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    One of the things my dad is most worried about with me going into teaching is kids making false accusations that could ruin my career. Since then I've done some research into it and I've found stuff like:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...-minister.html

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/t...o-new-research

    http://www.atl.org.uk/media-office/m...om-a-pupil.asp

    I am now even more worried that there could be false accusations. If you're the only teacher in a class how could they stop this? Based on this I'd like to ask a few questions, hoping for answers from teachers. Children obviously can be more immature and not realise the serious of saying such things until much later. By then your reputation could be in tatters on a local level because word of mouth is damaging even if its false.

    1. Have you ever been falsely accused of anything?
    2. How does the school you work for deal with such?
    3. What should be done immediately should such arise?
    4. If you give a pupil detention and he/she is the only one, what is there to stop them making a false accusation against you? Do teaching assistants stay behind as witnesses? Otherwise its your word against theirs or even two of them if they both hate you that much because you've detained them
    5. As a teacher, do you find this as a great concern in your day to day life?
    6. Should classrooms have CCTV to combat such risks? A lot of buses do so what is the risk to maintain order?

    Any answers would be appreciated but I am genuinely worried since my dad brought it up and want to ensure I take the best steps to avoid such accusations when working as a teacher so I can just do my job as a professional.

    I am just worried as a male going into teaching of such risks of false accusation.

    Kind regards,

    Mick.
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    I'm not a teacher, probably not a lot on a site called the student room.

    If there have been accusations at any school I know of I've not heard of them.

    At least one teacher used to behave in a creepy fashion (not to me) and was never investigated for it.

    Detentions always seemed to have more than one person there.

    Some of those "false" accusations probably were unproven rather than malicious or false. Wonder how many have been subject to repeated unproven allegations?
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    When I was in my teens an art teacher at my school was accused of having hit a kid, the teachers son was in my year so we got a big insight into how it effects the family of the teacher too. We lived in a small community so everyone locally knew about the accusation , everyone also knew this particular kid and his entirely family were pains in the ass. Eventually it was proved that the teacher hadn't done anything and the kid had made it up, but the trauma for the poor guys was pretty awful and I think he had time off for stress afterwards. The kid involved and his family moved out of the area after that as pretty much everyone hated them for the false accusation.
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    At my secondary school, I witnessed a male teacher's career go down the toilet based on a male pupil making false accusations of sexual molestation. Despite the claims being proven groundless, and the boy later admitting he made it up due to disliking the teacher, his career was finished.

    Another teacher explained to some naive pupils that people essentially take a "no smoke without fire" mindset to such accusations, even when they are proven false. Mud sticks. Years later, rumours were still circulating that he is a paedophile, and graffiti on the school toilets still made highly unflattering references to this using that teacher's "pet" name.
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    (Original post by Mickey O'Neil)
    One of the things my dad is most worried about with me going into teaching is kids making false accusations that could ruin my career. Since then I've done some research into it and I've found stuff like:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...-minister.html

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/t...o-new-research

    http://www.atl.org.uk/media-office/m...om-a-pupil.asp

    I am now even more worried that there could be false accusations. If you're the only teacher in a class how could they stop this? Based on this I'd like to ask a few questions, hoping for answers from teachers. Children obviously can be more immature and not realise the serious of saying such things until much later. By then your reputation could be in tatters on a local level because word of mouth is damaging even if its false.

    1. Have you ever been falsely accused of anything?
    2. How does the school you work for deal with such?
    3. What should be done immediately should such arise?
    4. If you give a pupil detention and he/she is the only one, what is there to stop them making a false accusation against you? Do teaching assistants stay behind as witnesses? Otherwise its your word against theirs or even two of them if they both hate you that much because you've detained them
    5. As a teacher, do you find this as a great concern in your day to day life?
    6. Should classrooms have CCTV to combat such risks? A lot of buses do so what is the risk to maintain order?

    Any answers would be appreciated but I am genuinely worried since my dad brought it up and want to ensure I take the best steps to avoid such accusations when working as a teacher so I can just do my job as a professional.

    I am just worried as a male going into teaching of such risks of false accusation.

    Kind regards,

    Mick.
    Hi there,

    There are a lot of very experienced teachers on this site, so hopefully they'll be able to give you some feedback. Are you about to start a secondary PGCE? If so, I'm sure this kind of thing will come up as part of the course, guidance on how to best avoid this kind of situation.

    I'm starting a primary PGCE in September too, but as a female, I guess I'm less concerned about this kind of thing happening to me (that's not to say that it doesn't happen to female teachers). I work as a TA at the moment and have been told the following: try not to be alone with students, keep physical contact to a minimum, keep the classroom door open as much as possible etc. I think with secondary pupils it is far more complicated and as a male teacher, you may well have female pupils (and male ones for that matter) develop a crush on you so you need to be very conscious of this. I guess a lot of it is common sense, just avoid situations where there is any room for misinterpretation.

    I think it's quite sad that, as teachers, we so overly aware of these kinds of things now for fear of being called a pervert. When I see a child crying, my instinct is to put my arm around them and comfort them...but even now, I feel as though this is inappropriate. And yet, if my daughter was crying at school, I would WANT someone to put their arms around her and offer her some comfort. It's quite sad really.
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    (Original post by Mickey O'Neil)
    1. Have you ever been falsely accused of anything?

    2. How does the school you work for deal with such?

    3. What should be done immediately should such arise?

    4. If you give a pupil detention and he/she is the only one, what is there to stop them making a false accusation against you? Do teaching assistants stay behind as witnesses? Otherwise its your word against theirs or even two of them if they both hate you that much because you've detained them

    5. As a teacher, do you find this as a great concern in your day to day life?

    6. Should classrooms have CCTV to combat such risks? A lot of buses do so what is the risk to maintain order?
    1. Not if we are talking about the issues in the title of this thread.

    2. The teacher would be immediately suspended while an investigation takes place (this will not differ in any school).

    3. The teacher should be immediately suspended while an investigation takes place.

    4. Many schools have centralised detention systems so a number of staff would be present. You will learn to avoid putting yourself in a position where you are alone with a child. When a group of students get together to concoct a story (it does happen occasionally) you just put them in different rooms and ask them to write down their accounts and then you question them on the discrepancies and watch it all unravel.

    5. No but I do take reasonable precautions.

    6. There isn't any need for this.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    1. Not if we are talking about the issues in the title of this thread.

    2. The teacher would be immediately suspended while an investigation takes place (this will not differ in any school).

    3. The teacher should be immediately suspended while an investigation takes place.

    4. Many schools have centralised detention systems so a number of staff would be present. You will learn to avoid putting yourself in a position where you are alone with a child. When a group of students get together to concoct a story (it does happen occasionally) you just put them in different rooms and ask them to write down their accounts and then you question them on the discrepancies and watch it all unravel.

    5. No but I do take reasonable precautions.

    6. There isn't any need for this.
    Thanks for your response. Have you ever been really worried about this sort of thing or am I worrying too much now about this and over thinking it?

    Will also rep in due course Out of rep atm.
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    (Original post by Mickey O'Neil)
    Have you ever been really worried about this sort of thing or am I worrying too much now about this and over thinking it?
    No and yes. There are plenty of things to be worried about in teaching - this is not close to the top of the list.
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    Good idea for a thread.

    To reassure you, the only reason such things make the news is because they are so rare - as with any crime. You mustn't let it deter you from going into teaching.

    To answer your questions:
    1. Have you ever been falsely accused of anything? No
    2. How does the school you work for deal with such? When a colleague of mine was accused, the school was relentless and sacked him. This was in the private sector, however. As he was falsely accused (the charges were dropped by police), he certainly could/should have sued the school for unfair dismissal.
    3. What should be done immediately should such arise? If you are accused of anything by a pupil (informally), or have any problem with a pupil, tell your colleagues. Do NOT keep it to yourself. In my colleague's case part of the reason for the shock was because none of us knew anything about it. If you do not keep it a secret then it's far less likely that people will think you have something to hide.
    4. If you give a pupil detention and he/she is the only one, what is there to stop them making a false accusation against you? Do teaching assistants stay behind as witnesses? Otherwise its your word against theirs or even two of them if they both hate you that much because you've detained them. This is why most classrooms have (or should have) a small window in the door, so that there is a chance for others to witness your meeting with the pupil. If your classroom does not have this then you leave the door open. If you think there is a real risk of a false accusation for some reason (e.g. you know the pupil has a crush on you) then you invite a colleague to meet them with you if you have something to say to them.
    5. As a teacher, do you find this as a great concern in your day to day life? No. As mentioned above, accusations (false or otherwise) are rare. However, as I said in my answer to your fourth question, you are of course mindful of this in your daily interactions with pupils. This not only covers the chance for all conversations with pupils to be heard/witnessed, but also covers treating pupils fairly, not commenting on their appearance or being derogatory towards them, and not having any physical contact with them (and probably other things I've forgotten to mention here).
    6. Should classrooms have CCTV to combat such risks? A lot of buses do so what is the risk to maintain order? I work in France, so can't say about the UK, but in France it would be illegal to have CCTV in classrooms. I think CCTV in itself could open up the potential for abuse in extreme cases (e.g. allowing a teacher to prey on vulnerable pupils) and that we have to combat this risk in other ways.

    As Mr M says, there are other things to worry about that affect your teaching life far more on a daily basis.
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    Yes, a child said I beat him up in the classroom during lesson. But there were seven other pupils in the classroom so it was quite obvious whether I did that or not.
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    As a female only 5 foot 1 inches, I never seem to get accusations of anything, and never had any feedback from senior teaching staff about this subject. Am I seen as a non-threat due to my appearance? Sadly I think this is the case, and teaching staff are judged this way.

    As a primary school classroom volunteer, I was expected to stay in the classroom and supervise the kids changing for P.E, but a male PA would always leave the classroom. I was allowed to unbutton tops or untie laces, but he wouldn't risk putting himself in that situation.

    I used common sense, like keeping contact to a minimum, and ALWAYS have another adult in the class at the same time. They shut the door when the kids were changing, which I felt really should have been left open at all times . . . what do you think?

    Changing for PE, and back again was a risky situation, but kids were encouraged to do as much of it themselves. Only help those who approach you, and only those who you know really are struggling. Some attention-seekers would ask for help, but I'd refuse and insist they do it themselves.
 
 
 
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