MORE than 60 people with permission to work with WA kids have been banned in the past year after revelations they were dangerous — including sex offenders.
They were picked up in a review of Working With Children card holders, prompted by the “high volume of work” the Department of Children faces.
Bans were issued as “negative notices” for offences that could include possessing child pornography, indecent dealing with a child or other serious offences such as murder.
New applicants were also denied the cards, bringing the total number banned from working with kids in 2014-15 to 132. It was a record and almost double the previous year.
It comes as seven WA teachers had their teaching licences cancelled last year.
Offences included indecent dealing with a child, child pornography and the use of electronic communication to expose a child to indecent material.
Opposition child protection spokesman Stephen Dawson said the WWC card was a good scheme but had limitations.
“Not only should we be doing checks periodically when someone’s check expires but we should also be doing spot checks on people,” he said.
WWC cards are valid for three years unless the status of a person’s criminal record changes.
Almost 112,000 people applied for the cards last year, with 111,461 cards issued.
In addition to those issued negative notices, 56 people had their card cancelled after they stopped child-related work.
The latest Department of Education Services annual report also revealed there were 24 allegations of serious misconduct against teachers. There were also five allegations of serious incompetence.
Acting Education Minister John Day said the protection of children was “paramount” but the Government was confident matters of misconduct and incompetence were dealt with appropriately.
“It is important to put figures such as this in the context of the 51,000 registered teachers in WA,” he said.
State School Teachers Union WA vice-president Lincoln Rose said society was now aware of inappropriate conduct and children were more comfortable reporting issues.