Safeguarding e-Bulletin - 1st Feb 2019

Sam Preston 1 February 2019 3 min read

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Offensive weapon possession

The Offensive Weapons Bill will make it harder for young people to buy knives and acid online. The Bill will also ban private possession of weapons such as zombie knives and knuckle dusters.

Independent Inquiry

Findings of the Independent inquiry following the conviction of Wrexham Tennis Centre former head coach Dan Sanders, jailed in 2017 after admitting sexual activity with a 15-year-old player, reveal the Lawn Tennis Association repeatedly missed warnings about bullying and sexually inappropriate behaviour. View our blog post.

Draft Domestic Abuse Bill published

The draft Domestic Abuse Bill published this month introduces new safeguarding measures to protect victims. The draft bill proposes restrictions on the actions of offenders through the introduction of Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders.

If passed in its current form it will also prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts, and provide automatic eligibility for special measures to support more victims to give evidence in the criminal courts.

Child sexual abuse in the family environment

New guidance has been published to support Joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs) on the theme of child sexual abuse in the family environment.

JTAIs are a crucial element of safeguarding practice, evaluating initial response, the quality and impact of planning and decision-making to all forms of child abuse, neglect and exploitation. The process also includes a 'deep dive' investigation to evaluate children and young people's experiences.

The Children's Commissioner 2014 inquiry into child sexual abuse in the family environment (published in November 2015) included the following key findings:

  • The estimated proportion of children that suffer sexual abuse is about 11%.
  • Two thirds of child sexual abuse takes place within the family environment or the close circle around it.
  • Only one in eight children in England who are sexually abused come to the attention of statutory authorities.
  • Children often do not recognise that they have been abused until they are older. Professionals working with children need additional support to help them identify victims of sexual abuse.
  • Child sexual abuse in the family environment often comes to the attention of statutory and non-statutory agencies as a result of a secondary presenting factor, for example self-harm, which becomes the focus of intervention. Child sexual abuse, the underlying issue, may not be identified.

Stark statistics which reinforce the need for vigilance and effective multi-agency working.

New Joint targeted area inspection themes announced

In December, Ofsted announced three new additional JTAI themes.

The new themes include:

  • Children living with mental health issues.
  • Prevention and early intervention.
  • Older children in need of help and protection, and contextual safeguarding, including exploitation.

Over 100,000 web pages of children being abused were removed by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) from the internet in 2018 - a third more than in the previous year.

The pages, viewed and assessed by IWF analysts, included thousands of pictures and videos of abuse, with 1,300 pages showing abuse of infants or babies and more than 40,000 depicting abuse or sexual torture of children under 10. The IWF report nearly all viewed pages were hosted outside the UK.

Members of the public can anonymously and confidentially report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images to the IWF.

Ofsted consultation- EIF 2019

The message in the latest School inspection update: academic year 2018 to 2019, updated this month, reinforces Sean Harford's, National Director Education, message that "data should not be 'king'".

Ofsted are encouraging all staff working in education to reflect on the proposed new framework. In response to a tweet by our Safeguarding Director Sam Preston, Mr Harford agreed it was also important for those who externally support nurseries, schools, academies and colleges to also input into the review process. Responding to the consultation, our Safeguarding Team welcome the focus of applying evidence-based research to the review process however, the published list of cited research offers little in terms of safeguarding best practice. The consultation closes 5th April 2019.

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Sam Preston

SSS Learning Safeguarding Director

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