenage boys.

She was cleared of having indecently assaulted pupils in England but later admitted having had sex with one of her pupils and was struck off the register of teachers in Canada.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear the details of William Gibson's convictions



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