§ Lord Hanningfield
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they agree with the reported comments of the Scottish Children's Commissioner that teachers accused of offences such as assault should be given anonymity until after trial; and what plans they have to bring such a change into effect in England and Wales. [HL921]
§ Lord Filkin
We do not believe that teachers accused of offences such as assault should be given anonymity until after trial. We consider that it is vital to uphold the principles of open justice which are necessary for the maintenance of public confidence in the criminal justice system and that informed and strengthened guidance to the police and media is preferable to legislation. Revised guidance issued by the Press Complaints Commission provides safeguards against the publication of inaccurate or misleading information. In addition, the Association of Chief Police Officers' advice to police forces makes it clear that anyone under investigation, but not charged, should not be named, and their details should not be provided to the press.