In recent weeks the Sunday Times has run a series of articles about non-recent sexual and physical abuse in boarding schools. The articles stemmed from Louis de Bernières going public about the abusive time he had while a pupil at Grenham House in Birchington, Kent.
Here’s the first article, the second and the most recent from 02.05.21 is below:
It is hoped the Whyte Review reveals abuses and safeguarding shortcomings within gymnastics and makes appropriate recommendations. That said it’s important to appreciate the limitations of such reviews. Unlike a statutory inquiry no clubs or coaches can be compelled to provide evidence. Recommendations Anne Whyte QC makes might or might not be adopted by the sports body in question. Those that are adopted then have to be delivered, sustained and enforced by the very organisations under whose umbrella the shortcomings occurred. We highlight some further challenges below and hope when it concludes that British Gymnastics will publish annual safeguarding data to evidence how the review has impacted safeguarding and to give parents of future gymnasts the confidence to enrol their children in the sport.
Here is some background …..
The Law In Sport article was published on 30th July 2020. Mandate Now was sent a link by a social media follower who correctly thought it would interest us. It’s author Richard Bush is an Associate in Bird & Bird’s Sports Group, We have interpolated our comments into his article below using this ‘comment’ format in italics. All photographs and sound files form part of our commentary.
Here are the 779 submissions made to the 2016 ‘Reporting and Acting on Child Abuse and Neglect’ consultation. Councils, Royal College’s healthcare, education, faith, NGO’s and similar
The Information Commissioner’s Office ruled in our favour against the Home Office requiring it to provide us with the submissions to the MR consultation.
The submissions provide useful information, but it’s a depressing picture of sparse safeguarding understanding in so many Regulated Activities. It is the Department for Education which is responsible for the disrepair and dysfunction within the safeguarding framework that fails staff, children and their parents. The framework’s design emerged from social work practice, dominated as it is by familial neglect and its consequences. The resulting thicket of confusion was then misapplied to strategically important and complex Regulated Activities in a thoughtless ‘one size fits’ all approach. As data reveals these settings require the legislative foundation of well-designed MR.
Like us you may find many of the responses from professional bodies quite inexplicable.
Surprisingly perhaps, no National Governing Bodies of sport made a submission to the consultation. Why not? Neither did the Catholic Church or the Church of England with the exception of the Diocese of Canterbury (see #556 and the answer to Q7), and it’s worth reading.
To use the data, we suggest you click on ‘Index of Consultation Responses’ and either scroll through or word search what you are looking for. Then open ‘consultation responses’ and go to the corresponding index number.
MandateNow response to @NSPCC July policy briefing: Strengthening duties on professionals to report child abuse
MandateNow has invested time to respond to these flawed proposals because their author, the NSPCC, appears to have evolved into a lobbyist of the public for its client the Department of Education. You can read our response here.
In mid August the NSPCC published a Policy Briefing titled: Strengthening duties on professionals to report child abuse, which is a tacit acknowledgement the safeguarding framework for Regulated Activities, which the NSPCC supported for decades, does not work. The charity has been forced to issue this paper in reaction to the clamour from campaigners and the public, for an effective legislative foundation on which reliable child protection can be created and delivered.
The policy briefing contains two proposals the first of which was announced on BBC R4 Today programme on 09 July 14. MandateNow provided a response just three hours later in an interview with James O’Brian.
The second proposal is for restricted Mandatory Reporting to be introduced in only a limited selection of Regulated Activities.