Teachers accused of sexual abuse should not be automatically suspended because most children “make it up”, the head of Britain’s biggest teaching union has warned. The Telegraph reports.
Kevin Courtney, joint secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) claimed “street smart” pupils who misbehaved in class often made spurious complaints to “get an effect”.
Speaking exclusively to the Telegraph, Mr Courtney said: “I represent teachers where allegations are made against them by children – illegitimate touching, etc and sometimes those allegations are correct. But actually most of the time it turns out that after any investigation they are not correct.
“We are constantly in a battle about how quickly teachers get suspended in this process. And teachers are sometimes suspended before there has been any check at all. And so a child can get an effect by making an accusation and getting a teacher suspended and that’s not a good place to put those young people either.”
Citing a recent case the NEU has dealt with, he said: “I’m thinking of a particular person I worked with who is (still) teaching but where an accusation led to him being suspended fairly immediately and the suspension then went on for several months.
Then the mum of the girl who made the accusation came forward and said: “I know she made it up”. “This is on his extended CRB check, this comes up every time he goes to a new school. And yet there was never anything found against him – it was only ever the accusation, there was never any other finding of any sort.”
Government guidance, which removed the “no touch” policy in schools, states that “malicious, unsubstantiated or unfounded allegations should not be included in employment references.”
It also gives heads the power to temporarily or permanently exclude pupils who make false allegations, adding: “In extreme circumstances they may even press criminal charges against the pupil.”
Read the full article Most sex abuse claims against teachers ‘made up’ by pupils, teaching union head suggests
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