A HEADTEACHER has said Oxfordshire schools are confused about Government rules for keeping children safe.

Guidance came out in October for primary schools saying that staff who live with someone with a conviction for a violent or sexual crime could be disqualified.

But it is not clear which members of staff it applies to and the Government has said schools must "use their own judgement".

Head of Windmill Primary School Lynn Knapp said staff in Oxfordshire will soon be affected and has criticised the unclear instructions.

She said: "It's very unclear if it's the full body of staff or just certain groups.

"We have to be really sure that the people we do have to send these forms to are the right people and not just a knee-jerk reaction."

Schools are now making staff to complete disclosure forms. If a member of their household has committed an applicable offence they are instantly suspended.

Trade union Unison said it knows of 300 school staff across the country who have been suspended because of the lack of clarity.

They can apply for a waiver from Ofsted, but are barred from their jobs while they wait.

Mrs Knapp said: "Our board of trustees told me to put out a letter to all my staff saying they have a responsibility to tell me, but we haven't sent out forms.

"The impact on suspended staff is huge, even if they get it overturned what they have gone through while they're waiting is horrendous.

"Especially in small places where people start gossiping. It puts their professional lives in the firing line."

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