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Teaching union says more should be done to address malicious allegations made by pupils against teachers

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More needs to be done to address malicious allegations made by pupils against teachers, according to the teaching union NASUWT Cymru.

The union has called on the Welsh Government to review its procedures for dealing with allegations against teachers in the light of concerns about the incidence of malicious claims being made by pupils.

It says that whilst every allegation must be investigated, failure to distinguish false and malicious allegations early on continues to be a problem.

The NASUWT is clear that every allegation made against a teacher must be investigated and action taken where there is evidence to suggest there is a case to answer. However, the failure to distinguish false and malicious allegations at an early stage in the processes continues to be an enduring problem.

The hurt and anxiety suffered by teachers who are the victims of malicious allegations is compounded by the fact that even if they are exonerated, their career may be permanently blighted by the fact that the allegation remains on record.

The NASUWT is calling for improvements to be made to the way allegations are dealt with which would maintain the robust child protection procedures which are already in place, but would also help address and tackle the serious problem of false and malicious allegations to better support pupils in understanding that making such allegations is unacceptable.

– Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT
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The Welsh Government says that work is currently underway to review and update the guidance regarding this matter.

We published detailed statutory guidance in 2014 to ensure all allegations are properly investigated. Any allegation should be dealt with quickly and consistently in a way that provides effective protection for the child, and supports the person who is subject to the allegation. This includes if allegations made on the part of the pupil were, after investigation, considered to be invented, false or malicious.

Work is currently underway to review and update the guidance and we will ensure the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Safeguarding Board Team leading on this are aware of the NASUWT’s views.

– Welsh Government spokesperson