Teachers hit back at BBC’s investigation into sex allegations investigation


Teachers’ leaders have stressed that the “overwhelming majority” of accusations against teachers turn out to be false.

The reaction came after a BBC investigation reported that at least 959 teachers and school staff have been accused of having a relationship with a pupil in the last five years.

Based on Freedom of Information responses from 137 local authorities by BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme, the investigation said police charges were laid in at least 254 cases.

However, it admits that it is unclear how many of these charges led to a prosecution or conviction.

The FoI requests asked how many staff were “suspended, disciplined, or dismissed after being accused of having some form of sexual relationship with a student”.

Reacting to the reports this week, Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, stressed that the “overwhelming majority of the cases referred to the NASUWT turnout to be false allegations”. The union has been collecting statistics on false and malicious allegations against teachers since 1991.

Ms Keates continued: “Teachers and other staff working with children are extremely vulnerable to false and malicious allegations and this continues to be an enduring problem. While every allegation must be investigated and action taken where there is found to be a case to answer, it is entirely wrong and irresponsible to present statistics, as commentators do all too often, that imply that abuse by school staff is widespread.

“There are more than 440,000 teachers working in schools who are dedicated to protecting the health and welfare of children and young people. Teachers’ fear of having an allegation made against them is compounded by the fact that even if they are exonerated, their career will be permanently blighted by the fact that the allegation will remain on record.

“Not enough has been done by government to address the issue of false allegations and to support teachers who are falsely accused and subsequently exonerated.”


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