Last Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Disclosure: What educational practitioners should know

What is this?

This resource provides information and resources for educational practitioners who support children and young people who have a criminal record or are at risk of getting one.

Who is this for?

Educational practitioners across all sectors of education with particular relevance to those in pastoral or pupil support and guidance roles.

Having a criminal conviction can make some young people feel unemployable. This resource is part of a suite of resources designed to support these vulnerable learners.

“There is often stigma attached to having a criminal record. This means those who are punished formally by the courts and justice system can also be informally punished….. People with convictions can be excluded from society as a result.” Scotland Works for You, p4

Explore this resource

Why do practitioners need to know about Disclosure?

Educational practitioners can help children and young people who offend to understand that most offences will not affect their suitability for most jobs, educational courses or volunteering opportunities. Also for a child or young person who has offended and has a criminal record, education itself and being supported within an educational community, can be a protective factor, can help reduce feelings of exclusion, and can prevent reoffending by promoting a sense of belonging and connection.

Educational practitioners, through the curriculum and pupil support, can also sensitively raise children’s awareness of:

  • the short and potential long term consequences of having a conviction, including stigma and the impact on future choices of employment or eligibility for certain types of educational courses or volunteering opportunities
  • the impact of a young person acquiring a criminal record and the negative impact it could have on their future life, for example, where they are able to live or work

Criminalisation is an ‘equity’ issue

Some groups of young people are more likely to be criminalised. For example those in care settings tend to be criminalised for minor infringements and indiscretions that in a family home would normally be dealt with informally.

Inside the resource:

Links to Human and Children’s Rights

UNCRC Article 16 - Your right to privacy

UNCRC Article 37 - Your right to be treated fairly if you break the law.

ECHR Article 8 - Your right to respect for private and family life

Need to balance protecting vulnerable people with an individual’s right to privacy.

Improvement questions

These reflective questions invite you to consider your school’s approach and your professional practice, to providing support for children and young people who offend or are at risk of offending.

  • How effectively do I build relationships with learners who have offended or are at risk of offending?
  • Do I look beyond their behaviour to their needs particularly with regard to helping them access positive post school opportunities?


PDF file: Disclosure: What Educational Practitioners should know (555 KB)