Malicious allegations were a hot subject for discussion this week after a report in last week's TES Magazine
I had an unfounded allegation made against me. I was lucky because I had a completely supportive head, a fantastic investigating police constable who fast-tracked everything and great support from family and friends. Despite that, it was a rollercoaster. I went from crying to determination to anger and despair. The worst thing was that for the first week I was not allowed to know what I was accused of or who had accused me. That is a denial of natural justice.
I am strong enough and thick-skinned enough to survive this and the very few times it has come to the surface within school I have met it head on. But then I have been in the school five years and have a good reputation.
Child protection, yes - but at the expense of innocent teachers - no! From what I have heard, too many schools distance themselves from the staff member as soon as an allegation is made. I thank my lucky stars that mine did not.
This is an iniquitous situation - how can one be guilty until proven innocent? Some children may be unaware of the consequences of making an allegation, but older pupils are only too aware of the impact it will have. It is not just the teacher concerned who suffers, but also their family and children. All the unions should act in concert on this matter and soon.
My parents used to own a house they let out to a young married couple. The husband was a teacher. While he was away two girls rang up his wife. They pretended to cry and told her he had been sexually abusing them. They later admitted to the head that the whole thing was untrue, but for the teacher's wife it was several days of hell.
The real crime in that example is that under the current system - despite the admission - the claim 'accused of sexual abuse' could be on his CRB check permanently and immovably. Bye bye career.
Join the debate at www.tes.co.uk.