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School Staff Sacked Over "Inappropriate Relationships" With Pupils

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7:01am 17th December 2013

Pirate FM's learnt there have been more than fifty complaints about inappropriate relationships between school staff and children in Cornwall over the last three years.

Twenty-six staff have been investigated since 2010, with four dismissed, two resigning and one being convicted.

Seven faced disciplinary proceeedings, while four were the subject of a criminal investigation.

The figures cover the period 2010-2012 and deal with cases referred to and dealt with by Cornwall Council's Safeguarding Children Standards Unit.

Samantha Robson, a child protection lawyer working for firm Slee Blackwell, said cases were still slipping through the net.

"It's very rare people get away with it completely unnoticed," she said. "But unless those complaints are taken seriously or get heard by the right voice, then they're not acted upon. And that's the problem as I see it."

Francesca West, of Public Concern at Work which runs a whistle blowing helpline said the number of calls they have had from the education sector has jumped almost two thirds in a single year.

"I am very worried that education is the next tragedy waiting to happen, and as with all whistle blowing, the real tragedy is no-one listens until it is too late.

"We are concerned that this is a bit of a ticking time bomb."

7:01am 17th December 2013

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