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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Hundreds of teachers are facing false allegations of abusing children every year, union leaders said.

Teachers' careers 'blighted' by false allegations
article in the Telegraph


"More than 800 claims are being made against staff, according to the NASUWT union.

Many of the allegations follow attempts by teachers to discipline pupils who misbehave in class, it was claimed.

The union argued that teachers were seen as "guilty until proven innocent" and can face suspension, police investigations or disciplinary procedures if they are confronted with abuse allegations or claims they used excessive force against a pupil.

Even if a teacher is later cleared, the complaint is still held on record, they said.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said the majority of allegations were unfounded and told the BBC that the situation was a "blight" on the teaching profession.

She said: "Whatever the outcome of the investigation, that will be on the teacher's file. If that teacher applies for another job that allegation will be resurrected under the Criminal Records Bureau check."

This is such a shame, and so unjust. It is so easy for a disturbed/disaffected child to make a mischievous accusation and permanently damage the career of a teacher wholly innocent of wrongdoing. It is completely against natural justice.

It is in sharp contract to what happens when genuinely damaged patients complain of harm done to them by medical staff in the NHS. In these cases, health professionals are routinely assumed to be guiltless, and the victims of medical negligence are treated as adversaries rather than suffering human beings in need of help.