On Wednesday 1st March Ian Herbert, Chief Sports Writer for the Independent, under the banner ‘Football is not rife with child abusers, so it is time for the Offside Trust to explain what they are for,’ writes a eulogy to the FA’s current child protection framework. Is it right to do so? We examine his claims and the foundations on which they are grounded.
The piece informs us: (more…)
The report was released by West Berkshire Safeguarding Children’s Board at noon today.
A copy of the review is here: Kennet School Serious Case Review
This is the Mandate Now review of this opaque production.
The SCR doesn’t actually describe what failings have occurred and whether as a result the abuse could have been prevented or could have been halted earlier than it was. (more…)
- The NSPCC suggestions for changes to the DBS system will only protect children from abusers who are already known.
- The shortcomings arising from the DBS being relaxed in 2012, which can permit ‘barred’ people to work with children periodically if they are supervised, was debated in the House of Lords during the passage of the Protection of Freedoms Act in November 2011 by two peers with distinguished sporting backgrounds. Why only now has the NSPCC alighted on this issue? Should it not have been raising this point and objecting to the legislation when it was going through Parliament?
- The NSPCC proposal to extend duty of care to 16 and 17 year olds, which already exists in education, is a sound principle. It will though have a limited effect in practice because data [Characteristics Children in Need 2014-15 Table A3 – https://goo.gl/TDiFgq ] indicates the proportion of children suffering abuse or neglect (both sexes) in this age group is 14% while in the younger group, which is already included within the scheme in ‘statutory guidance’ it is 86%. (Statutory guidance is discretionary)
On the same day as the debate in the House of Lords, Mandate Now issued a press release under the headline ‘Confused Football Association safeguarding policy fails children‘ in which we reviewed the current child protection policy operating at the grassroots of football. Disturbingly the policy was endorsed by the Child Protection Sport Unit of the NSPCC despite it mistakenly claiming law exists to report abuse. A summary of the errors in the policy are available here.
Well meaning employees working in Regulated Activities who have responsibility for children in their care are being failed by a dysfunctional child protection framework, the legal foundation of which has always lacked law to report. It is still discretionary for an employee of a Regulated Activity to report suspected or known child abuse. In the event someone decides to report, they have the dilute Public Interest Disclosure Act to provide nominal protection. (more…)
FA ‘Grassroots Football Safeguarding Children’ Policy
With this much confusion in the FA’s approach to child protection, it will be no surprise to discover that much abuse in football continues to go unreported.” says Tom Perry of Mandate Now, the pressure group which leads the agenda for the introduction of Mandatory Reporting of known and suspected abuse in ‘Regulated Activities’ including sport.
In advance of today’s debate in the House of Lords ‘Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse within football clubs’ Lord Addington (Estimated start 14.00), Mandate Now has reviewed the FA’s ‘Grassroots Football Safeguarding Children Policy’ and in addition the child protection template for club usage.
During the week commencing 7th November, the Labour Party submitted its proposals to the Government Consultation titled : Reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect. In the 2015 Labour manifesto it said :
Here is our review of it. Our observations are indented in italics between the body of Labour’s submission. (more…)