A fine balance

20th April 2001 at 01:00
There can be few incidents more traumatic for a teacher than being wrongly accused of assaulting a pupil. On the word of one pupil a teacher can face a police investigation, public suspicion and loss of livelihood. In 80 per cent of cases teachers are suspended.

The recent high profile trial involving Welsh headteacher Marjorie Evans (page four) brought the anguish suffered by such teachers to the public's attention. Hundreds of other cases each year go unreported.

A new government target to reduce th length of time falsely accused teachers are suspended is a welcome, if belated, recognition of the problem. It remains to be seen if regional co-ordinators will have any impact on the time social services take to process cases. Whatever the Government does, schools will face the same dilemma - suspend a possibly innocent teacher or leave a potential abuser in charge. The pendulum may have swung too far away from the rights of teachers. But any hasty redress must not override the safety of children.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now