Guilty Until Proved Innocent

Imagine this….

One of the children in the home where you work is suffering from complex trauma and is functioning well below his chronological age. He does not respond well to the authoritarian behaviour management style of the manager and you are worried he is being bullied.

When his birthday treat is cancelled as a punishment for misbehaviour you are forced to witness his distress during a phone call made to you whilst you are off duty and your efforts to lessen the harsh impact of this result in you being suspended.

At the disciplinary hearing it is acknowledged that you did not receive the disciplinary pack and you discover that supervision notes used as evidence against you have been falsified. You receive a written warning which you consider to be unfair and exercise your right to appeal.

At the appeal hearing you receive an apology from the company for its failure to provide the disciplinary pack, your complaint about falsified supervision notes is upheld but your appeal is dismissed. You accept a transfer to another home and remain in this employment without question until you take a position with another company. But the home you go to is chaotic and you leave soon after. Later you learn that this home was closed by Ofsted and the company went into liquidation.

Years later you submit an application to Ofsted to become a registered manager, you attend a fit person interview where you are asked questions about your employment history and disciplinary matters which you answer to the best of your knowledge. Days later you receive a notice of proposal to refuse your application for reasons related to disciplinary proceedings against you. The notice advises that you have 28 days to appeal.

You make subject access requests for information related to your employment history, but do not receive a reply in the timescales given. Your appeal is submitted but not upheld, you are disqualified from working in any capacity in the children’s workforce and your request for a waiver is refused.

You have the right to submit an appeal application to the tribunal, but you are unemployed and legal representation will cost you ten thousand pounds. By this time, you have received details of your disciplinary from the company and the information reported to LADO.

You discover the nature of the concerns raised were listed as sexual and that you were accused of grooming this child. You see, for the first time the false and malicious evidence on which these allegations have been made. You are devastated by what you read, this matter was referred to the police and social services, your reputation and your liberty and your family were put at risk and you were not even aware of it.

The decision to take no further action does not exonerate you, no action is taken against your accuser and you are denied your right of reply.


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