Introduction to Allegations Against Staff

Introduction to Allegations Against Staff

These procedures set out the process, in accordance with Appendix 5 of statutory guidance Working Together 2010 and Safeguarding Children in Education: Dealing with Allegations of Abuse Against Teachers and Other Staff (2010) for managing allegations of abuse made against a person who works with children. Information sharing and recording processes are underpinned by the Data Protection Act 1998.

The aim of the procedure is to ensure that allegations are dealt with speedily, consistently and in a fair manner.

Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board statutory members must review internal procedures to ensure that they are compliant with the requirements of this document.

All other organisations, including voluntary and independent sector organisations, are strongly encouraged to ensure internal procedures are compliant with this document.

The term employer is used throughout these procedures to refer to organisations that have a working relationship with the individual against whom the allegation is made.

The term includes organisations that use the services of volunteers, people who are self employed, service providers, voluntary organisations, employment agencies, contractors and fostering services.  In the case of childminders, and others that may not have a direct employment relationship with the individual, regulatory bodies such as Ofsted will need to consider whether to continue to use the person’s services, or to provide the person for work with children in future, or to deregister the individual.

In some circumstances the term 'employer' for these purposes will encompass more than one organisation. For example where staff providing services for children in an organisation are employed by a contractor, or where temporary staff are provided by an agency. In those circumstances both the contractor or agency, and the organisation in which the accused individual works will need to be involved in dealing with the allegation.

The procedures must be applied when there is a an allegation made which suggests a person who works with children has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or relating to a child
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children in connection with his/her employment or voluntary activity

These procedures can also be applied if a complaint or an allegation is made against a person in relation to:

  • Concerns arise about the person’s behaviour with regard to his/her own children
  • His/her work with adult service users, which cause concern about the welfare of an adult service user’s children

There may be up to 3 strands in considering a concern or an allegation:

  • A police investigation of a criminal offence
  • Enquiries and assessment by Children’s Social Care about whether a child or young person is in need of protection or in need of support of services and
  • Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual (or other appropriate action if the individual is not an employee)

If an allegation relating to a child is made about a person who undertakes paid or unpaid care of vulnerable adults, consideration must be given to the possible need to alert those who manage them in that role.