Over 30 school staff 
sacked in Yorkshire over sex allegations

MORE than 30 school or nursery staff from across Yorkshire have been dismissed after allegations of physical or sexual abuse against children over three years, according to shocking new figures.

There have also been more than 700 allegations of physical or sexual abuse made against teaching and non teaching staff at nurseries, primary and secondary schools in the region.

The figures are contained in a new national report which says there has been a 19 per cent rise in allegations of physical and sexual child abuse in schools and nurseries in England over three academic years from 2008 to 2011.

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The report has been produced by IBB solicitors and is based on council responses to a freedom of information request.

Figures show 17 teaching staff in Kirklees have been dismissed while 111 were suspended. There were 341 allegations made in the district between 2008/09 and 2010/11 against teaching and non teaching staff. In the East Riding there was 63 allegations of physical or sexual abuse of pupils made against teaching and non teaching staff resulting in 25 suspensions and 13 dismissals.

There were also nine dismissals in Doncaster and a further two in Hull. In North Yorkshire more than 40 staff have either been dismissed or suspended following allegations of physical or sexual abuse. There were 95 allegations made in Barnsley and two non teaching staff were suspended.

Malcolm Underhill, from IBB, who represent victims of child abuse, said the study had been conducted to see if children were better protected by measures brought in after the murders of Soham youngsters Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

“The information collated from the majority of local education authorities support my concern that there are still too many people gaining access to children from their own iniquitous behaviour.”

Cynthia Welbourn, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director for the Children and Young People’s Service said: “Our systems for the identification of people about whom children are concerned are robust, and the safeguarding regimes in schools in North Yorkshire are similarly sound.”

She said it would be wrong to think the figures show that criminal records bureau checks were being avoided or that people were not careful enough about recruitment.

“The truth of the matter is that some people who are prepared to harm children do not have a criminal record or a record of misdemeanours of a disciplinary nature at the point at which they gain a job with children,” she added.