In the wake of the Neil Robinson scandal and with a host of new rules governing foreigners living and working in Beijing on the way the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs has announced new measures to "better manage foreign experts (i.e. teachers) in Beijing."
According to the China Daily:
"We will … ask foreigners to sign a declaration that they do not have a criminal record, with a promise to strictly obey laws in China, before issuing them the work permit required for a working visa." Xia Bing (director of the administration’s cultural and educational experts department) said the administration will also require educational institutions and intermediary agencies that are qualified to hire foreigners to set up special posts to verify the applicants’ curriculum vitae, making full use of the Internet and information provided by child protection organizations in the applicants’ countries of origin.
A week’s worth of pre-job training for foreign teachers should also be enforced, including an introduction to laws in China, how to respond to emergencies and protect their rights, as well as characteristics of Chinese students, he said. "On top of punishment, if any malpractice or illegal behavior is found, the provincial-level foreign experts affairs administrations should report the case quickly to the public security, education or other related departments," he said.
And further down:
"Of course, criminal records and other certificates have to be checked and traced," he said. But Xia said governments around the world usually do not ask foreigners to provide official statements of unblemished criminal records unless they are applying for green cards. "It does not mean we can only count on their self-statement for a background check," he said. "I know some international schools in Beijing have made these official certificates a mandatory condition of employment. I think this is good."
However, not many schools can make such a determination in an employee’s market, especially the public schools that cannot compete with private or international schools in terms of wages. Hao Youming, principal of the Beijing Chaoyang Foreign Language School, said neither the school nor the education bureau have channels to obtain foreign teachers’ official criminal records. "The best I can do, other than carefully checking their resume, is to ask for teaching permits," she said.
Read more here.