A further 7% said that they have faced untrue claims from a student’s parent or family member.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), which conducted the poll, said false allegations are blighting careers and putting added stress on education workers.
The survey found 22% said they had faced a false allegation made by a pupil and 14.3% had faced claims by a pupil’s parent or other family member.
More than a third of those polled (37.7%) said someone in their current school or college had had an untrue allegation made against them by a student, with a further 22.6% saying a colleague had faced claims from a student’s relative.
Of those that said they had faced an allegation at some point, 69.5% said the alleged incident was supposed to have taken place when they were working with a class or group of children, and nearly one in four (24.2%) said it was supposed to have taken place on school or college premises outside of class.
In a separate question, 7.5% of the 187 people who responded said that the police had been notified of a claim against them.
David Guiterman, ATL’s branch secretary in Cornwall, said: “Even if the allegation is shown to be false it leaves a lasting scar.”
The survey questioned 685 members working in schools and colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between February 19 and March 10.