John Simkin Posted December 14, 2004 Share Posted December 14, 2004 I cannot remember the last time the Tories can up with an educational policy I agreed with. However, I agree with this one. This statement is taken from the Conservative Party website. http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=n...e&obj_id=118065 Shadow Education Secretary Tim Collins has called for anonymity for teachers facing allegations of abuse from school pupils. And stressing the need to protect teachers from malicious claims, he pointed out that the way they are accused, named and in most cases cleared of abuse results not only constitutes an injustice, but damages discipline in the classroom. Referring to recent cases which clearly demonstrate the unfairness of the current system - including the acquittal of a Peterborough teaching assistant who was suspended for nine months after a malicious assault accusation, and the Isle of Wight head teacher who tragically committed suicide after allegations of abuse were made against him, Mr Collins said: "Teachers are harassed, insulted, and attacked every day in our schools. One is assaulted every seven minutes. Yet the scales of justice are weighted terribly against them. If a teacher tries to restrain a violent and disruptive pupil or break up a fight, he may face suspension or even the end of his career. If a child chooses to utter the word 'abuse', the teacher will face a presumption of guilt not innocence - and may find their professional and personal lives utterly ruined." Mr Collins added: "The vast majority of teachers accused of abuse are subsequently cleared - but the strain and stress involved, which often includes being spat at in the street and having homes and cars attacked, means that the incidence of suicide among teachers facing this vile accusation is alarmingly high. It is hardly surprising in these circumstances that discipline in our schools is declining just as rapidly as stress levels among teachers reaches record highs. How can anyone impose order in our classrooms if they know that any single child uttering one single word could finish their careers?" The Shadow Minister called for immediate legislation designed to give teachers a statutory guarantee that their anonymity would be preserved, at least until the point when a formal criminal charge is brought in a court of law. He said: "Labour ministers sadly refuse to act on this persistent demand from the teaching unions, choosing instead to rely solely on guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers and a voluntary agreement with local newspapers. This will not give teachers remotely the protections they need. "In the Queen's Speech, the Government introduced several pieces of legislation which could provide the vehicle for this statutory guarantee. If they continue to refuse to act to protect teachers from this most damaging and frightening position, the next Conservative Government will do so in our very first Queen's Speech as part of our Teacher Protection Bill." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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