Monday, April 9, 2012

British teachers union aggressively protects the wrongly accused

The British teachers union, NASUWT, said schoolchildren who falsely accuse teachers of crimes “must understand there is a consequence” to making allegations that are “unjust and malicious."

The vast majority of claims made against teachers are unsubstantiated. NASUWT data shows that fewer than one-in-20 allegations of claims against teachers last year – including assault, sexual abuse and serious threats – resulted in court action.

A new law gives teachers the legal right to anonymity until they are charged with a criminal offense. But even that's not enough for the union. The union passed a motion claiming that “the most effective way to protect teachers from malicious allegations is to make such an allegation a criminal offence.”

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said: “The issue of false, malicious and unsubstantiated allegations against teachers continues to be an enduring problem. Teachers’ fear of having allegations made against them is very real, yet four out of five did not feel that current protections for teachers are adequate. The fear of having an allegation made against them is compounded by the fact that even if they are exonerated, their career will be permanently blighted by the fact that the allegation will remain on record.”