Advice please - school response to sexual abuse(16 Posts)
Can't go into detail for obvious reasons but there has been a case at dd1's school of an older child sexually abusing a younger one.
What I am trying to find out is - in general terms, what would a good response look like - not so much to the victim but in terms of general next steps and preventing recurrence, how governors are involved etc? Want to push the school on this and make sure I ask the right questions and don't miss anything.
Really sorry cannot explain more, but risk outing self and school if I do. Grateful for any input especially from those from the educational sector.
Im an advisory teacher for children in care- am happy to help if you'd like to PM me. Obviously not to disclose identifying details, but it would be useful to know if the abuse happened in school or not.
Involvement from the police and child safeguarding first and foremost.
They would work with the school to see if there have been any failings and if so where. This would involve an immediate investigation I think then possibly a more thorough review later if appropriate depending on severity of crime/did school ignore issues etc
They may work with the families involved - looking at the welfare of the victim, helping them and their family and they would talk to the family of the older child too - to see if there are any other children at home at risk or indeed whether the child them self is being abused.
Criminal proceedings could be brought against the older child.
Sorry, not sure if that is helpful. Hopefully someone with more knowledge can help. If you don't think things are being taken seriously enough in this case OP, please do push.
Thanks very much for the responses. Tethersend, I have PMd you
The school is very unlikely to discuss the issue with you unless your child is directly involved, as others have said Social Services will have been informed and possibly the police.
Mrz, totally get that they won't discuss the incident - I don't want to. But I do want to know that they are putting in place measures to prevent it happening to other kids. Both in terms of levels of supervision of the child who did it, and also reviewing their policies to see if there are things that need to change.
I don't think that is unreasonable to want - I'd love to take it on trust that they will have done all they can but I don't have that confidence, sadly. They seem to be more concerned about their reputation than about their responsibility to protect the kids in their care.
If the incident(s) didn't happen in school, which is a reasonable supposition, then, beyond notifying the relevant authorities, I'm not sure what you are expecting the school to do. SS are the relevant people to deal with the issue. If there is a wider problem/threat I would hope that SS would be taking the relevant steps. If you don't trust any institution or agency then you might consider changing school.
as above - good advice
bear in mind, depending on the ages involved there may be a high probability that the older child has been sexually abused him/herself, so it may be less clearcut than you think
Sorry, should have made clear - the incident did happen in school. I want to seek reassurance from the school to ensure they are putting in place policies and procedures to hopefully avoid it happening again to another child. Not about witch hunt against child who did it, more trying to find out what the process would normally be when safeguarding issues come to light in a school.
I don't think you are unreasonable. I would have thought it would trigger an ofsted visit. Serious failings on safeguarding do flag one up I think.
Unless you know the details of the incident it's not possible to know if it is a safeguarding issue or what if anything the school could do to prevent it happening again.
Honestly think you should leave it alone. the school won't tell you anything. They can't. They will be taking it v seriously. Tbh you already probably know much more than you should from the sounds of it.
If it's happened in a primary school the child can be no older than 11
How do you know this? Was your child involved? Or are you responding to playground gossip? Rest assured, the school will be taking an incident of abuse/inappropriate sexualised behaviour (whatever it was) very seriously and the children involved will probably have been interviewed by scocial services, as will their parents. Social services will decide whether or not an ongoing case will be opened. The governors will be informed, but probably not involved directly. The school would take advice from other professionals on how to move forward.
a friend of mine is vice chair of the governors at his kids school and has had a similar case recently - we had discussed it without names etc as i have dealing with SS and safeguarding through my voluntary work so he wanted some advice on the school's policies etc.
The school will have put safeguarding processes in place (they will be unable to tell you specifics unfortunately) that will probably consist of additional supervision of the child in question, monitoring of other children in direct contact and keeping one to one contact with other kids to a minimum where possible. They will have conducted a full investigation into both the children and the adults who should have been supervising at the time to ensure that duty of care was not breached.
A lot will depend on the exact nature of the abuse, if the child in question is still at the school then SS and the governors have obviously ruled that it is not serious enough to excluded the child on a temporary/permanent basis.
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