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Stats support teacher anonymity

27 April 2012

The TES this week highlighted a recent government study into the nature of allegations made against teachers. Of the 2,827 allegations made in a 12-month period, 2% were malicious and a further 45% were unfounded or unsubstantiated.

With the right to anonymity set out in the Education Act 2011 due to come into force soon, it is of little surprise that the government has published a study supporting the need for such a right. However, holding out hope that this is the panacea that protects teachers might be going too far.

The right to anonymity will only apply where an allegation of a criminal offence has been made. The law will punish anyone who ‘publishes’ (this will include websites and social media) information that identifies the individual. What the law cannot do is stop parents and children talking about it or it spreading like wildfire around the local community. The Protection of Freedoms Bill looks to address the CRB point in the article, by changing the duty on police to only include information they “reasonably believe to be relevant”, but some are sceptical that this will lead to any noticeable change.

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