The NASUWT arranges prompt and effective representation provided by specialist criminal solicitors at Thompsons Solicitors for teachers facing criminal allegations arising from their teaching employment whilst they were in membership of the Union. (For more details regarding eligibility for legal assistance, see right/below.)
Student members who have an allegation made against them whilst on a school placement are also entitled to legal representation.
If a criminal allegation is made against you which is related to your teaching employment, e.g. physical or sexual assault, or theft, and you have been called for interview by the police, you should follow the advice below:
Say to the police officer: "I am anxious to co-operate in getting this matter cleared up. I have been advised by my Union not to agree to answer questions or make a statement until my solicitor is present."
You should be given the opportunity to make a telephone call. Members in England should call the Member Support Advice Team on 03330 145550, with details of the police officer's name, rank, police station and telephone number.
Members in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should contact their respective National Centre. Contact details can be found in the NASUWT diary or from the Contact Us web link. Legal representation will then be arranged.
If the police officer will not allow you to contact the NASUWT, and arrests you, ask for the services of the duty solicitor and contact the Member Support Advice Team or appropriate National Centre as soon as possible.
Please ensure you obtain the contact details of the duty solicitor to pass on to the NASUWT.
If the police contact you outside office hours, you should contact the out-of-hours help line on 0800 587 7530 - weekdays Monday to Thursday 5.30pm - 8.30am, weekends Friday 5.30pm - Monday 8.30am.
The NASUWT Specialist Counselling Service from Worklife Support is made available to members who are facing accusations of child abuse in the workplace and have been asked to attend a police interview, to provide emotional support during this difficult time.
You can access this service by contacting your NASUWT Regional or National Centre.