Education minister Rolston Anglin has promised to implement tighter security checks on all staff working on school grounds after confirming that a convicted sex offender was employed for nine days in June/July 2011 as a construction worker at Clifton Hunter high school.
Mr. Anglin, speaking at a meeting of the Legislative Assembly Wednesday, said his ministry has investigated and confirmed a report of the convicted sex offender working for a construction project sub-contractor at the school last year after reports of the man working at the school emerged early this month.
Police checks are already in place for staff who teach at schools, as well as those who bus students to and from school and who provide janitorial and kitchen equipment services and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service issues licences to security staff, but Mr. Anglin said mandatory police checks would be now implemented for all other workers who are contracted to provide any other services at schools.
“The ministry will mandate police checks for all other contracted services prior to commencement of services and retroactively include construction workers currently employed on ongoing projects on school sites,” Mr. Anglin said.
He added that the normal procedure for construction projects at schools is that the construction zones are isolated from the rest of the school and construction workers are not permitted onto school grounds without express permission from the project manager and school principal.
Mr. Anglin said police checks would also be mandated for volunteers at schools.
The minister said work would also immediately begin on amending regulations to the Education Law to make it illegal for anyone convicted of a sex offence to be on school sites or on school buses.
The government will write to all contractors working on school projects, as well as all private and government schools, pre-schools and tertiary education centres, to inform them of the new procedures and standards, Mr. Anglin told legislators.
“We will have a uniform national standard for the protection of our children,” he said.
The project sub-contractor told the ministry the offender had spent three and a half days at the site while the school was in session and six days there while the school, located at the former George Hicks campus, was closed.
Mr. Anglin said the ministry had received no complaints from parents or from the school in relation to the matter.