Anonymity for accused bid set to fail

20th April 2001 at 01:00
Marjorie Evans, the Welsh headteacher cleared of slapping a pupil, received a standing ovation from the National Union of Teachers' conference when she told delegates of her ordeal.

She said she will seek compensation for the distress caused by her 18-month suspension from St Mary's junior in Caldicot, Monmouthshire.

She spoke after delegates almost unanimously backed a call to protect teachers from malicious allegations by granting the accused anonymity and blocking instant suspension.

She welcomed Education Secretary David Blunkett's announcement of a pound;1.4 million regional network o co-ordinators, to cut the average length of investigations into allegations against teachers from nine months to 12 weeks.

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers' delegates were addressed by a Cardiff head, Tony Tobutt, who had been the victim of unfounded allegations from a pupil. The union called for a national scheme providing compensation.

However, a Department for Education and Employment spokesman dismissed conference calls for teachers to retain their anonymity while suspended, saying it would not be in line with other professions.

Leader, 14

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