NASUWT: Overwhelming majority of allegations against teachers “false”

Commenting on the report by BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme regarding accusations against teachers and school staff, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers union said:

“The NASUWT has been collecting statistics on false and malicious allegations against teachers since 1991.

“Teachers and other staff working with children are extremely vulnerable to false and malicious allegations and this continues to be an enduring problem. Last year the overwhelming majority of the cases referred to the NASUWT turnout to be false allegations.

“Whilst every allegation must be investigated and action taken where there is found to be a case to answer, it is entirely wrong and irresponsible to present statistics, as commentators do all too often, that imply that abuse by school staff is widespread.

“There are over 440,000 teachers working in schools who are dedicated to protecting the health and welfare of children and young people.

“Teachers’ fear of having an allegation made against them is compounded by the fact that even if they are exonerated, their career will be permanently blighted by the fact that the allegation will remain on record.

“Not enough has been done by government to address the issue of false allegations and to support teachers who are falsely accused and subsequently exonerated. The NASUWT  will continue to campaign for changes to procedures to provide the necessary safeguards.”


Notes to editors

Figures collected by the NASUWT show that in 2013 more than 97% of allegations of unlawful behaviour made against NASUWT members were unsubstantiated.

Of 61 allegations of criminal behaviour made against members of the Union during 2013, only two resulted in a caution or a conviction and no further action was taken in the remaining 59 cases.