Hello all, Recently I was suspended due to a ?Child Protection Issue? ? which sucked (I?m watching my language)! The ?case? is still ongoing but I wanted to share my experiences with you all as I have struggled to cope with the situation and hopefully it will help some of you. 1. Being told of the suspension. This was one of the worst experiences of my life! I received a phone call to visit the education authority. As I was applying for jobs, I got quite excited ? but no, I was informed of the suspension. Be prepared to be told nothing, indeed I was given mis-information regarding support etc. By the language chosen by the Education Authority manager suspending me, he had assumed my guilt at this stage. If you can note down exactly what was said, the more information you have will help you in the long run. 2. Police interview. This was a strange, but positive experience. It was the first time I have ever been in a police station and was so nervous prior to the experience, but it did allow me to talk openly and receive some details about the ?disclosure?. The PC interviewing me made it pretty clear that it was a non-event, and did indicate (unofficially) that she wondered how it got that far. What I would say is be prepared for the formality of the event. They will ask direct, and sometimes personal questions. Be honest ? it is easy to spot lies in situations such as these (as per my solicitor), 3. Notification of the police interview. I was told, via my solicitor (union appointed and excellent), that they wouldn?t be taking it any further as we left the police station. However it was 1 week by the time I was told that officially this was the case ? the interview needs to be transcribed, details confirmed with others involved and run past the DC. 4. Handing over to the Local Authority. This is where I am at now, and this is where the speed of the process has slowed to a halt. The proceedings were officially passed over to the local authority 2 weeks ago, and nothing has happened yet. I was told by my union in advance that this is where things are let down ? so be prepared. Some tips I have for you: ? Seek support from friends and family as soon as you can. My emotional state was awful, but I am better now. For the first couple of weeks I spiralled into a deep depression. I was fearful of going out, and didn?t want to talk to anyone. I stopped eating and sleeping, despite feeling permanently tired. Family and friends support got me through this. I?m still not great, but I am better. ? Don?t second guess the allegation before you know. I still don?t know the full allegation, but it is none of the incidents I managed to contrive in my head prior to the interview. In my view it is a non-event, and completely contrived by the child/parent but the Local Authority obviously see it differently. ? You will feel guilty even though you don?t know what you have done ? this is normal, and doesn?t mean that you are. ? Make notes of everything that happens. It is not only good for your mental state, but may also help you as your case progresses. ? As I was on the supply list, I am effectively suspended without pay (although officially I am suspended on pay). If you are a supply teacher, prepare for this in advance and ensure you have money to survive. ? Days will drag, and you will get a bout of nerves when the phone rings/ someone knocks at the door. ? Daytime TV is awful. Do something productive to pass the time (there will be a lot of it). Paint a room, do the garden, do a complete house clean ? anything but TV watching! ? Ensure you contact your Union at the earliest opportunity. Mines has been fantastic, although I have read that some union?s have not been. ? Be prepared to lose contact with all those you worked with. Senior staff at the school were instructed not to talk to me. ? Be prepared to be offered the chance to resign.... but don?t! As soon as you do this, you are struck off the register (they won?t tell you that ? just that the investigation will ?go away?) ? It is hell ? pure and simple. Don?t expect any better. One thing that has hit me more than anything is how I feel about the child that made the allegation ? I don?t hate him! I think that I have empathy for him due to his home situation. Like I say, my case is ongoing and I am prepared for it to take quite a bit longer but my ultimate aim is to get this cleared up as soon as possible. If (hopefully when) this is concluded I will contact my local MP and Education secretary as there are so many failings in the system that need to be put right. Through my own experience I can understand why (I am not saying that I would) people commit suicide whilst going through the process. I am certain that there will be many more innocent teachers that will take their lives. If you have been through a similar situation, please feel free to post your views.