Friday, 5 October 2012

Anonymity for teachers

On October 1st, a new law came into effect protecting the anonymity of teacher accused of child abuse. According to an Info Update from the DfE

It is an offence to report information that could lead to the identification (e.g. name or school) of a teacher who is subject to an allegation of a criminal offence made by, or on behalf of, a registered pupil at the school. Any publication of such an allegation that identifies the teacher involved before they are charged with a criminal offence will be in breach of the restrictions. Such restrictions would remain unless or until the teacher is charged with a criminal offence, a warrant for arrest is issued, or until the Secretary of State or GTC for Wales publishes info about an investigation or decision in a disciplinary case arising from the allegation.
Had Jimmy Savile been alive and a teacher, it would have been an offence for the recent reports about him to be published.

The DfE website contains a nauseating statement on the subject
In The Coalition: our programme for government, the Government made a commitment to give anonymity to teachers accused by pupils and to take other measures to protect against false allegations. A survey commissioned by the Department found that of the 2827 allegations of abuse made against school teachers in 2009/10, almost one-fifth (19 per cent) were considered to be unfounded (no evidence or proper basis which supports the allegation being made). False allegations can blight careers and ruin lives.
I'm particularly outraged by the slide from "unfounded" to "False" in successive sentences, which gives the impression that all unfounded allegations are false.

Parents, please realise that you are on your own. If your child is being abused at school, the school has no statutory obligation to report anything it knows. The only have to "have regard for" statutory guidance which says that they should report it. They can regard the guidance all they like and then they can perfectly legally decide that they will handle all such allegations in-house without making any report to the authorities.

And if they don't report it to the authorities, of course no charges will ever be made, and so you are permanently barred from publishing anything about it. All you can do (if you child tells you about it, which they might not) is go to the police yourself.


  1. In 1990 Jimmy Saville was honoured by Pope John Paul II with a Papal knighthood making him a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great (KCSG).

    More evidence of the Vatican's appalling lack of research and lack of rigorous scrutiny of the people that they honour and appoint.

    After what we have discovered in the past 2 decades, I can't understand or respect anyone (especially any Old Priorian) who is still a Catholic.

  2. I live in Australia. I have followed this blog with keen interest. I would advise the reader to take a closer look at the recent uproar regarding the behaviour of the Roman Catholic Church in the state of Victoria, paying close attention to the Archdiocese of Melbourne and the three suffragan see of Sale, Ballarat and Sandhurst. It is a horrific narrative. The police investigation was much hampered by the obstructionism of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the role Roman Catholic police officers played in attempting to derail the ongoing investigation. One school in the Ballarat diocese operated by he Christian Brothers has recorded over 50 suicides from its graduate student body. Hundreds and thousands more victims of clerical sexual abuse await there day for justice. In the meantime we have the bizarre situation of un-indicted conspirators- the Roman Hierarchy- continuing to impede, divert and obstruct the ongoing investigation. Surely there must be some legal recourse to prosecute such bishops and religious superiors.

    As a postscript;

    Jimmy Savile; a Roman Catholic and in receipt of many Papal honours. I am now so cynical I would not be surprised if I was told that the late Mr.Savile was a regular visitor to Ealing Abbey and its school.

  3. So how specifically do you propose to protect innocent until proved guilty? How specifically do you propose to prevent every adult living in terror of being destroyable at any moment by arbitrary accusation from anywhere?

  4. Very interesting letter in the Times yesterday demanding mandatory referral of allegations to the LADO, and signed by so many members of the legal profession.

    Where is St Benedict's on undertaking, in its policy, to 'inform' the LADO of all allegations?

    Why does the Local Authority appear so powerless to make the morally corrupt administration adhere to guidance?

  5. Mr. West, do you have any comments to make on the Savile/ BBC perversion scandal? You are noticable by your silence. Surely you must have something worthwhile to contribute knowing all that knowledge you have?