Questions raised after convicted fraudster found working at school
- Credit: citizenside.com
Questions have been raised after it emerged a convicted fraudster who conned a children’s football league out of thousands of pounds was employed at a Redbridge school.
In 2009 Delina Connor admitted making cheques worth £21,742 out to herself while working as a treasurer for the Camden and Islington Youth Football League. The 46-year-old was later handed a suspended sentence lasting 12 months.
Then in 2013 she was handed another suspended sentence, lasting two years, for 33 counts of theft by Blackfriars Crown Court.
But despite the convictions, Ms Connor, who lived at Kingsdown Road and later Caledonian Road in Camden, was taken on at Caterham High School in Clayhall in an administrative role while working for an agency.
Now questions have been raised over whether proper criminal record checks were being carried out at schools in the borough.
A parent of a pupil, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Recorder she had been made aware that Ms Connor – who was working as an administrator at the University College School in Frognal when she was investigated for fraud – was employed at Caterham despite her past.
She said: “I’m worried the school isn’t carrying out criminal record checks. How can they employ someone who has a criminal record?”
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It is understood Ms Connor stopped working at the school last year, but Redbridge Council was unable to disclose the exact dates of her employment.
A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: “These incidents are extremely rare, however the council is reminding all schools that they need to ensure they have the proper controls in place to be assured that agencies and agency workers are making sure all DBS (disclosure and baring service) checks are up to date and that any changes during the their tenure are flagged with the school immediately.”
Headteacher at Caterham High School Alan Atkins said the responsibilty of carrying out the checks laid with the agency, but confirmed the school was responsible for verifying staff had appropriate clearance before they started work.
Dr Atkins said: “If, as very occasionally can happen, it came to light that the agency had not used the correct and most up to date DBS information, we would need to take steps to terminate an agency placement upon becoming aware of this.”
He said there had been no incidents of fraud or theft at the school.