Thursday 10 March 2011

NS objects to Bill restricting teachers being named

The Newspaper Society, representing local newspaper publishers, has objected to proposed reporting restrictions on the identification of teachers in the Education Bill, which is currently being considered by Committee in the House of Commons.

The NS says that under the Bill, it will become an offence to publish anything which could lead to the identification of a teacher alleged to have committed a criminal offence against a pupil, if the allegation is made by that pupil or any other at the school.

Anonymity would be indefinite, lasting beyond the teacher’s death, if no legal proceedings commence in court in respect of the offence.

If no legal proceedings are commenced, unless the teacher consented to identification or a court order could be obtained to dispense with the restrictions the teacher could not be identified as subject of the allegation even if arrested, or prohibited from working as a teacher or dismissed as a result of disciplinary action relating to the incident.

The NS says its submission outlines the effect these restrictions would have upon the regional and local press.

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