The government has vowed to introduce reporting restrictions that prevent the identities of teachers, and potentially members of the wider children's workforce, from being revealed in relation to allegations against them before they have been charged.

Within the Department of Education's white paper on schools, published yesterday, the government said it wanted to better protect teachers from false allegations. Plans for the reporting restrictions follow promises made by the coalition government on education earlier this year.

"False allegations can damage teachers' career prospects even once disproved," the white paper says.

"…We will legislate to introduce reporting restrictions that prevent a teacher's identity being revealed until the point at which they are charged with a criminal offence."

The paper also suggests that the government is considering whether such measures should also be applied to those in the wider children's workforce.

The Newspaper Society says it raised industry concerns with the government after the proposals were signalled in the coalition programme for government and parliamentary debates, as well as in the Department of Education business plan.

"We have therefore already obtained ministerial assurances that it will consult with the Newspaper Society on these proposals," the society told

"This is vital because these are potentially very wide ranging reporting restrictions, which would apparently curtail even the report of the arrest of a teacher and anyone in the 'wider children's workforce'. Yet protection is already given by the laws of libel and contempt , as well as the Code of Practice upheld by the PCC.  

"Moreover, restrictions upon media reporting of accurate information from official authoritative sources might well allow local rumour and speculation to go unchecked."

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