Mike Buchanan, Chair of HMC which represents some of the schools involved, said:
"The first duty of all adults working with children is to keep them safe. Any abuse is deplorable and abusers should face the full force of the justice system.
“School cultures have changed in recent years in light of what society has learnt about child protection. It is now seen as everyone’s responsibility and top priority, staff codes of conduct are a requirement and there is more rigorous scrutiny.
“Procedures for investigating allegations are independently set and inspected. Heads must report them immediately and from that point their hands are tied. They want to give unequivocal support to any alleged victims and be entirely open with parents and other schools, but they are understandably restricted by the law and local authority guidance which often determines who can be informed about any allegation.
“They also have to balance their duty to care for the accused staff member. Whilst schools normally highlight any ongoing concerns in a reference, they have to respect that anyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Schools are constantly looking to learn and share best practice across and the HMC Spring Conference will focus on this.”