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  • Writer's pictureWendy Kravetz

Investigations in Education 2024

Updated: Jan 22

Blog Post: Tips for Effective School Investigations

🕵️‍♂️ Investigations in Schools: Navigating Challenges

In schools, senior staff often find themselves delving into investigations, whether it's due to staff or pupil misconduct. Ensuring a meticulous and error-free investigation process is crucial to avoid complications in subsequent stages. Here are some key tips to get it right from the start.

1. Clear Initial Assessment

- Assess information thoroughly: What happened and who's involved?

- Determine if it's potentially criminal or a safeguarding case.

- Identify breaches of policy or misconduct.

2. Appoint a Skilled Investigator

- Choose an internal or external investigator based on complexity and expertise.

- Consider the unique needs when children are involved; opt for a trained interviewer.

3. Develop a Comprehensive Plan

- Define investigation parameters, resources, methodology, timeframe, and potential risks.

- Regularly review and update the plan, especially in complex investigations.

4. Thorough Record-keeping

- Record actions, thought processes, and reasons for decisions.

- Maintain a comprehensive paper trail to evaluate the decision-making process.

5. Utilise Resources

- Leverage available resources from organizations like ACAS for drafting investigation reports.

Confidentiality and Anonymity

- Clearly communicate expectations around confidentiality and consequences of breach.

- Be transparent about the decision on confidentiality and anonymity in investigator terms of reference.

- Offer support and counselling to those involved in sensitive cases.

Key Reminders

- Investigations are not disciplinary hearings.

- HR provides support but should not be decision-makers.

- The accused has the right to know the case against them.

- Keep meticulous records and communicate regularl with those involved.

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