Commenting on reports of the announcements the Prime Minister will make at a Downing Street Summit today about action proposed to be taken against certain public service workers, including teachers, who fail to report sexual abuse of children and young people, Chris Keates General Secretary of the NASUWT the largest teachers’ union in the UK said:
“No one can fail but to be shocked by the horrific abuse of young girls revealed by recent investigations, including the Report today on Oxfordshire.
“Safeguarding of children and young people is paramount. No one recognises this more than teachers.
“Schools are already highly regulated environments with regard to the safeguarding of pupils.
“Teachers are very aware of their responsibilities in this regard. They are already subject to a range of statutory provisions and disciplinary procedures which govern their conduct.
“Seeking to ratchet up the pressure on them and on others by threats of criminal action may make headlines but it is no substitute for the support schools need in seeking to address this highly complex and difficult aspect of their responsibilities and should not deflect from the responsibility government has to ensure that there is a coherent system of properly resourced children’s services, of which schools are an integral part.
“The NASUWT will be considering the implications of today’s announcement very carefully once the detail has been shared and as there has been no consultation prior to these provisions being introduced will seek to engage with the Coalition Government to identify what support teachers, school leaders and schools will require to enable them to protect fully the children and young people in their care.”
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