Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Safeguarding Meeting at St. Benedict's

Well well well!

The August edition of the Headmaster's newsletter includes the following fascinating article.
Following the full Inspection in November 2009 ISI conducted a followup unannounced inspection in April. This was to look specifically at the safeguarding procedures here. We were advised by the Reporting Inspector not to inform parents until the report was complete. This report, commissioned by the DFE, was published in August. A copy of this report (selected parts of which have featured recently in both local and national press) will be sent to you by the end of the summer holiday with a covering letter. This will include an invitation to a meeting on Tuesday 14th September at 7.30pm in The Cloisters at which Fr Abbot, Mr Simmons and I will answer any questions you may have. Although the report does include recommendations which will be fully implemented, it most importantly affirms that your children are safe, happy and thriving here!

At the same time you will be sent a copy of the Diocesan Report following their Inspection in July. This is hugely affirming of the Catholic Benedictine life of the School.
Just in case you are a parent and haven't yet received a copy of the ISI report, then unfortunately you cannot download it from the school website. As far as I can tell they haven't yet put a copy up there. When you read it you may understand why they aren't very keen to publicise it. However a copy is available at the ISI website, and you can download it from there and read it. If you are a parent of a pupil at the school, I strongly recommend that you do so.

The ISI report is rather coy in some of the language it uses. This is not surprising given the shambolic incompetence in the ISI that the report reveals, quite apart from the failings of the school itself. The report highlights numerous shortcomings in child protection which have existed at the school for years, which were completely missed in the ISI's last two routine inspections in 2003/4 and 2009.

I have described the first two pages of the ISI supplementary report here and here. Keep checking in here, I shall in the next day or two be describing the "regulatory requirements" and "recommended actions" sections of the report, and what the words mean in plain language.

Also, it turns out that, entirely unheralded, an update the the school's Child Protection Policy has today been published on the school website. I haven't had a chance to look at it in detail yet, but I do notice that some changes have been made in areas I have been criticising. The definition of Sexual Abuse is much improved for instance, and some of the wording to do with internal investigations has been changed to say that matters of substance will be referred to Social Services. But I can see that many paragraphs remain largely unchanged, and there are still far too many weasel words in the document.

If you are a parent of a pupil at the school, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you should attend this meeting. It concerns the safety of your children. It is important that some serious questions are asked at the meeting. if you would like some help working out what are the necessary questions, feel free to contact me by email at, and I can help with this.

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the good work Jonathan.