Safeguarding News September 2018
Welcome to our round up of safeguarding news for September that includes several important statutory changes and news of recent attempted scams that demonstrate the need for everyone to remain vigilant.
Training Course Schedule
As a special incentive for the two forthcoming open house public training courses at our offices in Eye, Suffolk, SAFEcic is offering the first 5 registrants on each course a free online eSafety course worth £9.95, making these essential courses which were already excellent value, virtually unmissable! The successful individuals will be given their free course details after attending their chosen course.
The courses are:
Safeguarding Children and Young People for Designated Leads on Wednesday 31st October at 9:30 am.
Child and Adult Safeguarding Training on Wednesday 7th November at 9:30am.
For other training dates and a comprehensive list of available courses click here.
A Round up of Safeguarding News for September 2018
Statutory and Non Statutory Guidance
The Home Office have updated the Safeguarding policy on children held in detention under Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. This requires the Secretary of State to make arrangements for ensuring that specific functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the UK. “Children,” means persons under the age of 18.
1. The new Keeping children safe in education was enacted on the 3rd September 2018 and has been updated on the 19th September 2018.
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 and sign to confirm that they have read and understood.
2. Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006. This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education on the application of the Childcare (Disqualification) and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (“the 2018 regulations”) and obligations under the Childcare Act 2006 in schools.
Schools and local authorities must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under:
- section 175, of the Education Act 2002
- paragraph 7(b) of Schedule 1 to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014
- paragraph 3 of the Schedule to the Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 2011
This guidance replaces the statutory guidance that was issued by the Department for Education in June 2016 and the draft statutory guidance issued in July 2018.
Details of the changes to the childcare disqualification arrangements made by the 2018 regulations are provided in Annex A
3. Parental responsibility: guide for schools and local authorities updated September 2018. This Guidance is for local authorities and schools dealing with adults who have legal rights and responsibilities for children at their school. It explains what to do when there are disputes between a number of adults, each claiming to have parental responsibility for a particular child.
Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research and Inquiries
1. Serious Case Review on a four week old baby has been published by Coventry Safeguarding Children Board. The subject of this serious case review (SCR) is Baby F, a four week-old baby boy who was admitted as an emergency to University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust with a serious and life threatening intracranial bleed in September 2015. He was resuscitated by senior medical and nursing staff. Following a head scan, the consultant leading his care reported this serious non-accidental head injury to the police and children’s social care. Baby F requires continuous care and is being looked after by foster parents.
This case is still subject to police proceedings and the overview report that follows is therefore based on analysis of evidence provided by most but not all of the professional staff involved with the family of Baby F. Once the criminal proceedings are concluded, an addendum to this report will be produced, if appropriate.
The family of Baby F were known to children’s social care. The mother had been in contact with services sporadically since 2008.
The focus of this review is Baby F and the non-accidental injuries sustained by him. However, the scope of this review includes a focus on parenting within this family. In particular, the review considers the parenting of an older half sibling, Child V and the risk factors and concerns raised about the family prior to Baby F’s birth, with an emphasis on understanding how agencies worked together and how the context of those agencies may have affected the work of their practitioners.
2. Latest figures on prosecutions involving Violence against Women and Girls crimes (VAWG) have been released today by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The annual VAWG report, which is now in its eleventh year, covers a broad range of offences including domestic abuse, rape, stalking and sexual abuse. In 2017-18, the CPS brought more than 100,000 prosecutions of this type, a fifth of the total caseload.
Overall, the data shows a decrease in the number of VAWG cases. Referrals from the police have dropped by 0.7 per cent, the number of completed prosecutions has reduced by 5.9 per cent and the number of convictions by 4.9 per cent.
The number of referrals, prosecutions and convictions for rape-flagged cases has fallen, with a 9.1 per cent fall in referrals from the police and a 23.1 per cent fall in the number of suspects charged.
This is in the context of a fall in total CPS caseload, with a 10 per cent drop in the numbers of cases of all crime types prosecuted last year.
However, the report shows significant increases related to stalking and modern slavery offences.
3. Community Rehabilitation Companies are not doing enough to rehabilitate perpetrators of domestic abuse or keep victims safe, according to a new report.
HM Inspectorate of Probation found poor practice was widespread in Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs), which supervise low and medium-risk offenders across England and Wales.
Worthy of Note
1. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is calling for new national guidance to improve the sexual safety of people and staff on mental health wards, following analysis of how mental health trusts in England report sexual incidents.
In its Sexual Safety on Mental Health Wards report the CQC shares its findings and recommendations after reviewing patient safety incidents reported to the NHS National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). The report follows engagement with trusts, national bodies, organisations representing people who use services and individuals with direct experience of sexual safety incidents.
2. More than 130 suspects – including a former police officer and five teachers – were arrested in a crackdown on online child sex offenders – as UK law enforcement today asks the tech industry to increase their help eradicating preventable offending.
The suspects were arrested in a joint operation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
During the recent week of action, 225 warrants were executed and 164 children safeguarded.
3. The Justice Secretary has set out how the government will ensure that support for victims - including those of violent offences such as terrorism and child sexual abuse - is aligned to the changing nature of crime, and boost services at every stage of the justice system.
The strategy makes clear the specific support victims can expect – beginning immediately after a crime, and ending long after any court proceedings. The government currently spends roughly £200 million per year on support services for victims of crime.
Government acts to boost support for victims across the justice system by:
- Victim entitlements enshrined in law and Victims’ Code to be strengthened
- More powers for the Victims’ Commissioner to hold government to account
- Review of Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme; unfair “same roof” rule abolished
- Greater support for victims of disasters through Independent Public Advocate
4. Mothers want action over sexual assaults at school .Two mothers whose daughters were sexually assaulted at school by other pupils are calling for action to stop other pupils being attacked.
It is two years since MPs recommended a range of measures, after the BBC revealed more than 5,000 sexual offences at schools in three years.
Ministers say they recognise that peer-on-peer abuse can devastate victims.
The updated guidelines for England's schools this month (Keeping children safe in education updated 19th September 2018) set out their legal duty to protect children from such abuse.
5. Meg Munn, former MP and Government Minister, with a professional background in child and adult safeguarding issues, has been appointed as the first independent chair of the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Panel (NSP). Meg attended her first Panel today where she was officially installed as Chair, taking over from Bishop Peter Hancock, the Church’s lead safeguarding bishop.
Meg Munn is a qualified social worker with 20 years’ experience and led children's social services in York before being elected as a Member of Parliament in 2001.
And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding
1. The number of child abuse image offences recorded by police in the UK rose by almost a quarter last year, with an average of 1 offence every 23 minutes.
New figures obtained from Freedom of Information requests to every police force in the country, found that 22,724 offences were recorded in 2017/18.
A single offence recorded by police can involve hundreds of indecent images of children.
Offenders use social networks to target children for abuse online, grooming and manipulating them into sending naked images.
2. Police in Norfolk and Suffolk are warning about cold call scammers who have been posing as a police sergeant and former Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard.
The two incidents took place this month, with a firm in Harleston called by someone claiming to be ‘Sergeant Mark Shepherd'.
He asked to speak with the director and requested sponsorship for a 'campaign involving going into schools and talking about safety issues'. When the call recipient declined, the caller put the phone down.
On Wednesday, (Sept 26) a company based in Hadleigh received a similar call from someone claiming to be ‘Mark Shepherd'.
He stated he was from the media department of the police and was asking for charity donations. When challenged he said he was a freelancer and provided an invalid phone number.
Later in the day, another call was received from a man to a sister company. He was challenged after repeating his request to speak to a director and he then gave his name as ‘Steven Gerrard' before the call was ended.
Officers have issued advice for dealing with cold call scams.
- Never give out personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.
- If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force.
- Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. If you can't use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back.
- A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.
- Police and banks will never ask you to give out personal details such as account numbers or PIN numbers.
- If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible.
- Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.
Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Norfolk Police on the non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
The Fundraising Preference Service are aware of a spoof email being sent to charities, asking for money for the Fundraising Preference Service or saying that an invoice is due. To clarify, the FPS has issued a statement saying:
If you would like to know more about SAFE please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The SAFE Team