What the DfEE says

16th February 2001 at 00:00
* All schools should have procedures in place to deal with allegations of abuse against teachers, including neglect, and physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

* The procedures should keep the damaging effects of false allegations to a minimum.

* When an allegation is made, suspension of the person concerned should not be automatic.

* Heads, governors and local education authorities should take into account: the seriousness and plausibility of the allegation; the risk of harm to the pupil concerned or to other pupils; the possibility of tampering with evidence; and the interests of the teacher concerned and the school.

* An initial investiation by a named person within the school should obtain a fair and balanced picture of the alleged incident. It should not attempt to prove or disprove an allegation.

* Once the investigation is completed, or if significant new evidence emerges, the school should reconsider suspension of the accused teacher.

* It should also consider whether police andor child protection services should be involved. If they are, the school should suspend its own proceedings.

* Only when the police and school have both completed their investigations should formal disciplinary proceedings be considered by the school.

Source: DfEE Circular 1095

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