Safeguarding News August 2019

Dear Colleague

Welcome to the latest SAFE newsletter, marking the end of the summer months and heralding commencement of the new school year. If you are involved in the education sector there is a useful briefing document providing an overview of changes implemented in 'Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2019', in addition to a link to the full guidance. There's also our roundup of recent cross-sector safeguarding headlines and newsworthy items covering August 2019.

NEWS: The DBS laid secondary legislation before Parliament to reduce their fees with effect from 1 October 2019. Standard DBS check fees will be reduced by £2 each and Enhanced DBS check fees will be reduced by £4 each.

Public Training Course Schedule

Child and Adult Safeguarding Training 25th September 2019
Managing Adult and Child Safeguarding in Your Organisation 8th October 2019
Child and Adult Safeguarding 29th October 2019
Safeguarding: Trustees' Legal Responsibilities 7th November 2019
Managing Adult and Child Safeguarding in Your Organisation14th November 2019
Leading on Safeguarding (Child and Adult) 28th November

Statutory Guidance


Keeping children safe in education statutory guidance for schools and colleges September 2019

Published as draft before the end of the school year this document has now replaced Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2018.

Refer to the  SAFEcic briefing document for an overview of the changes.

Legislation and Bills


Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill

Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services explains:

"If the Bill is enacted, the defence of reasonable punishment will no longer be available within Wales to parents, or those acting in loco parentis, as a defence to a charge of common assault or battery. It will be removed under both criminal and civil law. While corporal punishment has long been banned in schools, children's homes, local authority foster care and childcare provision, adults acting in loco parentis in non-educational settings, including the home, are able to use the defence of reasonable punishment. So, this Bill removes this loophole."

Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research, Consultations and Inquiries

Inquiry Reports, Reviews and Inspection Frameworks

1. The Independent Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry (IICSA ) has published its report on the response to allegations of sexual abuse of children in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils

The report found some 350 individuals reported being sexually abused whilst in the care of the Councils from the 1960s onwards. The true number is likely to be considerably higher.

It concludes that the sexual abuse of children was widespread in both residential and foster care during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. This included repeated rapes, sexual assaults and physical abuse. 

During 15 days of public hearings in 2018, the Inquiry heard from those who had been sexually abused as children whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils.

The case study into Beechwood Children's Home found that staff were threatening and violent, physical abuse was commonplace and children were frightened. Sexualised behaviour by staff was tolerated or overlooked, allowing abusers to thrive. Despite the high numbers of allegations of child sexual abuse, only two disciplinary actions were taken and these were inadequate.

From the late 1970s to 2019, 16 residential staff were convicted of sexual abuse of children in residential care, 10 foster carers were convicted of sexual abuse of their foster children and we are aware of 12 further convictions relating to the harmful sexual behaviour of children against other children in care.

2. The NSPCC Library hosts the National collection of case reviews. They have added six case reviews to the Collection this month featuring a number of issues including non-verbal communication, home environment, substance misuse and child sexual exploitation.

3. The Review on non-recent child sexual abuse at Chelsea Football Club August 2019 by Charles Geekie QC included a specific examination of the allegations of child sexual abuse by Eddie Heath, who was employed by the Club in the 1970s and died in the early 1980s. It is evident from the review that Heath was a dangerous and prolific child abuser. His conduct was beyond reprehensible.

The report details how abuse was able to occur unchallenged, and the life-changing impact it had on those affected.

The review team was also tasked with investigating the way we handled a civil claim for compensation made in 2014. This case was managed by specialist external lawyers on both sides and concluded with a settlement agreement which included a confidentiality clause. This matter was the subject of a board statement in December 2016. In his report, Charles Geekie QC concludes that, whilst the settlement agreement should not have included a confidentiality clause, it was included due to the lack of relevant specific advice being given to the Club and not to silence the claimant.

Charles Geekie QC's review has found that the nature of the relationship between a coach or scout and player carries with it power that is capable of being abused - and this risk remains as relevant to the game today as it was historically. With that in mind, regular updates have been provided to The FA's Sheldon Review, so that the lessons we have learned can be shared across football.

4. Ofsted introduces its new Education Inspection Framework (EIF). Starting in September, inspections will focus on the real substance of education, the curriculum.

The new framework sets out how they will inspect:

  • state schools

  • further education and skills providers

  • non-association independent schools

  • registered early years settings

Worthy of note

Worthy of note

1. A father who believes his child, was sexually assaulted by nursery worker Vanessa George, has said he is "tormented" by her unwillingness to admit which infants she abused.

George pleaded guilty in 2009 to seven sexual assaults on children and making 124 indecent images of children - but she refused to identify her victims.

She has now been judged eligible for parole under strict conditions.

The child's father, "Simon", said this was "disgusting".

The Parole Board said its decisions were made "with great care, and public safety is the number one priority".

But local MP Luke Pollard questioned how George, who worked at a nursery in Plymouth, could have shown remorse if she was still withholding victims' names.

Simon - whose name has been  changed - told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme the affected families had been "forgotten" in the decision to deem her eligible for parole.

She is due to be released on parole in September 2019

2. The Archbishop of Canterbury is expected to be called to give evidence to an independent review into the sadistic beatings of boys at Church of England holiday camps. Before his ordination, the Most Rev Justin Welby had served as a dormitory officer" at evangelical camps where John Smyth QC carried out beatings of boys and young men.

The church announced an independent review into the assaults carried out by Smyth in the 1970s and 1980s.

The investigation will try to establish which Church staff knew about the abuse, whether they responded appropriately and whether the attacks could have been prevented.

3. Carl Beech, the fantasist who sparked a £2m police inquiry into his false and absurd claims, has lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Beech , 51, was found guilty last month after a ten-week trial of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud and sentenced to 18 years in jail. 

His lurid allegations of a VIP paedophile ring that had murdered and tortured children prompted a Metropolitan Police inquiry that led to raids on the homes of Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the widow of Lord Brittan, and the former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor.

Beech, a former manager in the NHS, was sentenced to 15 years jail for perverting the course of justice and a further 18 months for fraud after he claimed compensation for being an alleged victim of a crime. He was given an additional 18 months after pleading guilty at an earlier court hearing to paedophile charges that included making indecent photographs of children and a charge of voyeurism.

4. A consultant obstetrician who was responsible for guidelines on treating victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been struck off the UK medical register over the possession of extreme pornographic images.

Manish Gupta, who was an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Whipps Cross University Hospital in London, was convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court last October of possessing pornographic images and video that show acts that were "likely to result in serious injury to anus/breasts/genitals."

And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding

1. A "depraved" cathedral musician who used his position to commit child sex offences has been jailed. Scott Farrell, 48, who worked at Rochester and Ely Cathedrals, showed boys aged between 13 and 15 pornography before carrying out sexual acts.

He admitted gross indecency against three boys, and using hidden cameras in a bathroom and bedrooms to record another child and two women.

Farrell was jailed for five years at Cambridge Crown Court.

Prosecutor Charles Falk told the court Farrell had invited the boys into his flat and got them to watch pornography.

He said the defendant would begin to masturbate and encourage the boys to do the same.

"He groomed the children and gained their trust to commit these offences and made the children think it was normal," he said.

The court also heard he had set up a hidden cameras to take pictures of a boy in his own bathroom, as well as two adult women in his home.

Farrell, of Wouldham, near Rochester, previously admitted three counts of gross indecency with a boy under 16, two counts of voyeurism and one count of taking indecent images of a child.

The counts of gross indecency, which relate to three different victims, all happened in Ely, Cambridgeshire, where Farrell became an assistant organist in 1999.

The remaining three offences were committed during Farrell's time at Rochester, where he was director of music.

He was also handed a 15-year sexual harm prevention order and put on the sex offenders register for life

2. A rapist who preyed on women he met on the dating website has been convicted of sexual offences against five further victims.

Jason Lawrance was convicted of rape and sexual assault in March 2016 for sexually abusing women he had targeted through the online dating agency. Following that case at Derby Crown Court, other victims reported that he had raped and abused them. He was charged with a further series of sexual offences and today, 31 July, convicted of five counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of assault by penetration.

3. Fraudsters are targeting people on benefits with offers of "free" or "low cost" government grants and loans. The fraudster requests personal and financial information from the target and uses these details to apply for Universal Credit in the victim's name, usually without informing the victim about it.

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) approves the eligible claim and transfers money to the victim's account.

The fraudster then requests that the victim transfer them a significant portion of the money as a "finder's fee".

The victim receives a letter from DWP about their Universal Credit application and realises that they have been duped. The victim is then left to repay the total amount initially borrowed.

Never share your personal or financial information with someone you don't know and trust, especially if it's in response to an offer of "free money" or a "free grant".

DWP will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal/financial details over social media

4. A Suffolk man who was caught with thousands of "indescribably disgusting" indecent images of children on a range of different devices has been jailed for four years.

William Chapman, of Little Croft Street, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to nine charges in relation to making and possessing indecent images and for breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

Chapman, 33, was released from prison in July last year after serving time for indecent image offences and in September 2018, police made a routine visit to his home, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Wednesday.

Officers seized a tablet and a mobile phone not registered with the authorities which, on later analysis, were found to contain 234 of the most severe still images - Category A - along with 229 Category B images and 526 of the Category C grading.

5. A long-serving teacher at a Derbyshire school has been sentenced for having a sexual relationship with a pupil.

Mark Fidler, who was removed from his post last year, wept in the dock as he was jailed.

He was working at Belper School when he began having intercourse with the teenager, whose identity is protected by law.

6. A paedophile who claimed he worked for a modelling agency before asking a 'teenage girl' for explicit images has been jailed. Stephen Moore, 46, who previously lived on Jubilee Road, in Bungay was jailed after he planned to meet a 14-year-old girl on January 19.

However, the teenage girl was a decoy account set up by the Online Child Abuse Activist Group (OCAG) on January 9.

Over the course of their communication, Moore claimed he worked for a modelling agency before asking for explicit images.

His messages to the decoy account became "increasingly intimate" saying he liked "to make love" and he has done "underwear shoots" before.

He offered her £200 to do a photo shoot with him, saying he was trying to help her. Moore also asked her to "put on nice underwear and send a couple of pics".

Moore planned to meet the girl on January 19, but was confronted outside his house by members of the group who then called the police.

7. Matthew Jowitt aged 18 has been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for raping and assaulting a woman with learning difficulties as she walked to work. At Sheffield Crown Court he was also given a four year extended license.

8. A woman who sexually abused children online for paying customers has been jailed using special legislation that allows for Britons offending abroad to face justice in the UK.

Jodie Little, 30, was sentenced to 12 years and four months at Isleworth Crown Court in London.

Little used the online names 'devil bitch 666' and 'Queen of Tabbo'. 

She admitted sexual activity with a boy under 13; three counts of distributing an indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child; publishing an obscene article (describing child rape), publishing an advert (offering for sale videos of child sexual abuse); conspiracy to sexually assault a boy under 13 by touching; causing a child to engage in sexual activity; and sexually assaulting a girl under 13 by touching.

She committed the offences on a website providing adult escort and webcam services from where she lived in northern Cyprus.

In June last year the National Crime Agency passed intelligence via their International Staff to police in northern Cyprus that Little, originally from Huddersfield, offered to sexually abuse children online for payment.

Out of the nine offences, Little was convicted of eight using Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 - legislation which allows British nationals to be prosecuted in the UK for offences committed overseas.

And Finally

In England the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care (NDG) have published a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement sets out how they will work together in order to safeguard the wellbeing of the public receiving health and social care in England.

The NDG role was put on a statutory footing in April 2019 established under the Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Act 2018 to act as an advocate for patients and service users on how health and care data is used. The NDG promotes the provision of advice and guidance about the processing of health and adult social care data in England. Dame Fiona Caldicott has held the non- statutory position since 2014 and was appointed the first statutory National Data Guardian in April 2019.


The SAFE Team