@educationgovuk Introduce law requiring adults working with children to report alleged abuse #MandateNow
  • Petitioning Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP

This petition will be delivered to:

Secretary of State for Education
Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP

@educationgovuk Introduce law requiring adults working with children to report alleged abuse #MandateNow

    1. Petition by

      MandateNow, Survivors UK, Respond and The Survivors Trust

If you work with children, and see one of your charges being abused or even raped, you might think you and your employer had a legal obligation to report it to the authorities. Not so. There is no legal requirement on anyone working with minors in England (Wales or Scotland) to report such incidents and concerns to the Local Authority Designated Officer  (LADO), children's services or in the event of a 'known' crime, the police. 

We are seeking the introduction of legislation which requires staff in faith groups, national sports bodies, schools and similar institutions which are defined as ‘Regulated Activities,’ [Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006] who know, suspect, or have reasonable grounds for knowing or suspecting child abuse, to inform the LADO (or in appropriate circumstances children's services) so that experienced and independent assessment is introduced immediately to ensure perpetrators are stopped as soon as possible. Here is our 5 Minute guide to Mandatory Reporting 

In the review published in March by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary entitled ‘Mistakes were made’ into allegations and intelligence material concerning Jimmy Savile between 1964 and 2012;  recommendation #3 of just five states:

‘We consider that a system of mandatory reporting should be examined whereby those who, in the course of their professional duties, become aware of information or evidence that a child is or has been the victim of abuse should be under a legal obligation to notify their concerns to others.’

Just three months later in June the Home Affairs Committee published its report into 'Child sexual exploitation and the response to localised grooming.' Recommendation #36 under the heading 'legislation' states:

'We also recommend that the Government examine the Florida Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act passed in 2012 in order to ascertain whether the mandatory reporting of child abuse could, and should, be implemented in England and Wales.'

It certainly should be implemented, but only in 'Regulated Activities' and any similar institutional settings that fall outside this legal definition. 

It is estimated that only 5% of child abuse is reported, yet Serious Case Reviews repeatedly reveal that professionals and others suspected years before that abuse was taking place but failed to inform the authorities. This is why outrageous child sex offences have gone undetected for years. In many cases, such as Hillside First School in Weston super Mare, the abuses continued for more than a decade.

All too often when an allegation is reported to the person in charge of a ‘Regulated Activity’, the LADO is not informed because there is no clear legal mandate for anyone to do so - and no legal sanction if they do not.
This lack of legislation seriously undermines the culture of child protection in all Regulated Activities where children are cared for by responsible adults other than their parents. For anyone who finds this state of affairs challenging to absorb, please refer to paragraph #5 page 3 of the NSPCC’s Introduction to Child Protection Legislation in the UK (May 2012). The lack of clear legislation presents all Regulated Activities with a conflict of interest when the worst happens.

The government’s current approach to child protection is grounded upon statutory ‘guidance’ rather than law. This cannot match the cunning and deceit of committed perpetrators, nor does it offer clarity of action to well meaning but unsupported professionals.

Instead of trying to change human nature, legislation needs to be introduced with policies and procedures that acknowledge the host of conflicting human dynamics that arise when faced with concerns of abuse.

• Mandatory reporting of allegations and concerns will address the distorting factors in what can appear to be complex situations. A headteacher or a bishop might wish to protect his colleague’s or church’s reputation but if he risks a criminal conviction and a hefty fine by so doing then he will think it a poor exchange.

• Under a system of mandatory reporting, staff in schools or hospitals who suspect abuse would have no choice but to report or face prosecution. This means every employee is better protected from blame and/or recrimination. Being faced with a conviction, prison or a fine cuts across friendship or loyalty to an institution, and there is no doubt where 'duty' lies.

• A criminal sanction for failure to report also removes any perceived need to weigh up whether the concerns reported are serious enough, or who to believe before having to decide what to do: the person reporting is freed from having to make complex judgements about who is telling the truth and they will know they are following and protected by the law when they report as opposed to whistleblowing - please listen to this chilling 2 minute audio file from BBC5 Live 'call in' about mandatory reporting.  

Too often the decision is made to cover up and/or minimise wrong doing including any abuse of power perpetrated by officers and staff of the regulated activity. This is true for failures in schools such as Hillside First School Weston Super Mare and churches including the Diocese of Chichester and the Archdiocese of Birmingham, Local Authority children’s services such as Rochdale, Haringey, North Wales, and public service institutions such as the BBC and the NHS which also have questions to answer as the Savile inquiries continue to reveal.

Countries which operate mandatory reporting include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Sweden, USA, and now the Republic of Ireland which on the 10th November 2012 held a referendum which approved mandatory reporting.

Failing to refer in the Republic is now an offence which carries a tariff of up to five years imprisonment. The new law will positively impact the prevention of abuse in all institutional settings in Ireland.

The day before the referendum The Guardian published this article on the vote in which Tanya Ward, the chief executive of the Children's Rights Alliance suggested the whole of the UK should embrace mandatory reporting ‘because institutions tend to put their own interests before those of children.’

In England (Wales and Scotland) children are on their own and have no legal right to expect the LADO (or equivalent in Wales and Scotland) to be informed of their suspected or known abuse.

This must change - please remember to Tweet us in just 2 clicks using the button at the top right of this page - and Follow us @MandateNow

@MandateNow is the political and legislative arm of Paula Barrow’s highly successful 'Daniel's Law' petition which shares our objectives for the introduction of Mandatory Reporting in all Regulated Activities. Please visit the Daniel's Law website here.  

 

 

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 7,000 signatures
    2. BBC Radio London 94.9 interview - why Mandatory Reporting?

      Some different questions on this subject which is understandably challenging for the public to grasp. This stems from the opacity of the safeguarding framework which so spectacularly fails to support staff and protect children who attend Regulated Activities. https://audioboo.fm/boos/2288465-bbcrlondon-27-06-14

      BBCRLondon 27/06/14

      Programme led on Mandatory Reporting following the publication of the Lampard review of Savile's abuses in NHS Hospitals

    3. Mandatory Reporting: the missing foundation for effective safeguarding

      Jane Hill interviewed Tom following the publication of the NHS review of Savile's abusive activities in NHS settings. http://youtu.be/tyjkA5j-Ps4 Tom argued that the introduction of Mandatory Reporting is essential to effective child and vulnerable adult protection.

      BBC 2014 06 26 | Mandatory Reporting essential to institutional safeguarding

      Mandatory Reporting of child abuse in Regulated Activities. This is the key ingredient that needs to be introduced to transform the culture of child abuse in Regulated Activities. See @MandateNow 5 minute guide to Mandatory Reporting - http://www.thesurvivorstrust.org/documents/5-minute-guide.pdf

    4. House of Commons Education Questions - 24 March 2014

      Mt Tom Watson MP and a supporter of Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities, made a statement about the appalling safeguarding failures at Stanbridge Earls School in Hampshire and asked : "Will Ministers now urgently consider adequate research into the funding of mandatory reporting in regulated settings?" http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2014-03-24b.17.0#g18.3

      Mr Gove replied: "I have had the opportunity, in a different context, to talk to one victim of abuse who, I have to say, made a compelling case for mandatory reporting in a regulated setting."

      On the 25th March the St Pauls + Colet Court child abuse case was reported in the Times, and this article appeared

      http://www.thesurvivorstrust.org/documents/gove-times.jpg

    5. House of Commons Education Questions - 10 Feb 2014

      Cheryl Gillan MP Chesham + Amersham and a signatory to our petition asked Mr Gove the following question:

      The Secretary of State will be aware of the sentence handed out in Amersham Crown court last week to the former head teacher of the Caldicott preparatory school after years of abuse of children in his care. Will the Secretary of State join me in paying tribute to my constituent Mr Tom Perry, who was brave enough to speak out about his own abuse? Will he agree to meet Mr Perry and me to discuss the possibility of mandatory reporting, as Mr Perry believes it would better protect our children in the future? Mr Goves reply is in the link - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2014-02-10b.555.5#g560.6

      The meeting occurred just 17 days later at the Department of Education.

      TheyWorkForYou

      TheyWorkForYou is a website which makes it easy to keep track of your local MP's activities.

    6. @BBC5Live Stephen Nolan interviews @Tom_Perry former pupil of Caldicott

      @Tom_Perry founder of @MandateNow speaking with Stephen Nolan on the culture and dynamics of abuse at Caldicott School and most importantly the need for #MandatoryReporting http://chirb.it/Pttn03

      BBC5Live Stephen Nolan Show 07/02/14

      Audio: BBC5Live Stephen Nolan Show 07/02/14 #childabuse - social audio

    7. Why Mandatory Reporting?

      This excellent interview http://chirb.it/I9va9J with Paula Barrow from our associate petition Daniels Law see link: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/change-the-law-to-better-protect-vulnerable-children-like-daniel-pelka

      BBC Coventry & Warwickshire 09/09/13

      Audio: BBC Coventry & Warwickshire 09/09/13 Child Protection, mandatory reporting, and the meaning of `duty.` - social audio

    8. @BBC3cr The morning after interview with @Tom_Perry

      Mandatory Reporting is essential in order to provide greater liklihood that disasters such as Caldicott are avoided https://audioboo.fm/boos/1908587-bbc3cr-iain-lee-show-7-2-14

      @BBC3CR Iain Lee Show 7/2/14

      Iain Lee speaks to @Tom_Perry the following morning after Peter Wright was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment at Amersham Law Courts for child sexual abuse when he was a teacher at Caldicott School.

    9. C4 News report on the day of Wright's sentence

      The pain is tangible http://bcove.me/qxj6v3g0

      Former Caldicott headteacher jailed for years of abuse

      Former headteacher at Caldicott Boys' Preparatory School Roland Peter Wright is sentenced to eight years in prison for abusing boys.

    10. Jon Snow C4 News interviews @Tom_Perry on Sentencing of Peter Wright

      Two days before the sentencing of the former headmaster Tom was interviewed by Jon Snow http://vimeo.com/85875743 Unknown to Tom at the time, Hugh Henry another former teacher from the school who was on the same indictement and also due to be sentenced at the same time, had committed suicide by standing in front of a train not far from the court in Amersham.

      Tom on C4 News QT

      This is "Tom on C4 News QT" by True Vision on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

    11. Caldicott School Abuse reports and the documentary that made it happen

      An extraordinary set of events finally led to the conviction of Peter Wright for tformer headmaster of Caldicott School. You can read muchc of it here http://truevisiontv.com/films/details/97/chosen - just follow the link. It is an extraordianry story. The founder of @MandateNow is one of the former pupils.

      True Vision

      Chosen In December 2013 Peter Wright was convicted of 12 offences against children committed at Caldicott while he was head teacher. He and Hugh Henry, who pleaded guilty to abusing Mark Payge and others, will be sentenced in Feb 2014. In 2003, Martin Carson admitted the buggery and indecent assault of two Caldicott pupils.

    12. @BBCradio4 #r4today programme

      The today pogramme interviews Associate Professor Ben Mathews about #MRCA in advance of Panorama on #Savile https://audioboo.fm/boos/1712303-bbcradio4-r4today-programme-4-11-13

      @BBCradio4 #r4today Programme 4/11/13

      AssociateProfessor Ben Mathews, Director Research at School of Law Queensland University of Technology, speaks on Mandatory Reporting and how essential it is for a 'functioning' child protection system #mandatoryreporting

    13. Child Abuse - suspend adult logic!

      An insight into a subject about which so have any appreciation - https://audioboo.fm/boos/1710085-bbc5live-breakfast-6-11-13

      @BBC5Live Breakfast 6/11/13

      Anne Lawrence a barrister specialising in education, and a supporter of @MandateNow talks on Radio5 live about the dynamics of child abuse abuse in Regulated Activities which 'guidance' does not account for.

    14. Chilling call to @BBC5Live

      This call to Nicky Campbell BBC 5Live breakfast explains why Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities is so urgently needed - https://audioboo.fm/boos/1587522-bbc5live-breakfast-1-8-13 The question to ask is why did the caller not report, and what on earth happened to the girl?

      @BBC5Live Breakfast 1/8/13

      The programme led on #MandatoryReporting with interviews every hour including the mother of an abused child from Stanbridge Earls. This was a contributor to the 'call in' part of the programme. It is chilling, and is just one example of why legislation is required.

    15. Reached 6,000 signatures
    16. BBCNews24 - 02.08.13 + BBC5Live 03.08.13

      Peter Garsden of Quality Solicitors Abney Garsden led on BBCNews24 last evening and appeared on BBC5Live @07.30 to discuss the benefits of mandatory reporting of both known abuse, and concerns of inappropriate behavior towards a child, in Regulated Activities.

      Thanks to all of you who have signed out petition - we never expected it to be fast burn.

    17. BBC Radio 5 Live - Mandatory Reporting 01.08.13

      BBC 5live breakfast today led on the introduction of Mandatory Reporting of child abuse in all 'Regulated Activities.' This stemmed from Ofsted issuing a statement about its repeated safeguarding inspection failures at Stanbridge Earls School, Romsey, where a number number of former pupils were abused. A mother of one of these former pupils is calling for the introduction of Mandatory Reporting because it will change the culture and delivery of safeguarding in schools and be a force for the prevention of abuse of children. The Ofsted statement can be seen by following this link http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/stanbridge-earls-inquiry-statement

      During the 'phone in' element of the programme a contributor cited a reason why in her opinion Mandatory Reporting is so important. One sensed Niki Campbell suddenly 'got it. Follow this link http://bbc.in/1dWqCGh and take the time bar to 40.00 - it will be available for just a week from posting date.

      Stanbridge Earls Inquiry Statement

      Introduction This public statement summarises the action Ofsted has taken, and is taking, following a review of the inspection history of Stanbridge Earls School.

    18. Reached 2,000 signatures
    19. Surge in Signatures

      To the campaign's delight a sudden surge in signatories this afternoon. @ about 40-30 in SW19., James Rhodes @JRhodesPianist kindly tweeted his support for @MandateNow and it was RT'd a short time later by Mr Stephen Fry @stephenfry. James and Stephen thank you.

      You may want to read this Telegraph article by James http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/author/jamesrhodes/ which is challenging and explains his motivation.

      James Rhodes

      Twitter. For some the name causes an instant expression of hatred and revulsion. Usually accompanied by some kind of assertion of moral one-upmanship and superior intellect: "What a load of crap. Boring, inane and everything that's wrong with our society today.

    20. Reached 1,500 signatures
    21. Our first 1000 and we're just getting started

      Pleasing that 1000 has been reached, but it is clear that many find it impossible to believe there is currently no mandatory requirement to report concerns and allegations. It also takes people time appreciate the full implications of this legislative gap. The first is that staff who report concerns are by default whistleblowers because reporting is currently discretionary. Being under a so called 'duty' to report is legally meaningless and offers no protection to good staff who do speak up.

    22. Reached 1,000 signatures
    23. Home Affairs Committee Report - Child Sexual Exploitation and Grooming

      This report was published on 10 June 2013 and is available by using this link: http://tinyurl.com/nayatmy . We draw your attention to the paragraphs on legislation which includes #128, #129, and #130 and also Recommendation No.36 in the report on page 70 :

      'We recommend that the Government commission work to examine the feasibility of introducing a statutory duty to co-operate and share information to tackle child sexual exploitation. We also recommend that the Government examine the Florida Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act passed in 2012 in order to ascertain whether the mandatory reporting of child abuse could, and should, be implemented in England and Wales.'

      Belatedly and slowly the politicians are being dragged to the scene of the legislative crime that has been perpetrated on children.

    24. Reached 750 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Mandy Gulliver VERWOOD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 6 days ago

      To put a stop to children suffering ongoing abuse, and to give the children a voice to say no!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kath hemmings CAERPHILLY, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 25 days ago

      society should protect their vulnerable

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • James Haydon BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      Mandatory reporting may seem draconian, but there will always be the opportunity to disclose abuse anonymously, with the likes of Samaritans & possibly others.

      But public bodies must be forced to take legal responsibility, which is not currently the case in the UK.

      This has clearly allowed widespread abuse to flourish, and must stop.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Stacey Thomas LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      To help protect children. Turning a blind eye to abuse should never be an option.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Martin Courtney MILTON KEYNES, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      Personal

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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