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Points of view

YOUR article (TES, November 15) about former headteacher John Kirk, who was dismissed by school governors following unproven accusations of improper conduct with pupils, mentioned that this case started with a call to ChildLine. I would like to assure your readers that ChildLine counsellors operate within strict procedures, and that the decision to make a formal referral to the police or social services is not one we take lightly. Senior, highly-trained staff are always involved in such decisions, which are made on the basis of an assessment that a child or children may be at risk. It is then for investigating authorities to make their own further assessments. The majority of our callers are not the subject of referrals; they turn to us for emotional support and counselling to help them through a wide range of problems and difficulties.

Carol Easton

Chief executive, ChildLine

Studd Street

Islington

London N1

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