Abuse Complaints Procedure Move

New proposals to shake up the process of dealing with abuse allegations against teachers are to be published within months, the government has announced. Ministers will also reveal the results of an audit into the number of teaching staff who have been suspended following accusations of child abuse. The figures were collected as part of a department of education review into the complaints and investigations procedure against teaching staff in Northern Ireland.

The review centres on the use of “precautionary suspensions”, which result in staff being sent home as soon as a complaint of abuse is received.

Earlier this year, headteachers warned the profession is becoming “paralysed by fear” at the devastating impact that false and malicious accusations can have on a teacher’s career.

Tory politicians have urged the government to toughen up the protection for teachers, stating that identities should be revealed only when criminal charges are faced.

Former Education Secretary Ruth Kelly published fresh guidance in November for English schools only.

The rules are designed to ensure cases are dealt with as fairly and as quickly as possible.