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Teachers: what to do if you are referred to your professional regulator – National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

As a teacher, you are under constant pressure to ensure that the children in your care meet expectations, exhibit appropriate behaviour and remain physically and emotionally safe. That is a great deal of responsibility for one person to carry, though of course you should have the support of your Head Teacher and Governing body.

As well as the everyday professional demands of your role, you may often be alone with individual children, or have to deal with exceptionally difficult behaviour, or be placed in a situation where you do not feel comfortable. In those circumstances, you are vulnerable to allegations being made against you, or indeed to making a bad or inappropriate decision. Minor incidents and issues relating to competence may be dealt with internally (within the school) as professional discipline matters.

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Social Work Manager achieves speedy No Case to Answer decision

John Williams recently acted for a social work manager whose professional world was turned upside down in December 2016 when she received notification from the HCPC of a complaint dating back 3 years. The notification included a bundle of paperwork of over 400 pages. Despite having only 28 days over Christmas we were able to put together an impressive defence bundle with glowing character references, statements from our client and other professional witnesses challenging the allegations and the evidence on which they were based and put forward strong grounds in support of a finding of no case to answer.We and our client were delighted when we heard from the HCPC Investigating Committee that we were successful. Our client had planned a holiday of a lifetime before receiving the HCPC notification. In view of the speedy decision she was still able to go on this holiday and avoided the huge stress, delay and cost of a full HCPC hearing before a Conduct and Competence Committee and any stain on her highly respected professional reputation. Our client commented
"I was totally traumatised by the allegations made against me and after safeguarding children for over 20 years I genuinely thought this may be the end of my social work career.  I did some research, wanting to find someone who was experienced to see through the allegations and support my innocence and eventually found John Williams and was very impressed by reviews regarding his supportive approach. John has. throughout this crippling experience, supported me fully. having the knowledge, experience, compassion, empathy and I genuinely would not be writing this review now if John had not taken on my case.  Fortunately my life is now back on track allowing me to do what I do best which is safeguarding children - Thank you so very much John."

Excessive Treatment prosecutions against chiropractors. Shouldn’t the GCC be more consistent?

On Tuesday 14th December 2016 the Professional Conduct Committee of the GCC brought a case which had lasted for 18 months to a timely end. They found all of the allegations against our client not proved.   One of those allegations was of proposing a treatment plan which was excessive. The GCC’s expert referred to the NICE guidance published in 2009 for the treatment of low back pain and opined to the PCC in support of the charge that the first two phases of treatment (symptomatic relief and rehabilitation) would require no more than 10 treatments before the start of maintenance treatment. However, he accepted that the maintenance stage could incorporate treatment for life.

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Krystal Whyment successfully defends a primary school teacher following investigation by NCTL

Krystal was instructed to act on behalf of a primary school teacher who had been referred to the National College for Teaching & Learning (NCTL) after accepting a police caution for child neglect/abandonment in September 2015. In short, the facts of the matter were that the client had left his 4 year old son home alone whilst he went to the nearby shop to buy some milk. Whilst on his way home, he  was involved in a minor altercation which resulted in police attending the scene and him having to notify them that his son was alone at his house.

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HCPC Investigating Committee find no case to answer against social worker

A social worker whose case had been put back for further consideration by the HCPC Investigating Committee sought advice from John Williams on the further response to be made. After giving advice free of charge and the social worker submitting further representations the Investigating Committee found no case to answer, thus avoiding an extremely stressful and potentially career ending full hearing before the Conduct and Competence Committee. The social worker commented “I was very grateful for the time John gave me, it really did help me with my second submission. He really was an informed voice of reason and helped me put things in context which was really valuable to me at a time when I felt I was drowning and I do thank him for this I will remember John and recommend him to people should the opportunity arise."