So how many sex offenders are working in schools?
That's the question many wanted an answer to, but today they didn't get it.
The education secretary did reveal something rather different - that 88 known sex offenders had NOT been barred from working in schools since 1997, and she detailed how the police either had or were checking that they posed no danger to children.
A further 210 offenders had been allowed to work in schools under certain restrictions.
This will not be enough to silence all of Ruth Kelly's critics, but there's no doubt that at Westminster most thought she delivered a comprehensive and a confident explanation of how past cases were being checked and how future problems would be avoided.
Those wanting certainty that their children will not come into contact with sex offenders at school will be disappointed. Those accepting that there can be no certainty - and happy to trust the assurances of the police - will hope that this time the system will give children the protection that we all hope can be delivered.