You should seek legal advice on this issue, as you need to be particularly careful about entering into a settlement agreement where there are potential safeguarding concerns.
This may also be a child protection issue. Depending on the circumstances, it may not be lawful to enter a settlement agreement in view of the duties under the Children Act 1989 to protect and safeguard the welfare of children.
The statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education “Keeping Children Safe In Education” states that schools must safeguard and promote the welfare of children and deals specifically with allegations made against teachers and other staff, and sets out the duties of employers and employees in this context. It also addresses issues such as confidentiality and also managing exit arrangements (including resignations and settlement agreements).
Allegations of serious misconduct against a teacher may be referred to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA). All employers of teaching staff in schools, including an employment or supply agency, have a legal duty to consider whether to refer a case to the TRA when they have dismissed a teacher for misconduct, or would have dismissed them had they not resigned first. Additionally all schools must make a referral to the DBS if a member of staff has harmed, or poses a risk of harm to, a child, and has therefore been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity, or would have been removed had they not left. Referrals should be made to both the DBS and the TRA in cases where there is alleged serious teacher misconduct involving harm or risk of harm to a child.
Again, we’d recommend specific advice is taken in relation to any concerns you may have.
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