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Dealing with false accusations against teachers 'a difficult balance'

27/10/2009 Kelly
A spokesperson for teachers has called on school leaders to consider the impact of false accusations on staff members' personal and professional life and try to strike a balance between pupil and employee welfare.

Trisha Pritchard, senior professional officer for the Professional Association of Nursery Nurses at education union Voice, said teachers can be left with long-term psychological scars from accusations and investigations.

According to a study conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, almost 30 per cent of all UK teachers have been falsely accused of professional misconduct.

The survey of 1,155 teachers and support staff uncovered a number of instances where assertions of wrongdoing had ruined careers and caused personal problems.

Commenting on the findings, Ms Pritchard said they are "probably just the tip of the iceberg", with many finding it easier to leave the sector than try to undo the damage done.

Written by Harriet McGowan
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