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.
Chief executive, ChildLine