A head teachers' leader yesterday demanded that pupils who make malicious or unfounded allegations of assault against teachers be expelled.
Dr Rona Tutt, president of the National Association of Head Teachers and a head teacher from Hertfordshire, told her union's annual conference in Cardiff: "It used to be pupils who lived in fear of punishment, now it is the staff.
"As some of you in this room know to your cost, at any moment of the day any one of us may be suspended from our posts, for weeks, months, years at a time.''
She added: "It is simply not good enough that pupils ... can have the power to destroy a teacher's reputation and possibly their livelihood. Those who make unfounded or malicious allegations should be the ones to be removed from the school, not the staff they accuse.''
The union is dealing with 22 allegations of assault against its members - none of which have yet been proved.
Dr Tutt said schools were having to deal with an increasing number of disturbed, disruptive and distressed pupils.
She also attacked the Government for allowing pupils to drop the study of modern languages at 14 while encouraging them to take up the subject at seven.
Today the conference will be urged to support a move to withdraw from an agreement between teachers' leaders and the Government to reduce workload in the schools.
Delegates will argue that schools do not have the funds to finance a new clause in every teacher's contract that would guarantee them 10 per cent of time away from the classroom for marking and preparation.Reuse content