Gove gives heads power to charge pupils

By staff

Michael Gove will announce plans to let headmasters launch criminal proceedings against pupils today, in a radical overhaul of the power structure in schools.

The education secretary will allow heads to tackle pupils making false allegations about teachers through criminal charges.

There will also be a new presumption that teachers have behaved reasonably until proven otherwise.

“The worst offenders know that the way to throw a spanner in the works is to say that they have been touched inappropriately or manhandled,” Mr Gove said.

“That means that instead of all the focus being on their bad behaviour, suddenly there is a cloud hanging over the teacher.”

An expert adviser on behaviour will be appointed and the guidance will be reduced from 600 pages of rules to just 50.

Heads will be able to temporarily or permanently exclude pupils who make false allegations.

‘No touch’ policies, which prevent teachers touching pupils even in the case of accidents, will be abolished.

Teachers will have the power to issue detentions for that same afternoon, contrary to former regulations which ensured that parents were given 24-hours notice.

One survey from 2009 showed over a quarter of teachers have faced false allegations. Under the current system, they are instantly suspended following an allegation.