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Allegations of abuse against teachers and non-teaching staff

This report presents the findings from the research into the scale and nature of allegations of abuse made against school teachers and non‐teaching school staff and the processes for handling these at the Local Authority (LA) and school level. The research was undertaken by York Consulting LLP on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE).

It is essential that any allegation of abuse made against a teacher, or other member of staff is dealt with properly and promptly. The means quickly, fairly and consistently, and, in a way that provides effective protection for the child, whilst protecting the rights and livelihood of the person accused. In The Coalition: our programme for government, the government made a commitment to give anonymity to teachers accused by pupils and to take other measures to protect against false allegations. There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that being falsely accused of mistreating pupils causes severe emotional distress and long‐term damage to a person’s career. Being falsely accused has also been linked to teachers leaving the profession.

The Education Act 2011 contains measures to introduce reporting restrictions preventing the publication of a teacher’s identity when accused by, or on behalf of, a pupil, until the point that they are charged with an offence, or until the Secretary of State or the General Teaching Council for Wales publishes information about an investigation. Restrictions would also lift if the individual to whom the restrictions apply publicly put forward their side of the story or gave their written consent for another to do so.