Anonymous allegations against members of staff

Insight – Primary School

What was the issue addressed?
Anonymous letter allegedly from a member of staff making allegations against the headteacher and other members of staff, and questioning the running of the school.

What happened?
A governor, with relevant experience elected to investigate. I am not aware of any support or help received from other agencies.

A meeting of all staff was called where the governor spoke to them and explained the situation. An invitation was offered to any staff member who felt they had any information to speak confidentially to the governor.

No member of staff came forward. No more letters were received.

What lessons were learnt?
Having a governor with relevant experience in dealing with issues of this kind was important.

There are set procedures to follow when an allegation against a member of staff is received. This will depend on the nature of the issue, for example, was this a conduct, or safeguarding issue in this situation? It is sometimes difficult to investigate an anonymous allegation so approaching the staff was a good idea.

The governor who was tasked with carrying out the investigation should have received some support during the process, from the Local Authority, and Governors Cymru Services if the governing body were subscribers to the service.

Welsh Government guidance on disciplinary and dismissal procedures for school staff details the process, but ultimately, the school’s own policy and procedure must be followed.

This governing body was lucky to have someone who had experience in this area. Have you carried out a governor skills audit? If not, there may be governors who have expertise in certain areas that the governing body can utilise. Their specific skills can be used to carry out governing body functions effectively. Governors Cymru Services has a template that can be used.

Please seek advice from the Local Authority or Diocesan Authority as appropriate, right from the beginning or contact Governors Cymru Services on [email protected].

Has your school ever had to deal with allegations against staff members?
What kinds of skills would you look for in a governor to help support a school dealing with internal allegations against members of staff?

Have your say…
Have you had experiences similar to these?
What do you think about the situation described?

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