Safeguarding News September 2019
Welcome to the latest SAFE newsletter with a roundup of newsworthy items from September 2019. This month we are highlighting our increasingly popular safeguarding audit and pre-inspection services which have proven popular with charities, leisure companies and education sector organisations. Newsletter subscribers will receive a 10% discount (excluding expenses) on SAFE's audit services by quoting NEWS1019 when ordering (available during October and November 2019. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer. General Terms and Comditions).
The Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland has developed a very useful app for professionals, parents and carers.
1. Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2019
This statutory guidance should be read and followed by:
governing bodies of maintained schools (including maintained nursery schools) and colleges;
proprietors of independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision academies) and non-maintained special schools. In the case of academies, free schools and alternative provision academies, the proprietor will be the academy trust; and
management committees of pupil referral units (PRUs).
The above persons should ensure that all staff in their school or college read at least Part one of this guidance. The above persons should ensure that mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part one of this guidance.
This guidance replaces Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2018.
The additions made are on page 46 and say:
“164. The DBS will consider whether to bar the person. Detailed guidance on when to refer to the DBS, and what information must be provided, can be found on GOV.UK.
165. Referrals should be made as soon as possible, and ordinarily on conclusion of an investigation, when an individual is removed from regulated activity. This could include when an individual is suspended, redeployed to work that is not regulated activity, dismissed or when they have resigned. When an allegation is made, an investigation should be carried out to gather enough evidence to establish if it has foundation, and employers should ensure they have sufficient information to meet the referral duty criteria explained in the DBS referral guidance, which can be found on GOV.UK “
2. Disclosure and Barring Service: guidance for children's social care providers and managers
This guidance explains how Ofsted’s inspectors will evaluate how well providers and managers administer and use the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and certificates.
The guidance covers these children’s social care services:
adoption support agencies
children’s homes, including secure children’s homes
independent fostering agencies
residential family centres
residential holiday schemes for disabled children
voluntary adoption agencies
local authority adoption and fostering services (as a good practice guide)
Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research and Inquiries
1. The Birmingham Diocesan Trust, which oversees the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham, and provides services accessed weekly by around 60,000 people, has been investigated by the Charity Commission over concerns about its record on safeguarding, which came to light when the charity was selected as a case study by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
The Commission launched its investigation in December 2018, after the trustees were unable to reassure the regulator that they were managing risks to the charity’s beneficiaries promptly or robustly enough. Their report has now been issued.
2. Trustees who ran a charity where terrorism offences took place have been disqualified after a statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission.
The regulator opened a statutory inquiry into Essex Islamic Academy (1131755) after an employee at the charity, Umar Ahmed Haque, was arrested and subsequently charged in connection with the attempted radicalisation of children through exposing them to terrorist material. In March 2018, Mr Haque was convicted of a number of offences* including disseminating terrorist material and the preparation of terrorist acts which related directly to his role at the charity.
Information supplied by the charity in response to these serious criminal allegations was limited, so the Commission took swift action, using its powers to compel the former trustees to provide details about Mr Haque’s role, and the wider management of the charity.
The inquiry found that the former trustees failed to ensure safeguarding procedures were adequate and being adhered to, leading to children as young as 11 being exposed to serious harm, through attempted radicalisation which included the children being shown extremely graphic and violent propaganda videos produced by the proscribed terrorist organisation, Daesh.
The inquiry established that Mr Haque was originally recruited as an administrative assistant but he had been teaching classes unsupervised in the charity’s madrassah, which was attended daily by approximately 80 – 100 children aged 5 – 15 years.
The trustees admitted there was no supervision over Mr Haque’s adherence with the madrassah’s syllabus and the inquiry found no evidence that the trustees had applied for an enhanced DBS check which would have been required for his teaching role.
Ultimately the inquiry established that no due diligence was carried out prior to Mr Haque taking up employment with the charity.
A Serious Case review page been set up on the Care Inspectorate HUB. The page signposts to SCR reports and learning summaries that have been published in the past 18 months. The site also include signposts to national reports and research, and relevant websites.
Worthy of note
The fully digitised system will simplify the process that first responders – including police officers, social workers or immigration officials – follow when referring victims of modern slavery to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).
2. Counter Terrorism Policing is calling on students to remember three words that could save their life.
Those starting or returning to college and university this month are being urged to read Run, Hide, Tell, which explains what to do in the event of a firearms or weapons attack.
The message comes after it was recently revealed that the number of attacks foiled by police and security services, since the Westminster atrocity in March 2017, has increased from 19 to 22.
The UK’s Senior National Coordinator for Protective Security, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D'Orsi, says: “There is no specific intelligence to show that colleges and universities are being targeted, and the chances of being caught up in a terrorist incident are low. But sadly we saw in 2017, and more recently, that attacks can be carried out anywhere.
3. The Home Secretary has announced Nicole Jacobs as the designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner. Ms Jacobs was the former Chief Executive Officer at charity Standing Together Against Domestic Violence and has more than two decades of experience working to reduce domestic abuse.
The role of Domestic Abuse Commissioner will lead on driving improvements on the response to domestic abuse in the UK, championing victims and making recommendations on what more should be done to better protect victims and bring more offenders to justice.
4. A £30 million funding boost will equip law enforcement with pioneering new tech and capabilities to track down more paedophiles operating online and safeguard children who have been abused, the government has announced today.
The additional investment to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) will help target the most dangerous and sophisticated offenders who operate on the dark web.
Statistics from the National Crime Agency (NCA) show that last year 2.88 million accounts were registered globally across the most harmful child sexual abuse dark web sites, with at least 5% believed to be registered in the UK.
5. Victims of rape and sexual assault will be helped by a further £5 million for specialist support services, Justice Minister Wendy Morton MP announced that it is part of ongoing government efforts to ensure victims get the help they need and restore faith in the justice system.
The move will see a 50 per cent increase in the money available – up from £8 million to £12 million per year – for a range of services across the country, including tailored face-to-face support and counselling.
£1 million will be invested into recruiting more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs), who provide advice and support for victims, acting as the link between police, support services and criminal justice agencies. New national minimum standards for ISVAs will also be developed to ensure victims across the country receive consistent, high-quality support.
6. A year ago on the 21 September 2018 the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) – jointly led by the National Crime Agency and the National Police Chiefs’ Council – was created to map out the threat from County Lines and prioritise action against the most significant perpetrators.
In its first 12 months, the NCLCC has developed the national intelligence picture, targeted County Lines networks, and engaged with partners from the health, welfare and education spheres to tackle the wider issues.
During three intensification weeks alone, which were coordinated by the centre, police forces and Regional Organised Crime Units identified and safeguarded over 2,400 vulnerable people – including more than 1,000 children – arrested over 1,800 offenders as well as disrupting hundreds of ‘deal lines’.
These weeks of intensification are just one part of the law enforcement response to tackling County Lines, with police forces and ROCUs regularly undertaking activity to target offenders and safeguard victims.
7. Vanessa George has now been released after being jailed for a minimum of seven years in 2009.
She took photographs of herself abusing children in her care at Little Ted's Nursery and swapped indecent images over the internet. A parole board ruled that she no longer posed a "significant risk" to the public but has imposed a ban on returning to Devon and Cornwall and restrictions on her movements and contacts.. The Prime Minister has agreed to meet nursery worker's victims
8. With scams costing the UK economy £5-10 billion per year, knowing how to identify them and take measures to protect and prevent people from falling victim to them is crucial. The National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team believe it’s essential to inform and empower young people on the issue, so they can take action against fraud and scams in the future.
To encourage this movement, ‘Young Friends’ has been launched, as a new addition to the NTS Friends Against Scams initiative. Through a new interactive workshop which has been created for delivering in schools and youth groups, ‘Young Friends’ aims to teach children aged 8 years and above.
And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding
1. A man who sexually abused children in the care homes where he worked has been jailed for 15 years.
The Crown Prosecution Service said that Bruce McLean, 62, abused children in the 1970s and 80s when he was a residential care worker at Taxal Edge care home in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire and Kilrie care home in Knutsford in Cheshire.
He also abused a boy who was a resident at Rosebank care home in Warrington when McLean’s father worked there. The boys he abused had all been placed in the care homes by local authorities for their protection.
In November 2018 he was found guilty at Chester Crown Court of 13 charges relating to four victims, but the jury could not reach a verdict on the other charges. On 25 July 2019 he was found guilty of nine counts of sexual assaults against four victims. He was acquitted of all counts of assault against another complainant.
At Chester Crown Court (2 September 2019) he was sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison and was told that he will remain on the Sexual Offenders Register for life.
2. A paedophile has been sentenced for 29 years for raping and sexually abusing a child for over seven years.
Kevin Saitta, 54, was found to have used digital devices to plan and record his crimes against a vulnerable child and the CPS were able to prove that Saitta had perpetrated a relentless campaign of child abuse.
Hendrika Tatam of the CPS said: “Saitta went to great lengths to document the sexual abuse and rape of his victim, over 1,177 images and films were recovered and the sheer volume of abuse is one of the highest I have come across as a specialist prosecutor in the RASSO unit. Saitta’s despicable behaviour subjected his victim to repeated and sustained sexual abuse and oral rape".
3. A retired police inspector has been convicted of making indecent images of children following a National Crime Agency investigation.
David Mortimer, 58, was convicted on 5 September 2019 following a four day trial at Kingston Crown Court. He had been arrested by NCA officers at his home in Barnet, London, on 4 July 2018.
Officers seized his laptop which contained a 30-minute long Category A (the most serious) sexual abuse video of a south east Asian girl.
Analysis of the laptop showed file-sharing software had been used to download titles indicative of child abuse during February 20 and February 21 2018.
Movie file names recovered from the deleted areas of the computer were also indicative of child abuse.
His laptop and mobile telephone showed conversations between Mortimer and unidentified others about him seeking girls as young as 14.
Despite attempting to conceal his online offending, Mortimer argued he was trying to gather evidence of child abuse for the police.
4. Four men have been convicted so far under the new 'upskirting' legislation, the Crown Prosecution Service can reveal.
Prosecutors have brought charges of both recording and operating equipment under clothing without consent, using the Voyeurism (Offences) Act which came into force in England and Wales on 12 April.
5. 18 year sentence for man who assaulted girls. Mohammed Ahsan, 35, had previously pleaded guilty to three offences at Sheffield Crown Court.
On Friday 20 September a judge at the same court sentenced him for the attacks, which took place between 1999 and 2001.
He is the 20th person to be convicted as part of Operation Stovewood, the National Crime Agency’s investigation into allegations of abuse and exploitation in Rotherham.
We must not become complacent.
There were 4 Teacher Misconduct Panel for August 2019, which are listed below. There was no suggestion made that the schools involved did not have robust procedures, training and responses to safeguarding issues. And yet, of the four Teacher Misconduct Panel Hearing held in August, all four were of allegations of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute
1. It was alleged that Mr Mark David Attwood was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute, in that whilst employed as a teacher at Nottingham Academy School he:
Distributed an indecent photograph or pseudo-photographs of children on 25J uly 2017; and
In relation to his conduct at allegation1 received a caution from Nottinghamshire Police contrary to Section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 on 19 February 2018.
The panel noted that Mr Attwood had admitted the above allegations in his response to the Notice of Referral Form dated 26 January 2019. The panel further noted that Mr Attwood admitted that those facts amount to unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
A prohibition order was made.
2. It was alleged that Mr Chris Naylor whilst teaching in Cheshire was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute in that:
He engaged in inappropriate and/or unprofessional behaviour on or
around 29th June 2018, towards one or more pupils including by:
a) Consuming alcohol whilst setting up for and/or attending and/or supervising the Year 11 prom;
b) Engaging in inappropriate physical contact with one or more pupils, including by:
i. hugging them;
ii. holding their arms and/or wrists;
iii. kissing them on the head and/or forehead and/or cheek;
iv. dancing closely with them.
During an investigation into his conduct in or around July and/or August 2018, he indicated that he would release photographs of other members of staff on social media, which he suggested would tarnish the school's reputation, unless the school agreed to the terms of his offer to leave their employ.
His conduct as set out at allegation 2 demonstrated a lack of integrity.
In the Signed Statement of Agreed Facts, Mr Naylor unequivocally admitted the facts of the allegations and that these amounted to both unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
A prohibition order was made.
3. It was alleged that Mr Bell was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute, in that:
Whilst employed as a Teacher at Bedlington Academy ("the school") he engaged in inappropriate behaviour in that:
a. On or around the night of 1 September 2018, he:
Bought drinks for Individual A, a female former student, and her friends and got drunk with them;
Made sexually suggestive comments about Individual A;
Kissed Individual A;
Touched Individual A intimately;
Contacted Individual A via Facetime and invited her to his house.
b. On or around 2 September 2018, he:
made sexual advances towards Individual A; and
had sexual intercourse with Individual A at his house.
c. On or around 3 September 2018, he told Individual A what to say to the School should they investigate the matter.
d. On or around 3 September 2018, he misled the School about the extent of the events which may be found proven at allegation 1(a), and (b) above.
e. On or around 3 November 2018, he sent a series of sexually explicit messages to Individual A.
f. On or around 5 November 2018, he sent messages to Individual A asking her not to tell anyone what had happened.
His behaviour as may be found proven at allegation1, took place in circumstances whereby he knew or ought to have known that Individual A had been a vulnerable student.
His behaviour as may be found proven at allegation 1 (a)(1-v), (b) and (e) was conduct of a sexual nature and/or was sexually motivated.
His behaviour as may be found proven at allegation 1(c), (d) and (f) demonstrated a lack of integrity and/or was dishonest.
4 Mr Bell has admitted these allegations and that his conduct amounts to both unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
A prohibition order was made.
4. It was alleged that Mr Mbanga was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute, in that whilst employed as the Director of Sport at Rendcomb College he:
Made inappropriate physical contact with one or more female pupils including:
a) on or around 23 February 2018 he sat on the lap of a female pupil;
b) on or around 6 March 2018 he covered the mouth of a female pupil with his hand and pinched her nose to demonstrate the respiratory system without first asking her permission;
c) on one or more occasions, he asked a pupil to sit astride on his legs while demonstrating an exercise on a bench;
d) he grabbed a female pupil by the arm and lead her through the squash court;
e) on one or more occasions, he touched female pupils on their waist or shoulders;
f) he used his hip to bump one or more female pupils;
Made inappropriate comments to female pupils including:
a) referred to a female pupil as a ‘squat queen’;
b) told a group of female pupils to ‘stop advertising’ when they were crawling with their bottoms in the air;
c) commented to a female pupil that “you’re not just a pretty face”.
The panel noted that Mr Mbanga had admitted all of these allegations in his response to the Notice of Referral Form dated 8 April 2019. The panel further noted that Mr Mbanga admitted that those facts amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
No prohibition order was made. The reports states:
“Furthermore, the panel went on to consider that whilst Mr Mbanga had clearly made errors of judgment – which he has fully admitted – his behaviours were not sufficiently serious to bring the profession into disrepute. In particular, the panel took into account that there was no suggestion of any sexual motivation behind any of these behaviours.”
The SAFE Team