IICSA publishes Rochdale report
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published its report into the institutions where children were placed by Rochdale Council, looking at the institutional responses of the council, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service into child sexual abuse in Rochdale between the early 1960s and the mid 1990s.
Source: IICSA CASPAR
Further information: Cambridge House, Knowle View and Rochdale: investigation report (PDF)
Cafcass has published its monthly care application statistics for England. In March 2018, Cafcass received a total of 1,238 care applications. This figure represents a 3.5% increase in comparison with February 2018 and is the second highest monthly total for a March on record. Between April 2017 and March 2018 Cafcass received a total of 14,207 applications. This figure is 2.7% lower when compared with the previous financial year.
Source: Cafcass Date: 13 April 2018
Technology and unhealthy teenage relationships
The NSPCC’s Impact and evidence insights series features the first of two blogs by Emily Robson NSPCC, looking at how technology, gender and same sex relationships are associated with domestic abuse. This first blog focusses on sexting and the abusive use of technology and discusses what we can do to help keep children and young people safe from this form of abuse.
Source: NSPCC impact and evidence insights blog Date: 16 April 2018
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Concerns
In 2016, the government consulted on whether there should be a professional or criminal consequence for teachers, and other professionals. This week the DfE issued their response and have not implemented their proposal. Less than 12% of those responding said they supported mandatory reporting. The DfE said, ‘Feedback suggests that these additional measures could risk creating unnecessary burdens, divert attention from the most serious cases, hamper professional judgement, and potentially jeopardise the vital relationships between social workers and vulnerable families in their care.
What do you think?
Transition period to replace LSCBs to start in May
A 15-month transition period to replace outgoing local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) with new arrangements is set to get under way in May, it has emerged.
On the back of recommendations made in Sir Alan Wood’s 2016 review of LSCBs, the current system is set to be scrappedand replaced with a new way of investigating child deaths.
The Department for Education has been planning for a 15-month transition period, but until now there was no detail on when this would begin.
But a newly-published DfE document outlining approved timetables for key reforms within the department reveals new regulations will be put in place by May 2018, with local authorities being required to have their new arrangements in place by September 2019.
Online safety in schools
The UK Safer Internet Centre has published a report about schools’ online safety policy and practice. Findings from almost 10,000 schools across England includes: 97% of secondary schools and 90% of primary schools said they had at least basic levels of filtering and monitoring in place, almost 90% of secondary schools and 80% of primary schools had an online safety education programme in place, and 55% of secondary schools and 50% of primary schools had no training in place for governors around online safety.
Source: UK Safer Internet Centre blog Date: 23 January 2018
Further information: UK schools online safety policy and practice assessment 2017 (PDF)
The Carers Trust has released findings from a snapshot survey of young carers aged 5-10 years. Findings include: 46% are getting up in the night to care for loved ones, missing out on their own sleep; and more than 80% are carrying out caring duties every day or most days of the week.
Source: Carers Trust news item Date: 25 January 2018
Life in ‘likes’: Children’s Commissioner report into social media use among 8-12 year olds.
Authors: Children’s Commissioner for England
Format: Online report
Summary: Looks at the ways younger children use social media platforms and the effect on their wellbeing. Findings from focus groups involving 32 children aged 8 to 12 years old include: the most popular social media were Snapchat, Instagram, Musical.ly and WhatsApp; social media was important for maintaining relationships, but this got more difficult to manage at secondary school, where friendships could break down online. Recommendations include: broadening digital literacy education in schools beyond safety messages, to develop children’s critical awareness and resilience, focusing on the transition stage from primary to secondary school.
Publication details: [London]: Office of the Children’s Commissioner, 2018
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Peer-on-peer abuse toolkit.
Authors: David Smellie, Adele Eastman, Katie Rigg and Carlene Firmin
Format: Online report
Summary: Toolkit to help schools prevent peer-on-peer abuse, identify it at an early stage and respond to it appropriately. Offers guidance on developing and introducing a peer-on-peer abuse policy. Topics covered include: developing an overarching policy and introducing it to the school community; tailoring your policy to your school’s specific context; risk assessment; appropriate language and approaches; ongoing protective work. Includes a template peer-on-peer abuse policy.
Publication details: London: Farrer & Co, 2017
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UPDATED Searching, screening and confiscation at school (DfE, January 2018)
The government’s ‘Searching, screening and confiscation at school’ guidance, has been updated. The latest document includes a new section, ‘Statutory guidance for dealing with electronic devices’.
A summary of the new section is below:
Staff may lawfully search electronic devices, without consent or parental permission, if there is a suspicion that the pupil has a device prohibited by school rules, or the staff member has good reason to suspect the device may be used to:
- cause harm,
- disrupt teaching,
- break school rules,
- commit an offence,
- cause personal injury, or
- damage property.
Any data, files or images that are believed to be illegal must be passed to the police as soon as practicable, including pornographic images of children, without deleting them.
Any data, files or images that are not believed to be unlawful, may be deleted or kept as evidence of a breach of the school’s behaviour policy.
The school’s policies should reflect this new guidance.
Download the guidance here: Searching, screening and confiscation at school (DfE, January 2018)