Memorandum submitted by the Newspaper Society (E 38)
The Newspaper Society (NS) represents the regional newspaper industry. Its members publish around 1,200 local and regional newspapers titles and 1,400 associated websites.
Absence of Consultation and Promised Discussion with Media
1. Clause 13 of the Education Bill creates reporting restrictions backed by criminal sanctions which will impact upon regional press. The local and regional press are particularly affected by any ban on the publication of matter which is likely to lead to the identification of anyone, as the local knowledge of their local readers and local audience will mean that much information cannot be published without risk of breach the ban, either in itself, or in combination with other information, or in combination with others’ publication of other information. These problems will be acute in respect of compliance with the reporting restrictions in Clause 13, since much of the local newspaper’s readership will have strong links to the often limited number of local schools within its core circulation area, and will therefore possess detailed knowledge of their staff and school activities. This will severely curtail any publication by the local media. Publication would be further restricted by the operation of the libel laws and the care that a local newspaper must take to ensure that there is no misunderstanding or confusion and it is not at risk of legal action by any or all teachers who are not involved in the incident. In addition, as result of the new reporting restrictions, the police and education authorities will be less likely to release public statements even in general terms, which could be reported with the assistance of qualified privilege defences. The reporting restrictions and threat of prosecution may well be exploited by schools, education authorities and others with their own interest in deterring publication and in maintaining secrecy about any alleged incident, in order to avoid public examination of matters of legitimate public interest concerning their own procedures and action, which might expose them to public criticism
2. The NS is disappointed that there was no pre-legislative consultation on the detailed proposals, despite the concerns that it raised with the Minister of Schools, Department of Education and Ministry of Justice, in response to the broad statements of intention in the Coalition’s programme for government, DoE’s business plan, Parliamentary debates and Schools White Paper. This is contrary to the assurances given by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice Crispin Blunt to the NS prior to the publication of the Schools White Paper:
‘Whilst we have mentioned the possibility of reporting restrictions in this area, we are not yet in a position to provide further details of the measures that we will take to protect teachers, but as we develop proposals we will do so in discussion with organizations such as yours.
I do recognize the important role of the media to ensure that the public are made aware of issues of interest to them, and note the measures you point to as already being in place to protect those accused from being inappropriately identified in the press’.
However, to date, no such specific discussions on the proposals have taken place with media organizations whose members’ press, broadcast and online activities would be affected by such restrictions such as the Newspaper Society, Newspaper Publishers Association or Media Lawyers Association. We are very willing to discuss the potential problems of both principle and practicality arising from Clause 13 of the Bill.
Absence of Justification for New Reporting Restrictions
Current Law Sufficient
3. The NS questions whether new reporting restrictions are actually necessary.
4. The general law of defamation already provides protection against false allegations and malicious statements about an individual, however communicated to a third party, whether in permanent form or by way of speech, gesture etc (Slander is actionable without proof of monetary special damage where it involves an imputation of a crime or words calculated to disparage someone in their office, professions, calling, trade or business).
5. The law of contempt applies to any publication once legal proceedings become active under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 i.e. from arrest or issue of warrant for arrest in criminal proceedings and when the arrangements for a hearing are made in civil proceedings, or when proceedings are pending or imminent at common law.
6. The Code of Practice upheld by the Press Complaints Commission http://www.pcc.org.uk/cop/practice.html www.pcc.org.uk includes provisions on accuracy, privacy, harassment, right of reply and children which govern newspaper and magazine investigation, newsgathering and reporting of allegations of criminal offences made against anyone.
7. There is no need for the introduction of reporting restrictions, backed by criminal sanctions, which in practice would place indefinite automatic bans upon the publication of anything which might lead to the identification of the accused as the subject of the allegation, which, as outlined above and below, in practice may well extend to publication bans upon pupils, parents, allegations, staff, school, education authority, irrespective of the truth of the allegations , concerns of the victim or complainant or their representatives, or the wider public interest.
8. The potentially far ranging remit of the Government’s anonymity proposals, could even prevent the release, exchange, sharing, dissemination, publication of material and material which would otherwise be made publicly available by relevant official bodies and investigation authorities inquiring into the matters alleged, or reports of their meetings and findings, in addition to media reports of such matters. This could prevent public exoneration of the teacher, at the earliest stage possible to dispel any rumours or gossip. It could also obstruct proper public oversight of the school system or even of an individual prohibited from working as a teacher, in the event of findings to the contrary. The new reporting restrictions could prevent legitimate media investigation and report into wrongdoing, incompetence and other matters of legitimate public interest relating to the schools system; and obstruct the accuracy and other editorial pre-publication legal checks carried out by the local media in reporting cases of this nature.
9. The Clause sets a worrying precedent by its introduction of a new concept of the ‘protected professional’, automatically and indefinitely banning the identification of a person by reference to their occupation and employment as the alleged perpetrator of a criminal offence against someone in their care by the victim or others in their care. Unless proceedings in court commence in respect of the offence or a court order dispenses with reporting restrictions, the reporting restriction applies indefinitely throughout their lifetime and after their death.
10. The Bill does not define who a teacher is for the purposes of this clause and it is quite likely that pressure will be applied in practice for a liberal interpretation in its application, followed by a request for legislative extension. Indeed, the Government has already said in the Schools White Paper that it is considering whether this should be extended to the nebulous concept of a ‘wider children’s’ workforce’, which would lead to even more problematic restraints upon dissemination of information. In turn, this could lead to greater pressure from other professions and occupations whose practitioners would like protection against any public identification as the subject of a complaint from those with whom they work.
11. The Clause also sets worrying precedents by its apparent creation of new reporting restrictions enforced by criminal sanctions which could reduce public scrutiny and oversight of teachers, schools and education authorities, including employment and professional disciplinary procedures; criminal investigation and conduct of the police; open justice, public inquiries, official investigations and official reports or other publicly available documents .
12. In our view, it should not be a crime to publish any information which might reveal the identity of a person who has been arrested on suspicion of the particular offence alleged, or who is to be the subject of a civil action based on the allegations, or who has been dismissed as a result of disciplinary proceedings, or prohibited from working as a teacher or professional misconduct procedures, or who is the subject of any judicial or official investigation and its findings on those allegations.
Failure to Achieve Government’s Objective
13. The Minister of State for Schools stated in Parliament that anonymity would be given to teachers facing accusations from pupils as "This government wants to put an end to ‘rumours and malicious gossip about innocent teachers which can ruin careers and even lives’.
14. In practice, publication bans could in fact fuel unfounded speculation rather than prevent it as the Government intends. Without waiver or a court order, exoneration of a teacher could not be publicised. Without waiver or court order, action taken against the makers of false allegations could not be publicised. Without an application to a court or waiver, the police, education authorities and headteachers could not circulate letters of information or reassurance to the parents of pupils, or provide statements and accurate information to the media for publication, to counter rumours and gossip circulating about the nature of alleged incidents at a school, the identity of pupils and staff involved and the course of action, if any, which is being officially pursued by the relevant authorities.
15. At worst, the reporting restrictions created by Clause 13 could create wide ranging and unjustified restrictions upon freedom of expression and encouraging the growth of a culture of secrecy conducive to serious mistreatment of vulnerable school children and suppression of the identity of its alleged perpetrators. It could also mask the extent of any problem concerning false allegations, teacher support and how it was being tackled including action taken against makers of false allegations. The restrictions are broad enough for schools and education authorities which failed to provide proper oversight or proper support to teachers to claim that they should benefit from anonymity and escape public scrutiny.
16. The outcome of complaints containing the allegations made by or on behalf of pupils against teachers could not be fairly and accurately reported and the teacher identified even if the allegation were investigated and upheld in the absence of any prosecution or the teacher exonerated. The teacher would enjoy anonymity during their lifetime and after their death, unless the teacher gave written consent, which is unlikely, or a court agreed to dispense with the restrictions in the interests of justice, which may also be unlikely in the absence of any other court proceedings in respect of the allegation. Victims could not tell their own stories, even if their allegations had been substantiated and vindicated by formal admissions of liability and out of court settlements.
Potential breadth of the Reporting Restrictions and Offence of Breach of Reporting Restrictions
17. If enacted, Clause 13 could create indefinite bans on publishing any identifying matter, backed by an offence of uncertain breadth, which could catch a far wider range of people than the Government, Explanatory Notes or the House of Commons Research Paper suggest.
18. Enactment of Clause 13 would not simply mean that ‘Such restrictions would remain in place unless or until the teacher is charged with a criminal offence,’ as the Explanatory Notes suggest or that ‘children and parents who are linked to the allegations would not be able to voice their views in the press until the teacher is charged or dismissed’ as the Research Paper states.
19. The reporting restrictions prevent the publication, by anyone, of any communication, in any form, to any section of the public, which contains matter which is likely to lead members of the public to identify a teacher, employed or engaged by a school, as the person who is the subject of an allegation made by or on behalf of a pupil at that school, that the teacher is guilty of an offence, where the victim of the offence is a pupil at that school.
20. There are no specific definitions for the purposes of clause 13 which would assist compliance or prevent inadvertent breach of the law: ‘teacher’ is not defined for the purposes of this clause; the ‘allegation’ which activates the reporting restrictions and identification offence can apparently be an informal allegation, made to anyone, such as a child victim or witness or other pupil informing his or her parent of the teacher’s behaviour, rather than a formal complaint to the relevant authorities such as the school or police; there is no definition of ‘victim of the offence’.
21. The reporting restrictions are automatic and would only cease to apply if a criminal court orders the restriction to be lifted, or ‘once there are legal proceedings in a court in respect of the offence’. Thus they would not terminate on dismissal of a teacher, nor on the death of the teacher. Breach of the reporting restrictions is a criminal offence, subject to defences of lack of awareness of the making of the allegation or of the publication or if written consent of the subject of the allegation has been obtained for publication of the identifying matter.
22. The Bill’s provisions on dispensing with the reporting restrictions, exclusions and defences would be helpful if the Bill is enacted, they certainly do not alleviate the local media’s concerns or reduce its opposition to Clause 13.
23. First, although vital, the application for orders to dispense with the restrictions, even if successful, will entail delay and expense for local media organizations and any individuals who make the applications and then have to pursue appeals, even to the Crown Court from a magistrates’ court’s refusal to dispense with the restrictions. In the event of the Crown Court’s refusal to make an order dispensing with reporting restrictions in whole or part, either on application or on appeal, it would be helpful to have confirmation of the route of further appeal - it is important that appeal against refusal to lift the restrictions can swiftly be made by the media to the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in appropriate cases .
24. Second, grounds for dispensing with the restrictions and categories of defences should be expanded if the Bill is enacted. The court can dispense with the requirements ‘if it is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so, having regard to the welfare of the person who is the subject of the allegation’. This is insufficient, especially where there is no prospect of prosecution of the teacher, not because of any doubt of the veracity of the allegation but because of the age or mental condition of the pupil or other witnesses led to reluctance by the police or CPS to pursue criminal charges. The Bill ought also to provide public interest grounds for the dispensing with the reporting restrictions and a public interest defence to the offence.
25. Third, although necessary if enacted, the Bill’s provisions on the time when the restrictions automatically cease to apply and the documents to which they do not apply require clarification and broadening. It is not clear what ‘proceedings in court in respect of the offence’ means or ‘an indictment of other documents prepared for use in particular legal proceedings’.
26. The Explanatory Notes suggest that the reporting restrictions end upon charge of the teacher. However, there could be legal proceedings in respect of an offence before charge (such as issue of warrant for arrest) – are these considered to be ‘proceedings in court’ for these purposes, given that the documents prepared for them are excluded from the definition of publication? Practical issues arise - is the court list necessary for deploying reporters to courts ‘a document prepared for use in particular legal proceedings’ and therefore, as it should be excluded from the reporting restrictions prior to the accused’s first appearance?
27. Most importantly ‘once there are proceedings in court in respect of the offence’ could be very narrowly interpreted in practice. The courts and prosecution authorities might consider that reporting restrictions only cease to apply if the teacher is actually charged with the criminal offence of which he was accused by the pupil and legal proceedings commence against him for that exact offence, or at best another offence based on the same allegation. This would be far too narrow an interpretation as it would be highly restrictive of open justice – and the burden should not then be upon the media to maintain open justice by application to a criminal court to dispense with the Bill’s restrictions upon the reporting of other court proceedings.
28. If a wider interpretation is intended, this should be made clear. In the absence of the teacher being charged, or prior to the prosecution of the teacher and commencement of any such criminal proceedings, then the reporting restrictions ought also automatically cease to apply if there are any other proceedings, in any court or tribunal, in relation to or which refer to the incident giving rise to the allegation against the teacher, or to the allegation itself in any form. The Bill must not hinder either the proceedings themselves or prevent contemporaneous, fair and accurate media reports of those proceedings and access to documents as required by the principle of open justice and the operation of the current law. It should not become necessary for the media to be forced to make urgent applications to a criminal court, to dispense with the reporting restrictions on matters which might identify the teacher as the subject of such an allegation, in order to report the proceedings of any courts and tribunals.
29. This is very important as if the narrow interpretation were adopted in practice, the Bill’s provisions could automatically restrict the reporting of a range of court and tribunal proceedings, in circumstances where those presiding over those other courts would not have imposed discretionary reporting restrictions upon identification of the teacher as the subject of the allegation in reports of their proceedings.
30. For example, the reports of legal proceedings affected by the restrictions on publication of identifying matter could include coverage of civil claims for damages against a teacher, school or education authority, where the statement of claim or the evidence given in court includes any pupil’s allegations that the teacher has committed an offence against a pupil; a teacher’s libel action in respect of such allegations or where evidence is given of such allegations by a pupil in defence; employment tribunal proceedings and appeals from them involving identifying evidence of such allegations against a teacher as party, witness or other capacity; an inquest where evidence of such allegations identifying the teacher concerned is given because it is relevant to circumstances of the death; prosecution of the education authority for health and safety offences, where such evidence might also be given about an identifiable teacher’s conduct, investigation and prosecution of charges of gross manslaughter by negligence against the education authority or others, where the death of a pupil has occurred whilst in the care of an identifiable teacher and relevant allegations may have been made by pupils in the course of police questioning or complaint made by parents which trigger clause 13 restrictions on any reports .
31. The new reporting restrictions could also apply to reports of the proceedings of official public inquiries, and all publicly available documents, evidence, findings and other reports relating to them, unless these are considered to ‘proceedings in a court in respect of the offence and documents prepared for particular legal proceedings’.
32. All such restrictions would be contrary to the principle of open justice.
Examples of Operation of Restrictions in Practice
33. However, the exclusion of all legal proceedings from the ambit of the reporting restrictions would still not address the problems caused by the indefinite, permanent and automatic restraints upon publication which the Bill could entail in practice, or avoid all risk of prosecution of media investigation and reporting, in the absence of a court order to dispense with all the restrictions. Some further illustrations of the possible consequences of the restrictions and unnecessary restraints upon freedom of expression are set out below.
i. If the teacher is not charged and brought before a court, but the teacher is alleged to have behaved in a way that constitutes an offence against a pupil - such as assault - and the teacher had been found guilty of serious misconduct, because that allegation by a pupil was investigated and considered to be true, an education authority, headteacher, board of governors, parent or child victim or witness would still be committing an offence if any of them communicated anything in any form which could lead a section of the public - such as the parents and other staff at the school - to identify the teacher, explain the issues examined at the disciplinary proceedings and report its outcome.
ii. Representatives of the education authority or school would also face prosecution if they published any statement to the public or to parents that they had ceased to use that teacher’s services, or had dismissed that teacher, or that teacher had resigned because the teacher had admitted such behaviour, or had been found guilty of serious misconduct as a result of such an allegation and a finding that it was true.
iii. The Secretary of State might even be at risk of prosecution in certain circumstances, perhaps due to ‘jigsaw identification’. Under Clause 8 of the Bill, the Secretary of State is given the power to investigate disciplinary cases that a teacher may be guilty of unacceptable professional conduct or conduct that may bring the teaching profession into dispute, other than the additional ground of conviction of a relevant offence, and on finding that there is a case to answer, must decide whether to make a prohibition order. Presumably, it is possible that unacceptable or disreputable conduct could consist of behaviour amounting to an offence against a pupil, as alleged by any pupil or on their behalf even if no proceedings in court are ever taken. The incident may have received widespread or local prior publicity, and the fact of that publicity well known, without naming those involved, so that members of the public or a section of it would know that a teacher had been accused of an offence against a pupil by a pupil and was facing disciplinary proceedings. The Secretary of State must keep a list of the names of the people in respect of whom a prohibition order is made and may include such other information as he thinks appropriate on that list and ‘the list must be available for inspection by members of the public’. Yet as the list is a communication addressed to the public or a section of it, the Secretary of State’s inclusion of the name or other information would appear to complete the jigsaw and identify the teacher as the subject of the allegation to those aware of the other information, and constitute the offence which is to be introduced by clause 13.
iv The reporting restrictions could not only severely curtail local media reports of incidents of deep personal concern to those involved, the school, education authority and members of the local community, but also prevent publication in the public interest of information about the making of such allegations, true or false, which raised issues of wider public concern for consideration and action.
v. The reporting restrictions would prevent the dissemination of full and accurate information about serious incidents, including serious assaults by a teacher upon a pupil, where neither the fact of the assault nor the identity of those involved were in dispute (e.g. the educational establishment’s/ headteacher’s/governors’ public statement or a local education authority’s press release intended to give information or reassurance to the relevant parents and pupils).
vi. The Bill could outlaw a future report similar to this http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jul/09/mansfield-teacher-pupil-assault if no decision to prosecute were taken, since the matter reported must have originated from or at some stage involved a pupil’s allegation about a teacher’s assault on another pupil. Nor presumably could any comprehensive report identifying the teacher be published in respect of disciplinary proceedings which detailed any allegation by a pupil about the assault of a pupil by the teacher concerned (The teacher was alleged to have beaten a 14 year old pupil about the head with dumbbells and was charged with criminal offences. He admitted causing grevious bodily harm without intent, for which he received a community sentence, but was found not guilty of attempted murder and causing grevious bodily harm with intent after a four day trial after the court had heard of all the circumstances of the case and glowing praise from former pupils.) The judge had questioned whether the prosecution should have been brought and felt that ‘common sense had prevailed". The case drew attention to important general questions such as whether teachers under stress received enough help and support in dealing with disruptive pupils.
vii It would be impossible for any local newspaper to publish lawfully anything about such a case in the absence of court proceedings or application to a court, given the local knowledge of its readership. In the absence of a name, any report would either still be likely to lead to the identification of the teacher concerned as the subject of the allegation and thereby constitute an offence, or might wrongly implicate other teachers at the school giving rise to libel actions and intensifying inaccurate speculation and rumour. The police, education authority, school governors or head teacher would similarly find it difficult to provide information to the press or school community without committing an offence, even though the current libel and contempt laws would permit the issue and report of such a statement.
viii. Yet should the law require that such a serious incident go unreported, in the absence of legal proceedings because of the proposed anonymity requirements? Would not restrictions on identification of the teacher and consequent lack of accurate published information simply lead to greater rumour and speculation to the detriment of the school, pupils and school staff? Might not the introduction of automatic anonymity and publication offences also discourage justified complaints being made by pupils of abuse amounting to criminal offences by teachers, or such complaints being taken up by parents or other members of staff on behalf of the pupils concerned? They would also assist the non-disclosure, redaction and even concealment of the investigation and findings of schools, education authorities, police and prosecution authorities, which might seek to shelter behind the anonymity protection given to the teacher, in the absence of any prosecution?
ix. Undercover investigation and filming or recording, perhaps in response to information from parents and children that their complaints were disbelieved or not investigated, could provide strong evidence of threatening behaviour by identifiable teachers towards pupils, including actual physical assault apparently amounting to the offence of assault, which would be in the public interest to publish and any application for an injunction prior to publication would be unsuccessful.
x. Yet the new and indefinite reporting restrictions would be automatically activated if the documentary makers put the allegations to the school authorities and the school authorities then question the children involved, as victims or witnesses make new allegations or corroborate the allegations and evidence provided by the undercover investigation and reports. Similarly, independent complaint to school authorities consisting of such allegations by the children or by their parents would activate the reporting restrictions prior to the media’s publication or broadcast. Unless there are court proceedings in respect of the offence alleged against the teachers, or a successful application is made to lift the reporting restrictions, which is likely to be strongly opposed by teachers, schools and education authorities nothing can be published by the media that might identify the teachers concerned, even if no claim or application for injunction succeed for libel, contempt, confidence, privacy, data protection and other related claims. Indeed, the teachers, schools and local education authorities might instead try to deter media publication by making complaints about breach of the reporting restrictions and potential offences.
xi. As set out above, it is not clear whether Clause 13 will allow the media to report fully, fairly and accurately any other criminal proceedings, civil actions, public inquiries, inquests, tribunal proceedings, other legal actions and their outcome (including reports), official inquiries, or disciplinary proceedings, or reports and other documentation relating to them, which might publicly refer to or contain material which identified the teacher as the alleged perpetrator of an alleged offence against a pupil contrary to clause 13, although no charges were brought or criminal proceedings pursued in respect of the original allegations and the offence alleged. For example, it would be an unjustified restraint on freedom of expression and open justice if the new reporting bans and anonymity requirements under Clause 13 could override the usual operation of open justice and prevent full, fair and accurate reports of civil actions brought by alleged victims of alleged child abuse (who may waive their anonymity) against institutions or staff (where the proposed restrictions could prevent the identification of both) or public authorities; or reports of employment tribunal proceedings instigated by teachers against employers, where details of allegations made against the teacher are recounted in the course of the proceedings; or where the employment or other action might be brought by a whistle blower and evidence of allegations made by pupils against identifiable teachers be adduced; or reports of libel actions brought by teachers relating to allegations which might have originated from pupils; reports of inquests, where such allegations might form part of the evidence. All courts and public inquiries in such cases already have discretionary powers to impose reporting restrictions where justified.
xii However, even if the restrictions on reports of court proceedings and documents prepared for them are clarified and removed, the Clause would still make it impossible to reporting fully fairly and accurately formal suspensions, investigations, inquiries by the appropriate regulatory authorities.
For example, teachers disciplinary procedures are not court proceedings and therefore the reporting restrictions would apply to any report of such proceedings and their outcome.
xiii. Local councilors or Members of Parliament whose assistance, action or comment might well be sought by the local teacher, the local school , the parents, pupils, the education authority or local media would have to be very wary of any public communication. It would obviously be impossible for the media to fully, fairly and accurately report any matters prescribed by Clause 13 if such matters were raised, at risk of prosecution, in discussions with local politicians or officials at meetings open to the public. However the proposed reporting restrictions could also have a chilling effect upon discussions of matters of legitimate concern and public interest in appropriate local forums open to the public or proceedings viewable by webcams at which statements might be considered to be addressed to sections of the public or - for example any local public forums such as local authority meetings, public meetings under the new local open policing initiatives, schools and education public meetings or formal proceedings other than proceedings in a court in respect of the offence alleged.
xiv New restraints could be imposed upon the recording, retaining, disseminating, sharing and exchanging of information between appropriate authorities which are necessary for performance of their proper functions, where currently made publicly available, if this also constituted any communication of the prohibited information which might be addressed to the public at large or any section of the public.
xv. The new restrictions could affect open policing initiatives at local level, including meetings and general information made publicly available such as crime maps of reports of alleged offences, as well as police investigations. Delays would occur if the police had to obtain court orders to dispense with the publication restrictions in whole or part to release information in furtherance of their investigations, including public appeals for information or circulation of letters to schools and parents of pupils, informing them of the existence of an ongoing investigation relating to school age victims. The reporting restrictions could affect police descriptions of an alleged incident in appeals to the public for information to assist their investigations, (which might also encourage others to come forward as witnesses or victims). In turn, the media would have to make applications for orders to dispense with restrictions on publication intended to assist police investigations.
xvi. This could affect the speedy publication of a wide range of material: appeals for information including possible identification from artists’ impressions, photographs, CCTV footage, police reconstructions of the incident.
xvii. It could also prevent or delay issue of information about the progress of investigations, issue of information necessary for safety of the public or a section of it; press briefings, which help to prevent the publication of any information and speculation (accurate or inaccurate) which might otherwise hinder investigation or even create a risk of contempt though prejudice of active proceedings (if the reporting restrictions only cease on charge, this is relevant because proceedings become active prior to anyone being charged for the purposes of both statutory and commonlaw contempt on arrest or issue of a warrant for arrest, or if an arrest is imminent).
xviii. In the absence of a waiver by the teacher or court order, any findings, decisions and action taken against pupils who had made false allegations against teachers could not be made public in any way which might lead to identification of the teacher concerned.
xix. The reporting restrictions could hinder public and professional scrutiny of the conduct of teachers, or pupils, or issues relating to the support of staff or pupils, or maintenance of discipline in schools, the conduct and operation of the police, CPS, courts, schools, educational authorities, social services and other supervisory, regulatory and enforcement authorities in relation to allegations of this nature.
34. In view of the problems likely to be caused by Clause 13, we hope that the Bill will be amended and Clause 13 removed, so that no such new reporting restrictions and criminal offences are introduced.
|©Parliamentary copyright||Prepared 9th March 2011|