Saturday, 21 June 2014

NSPCC on mandatory reporting - 3

Tom Perry and I have had a further Twitter exchange with Peter Wanless.


So a few days later (on 21st May) Tom Perry wrote to Peter Wanless to confirm the exchange and his willingness to participate in a meeting.
Dear Mr Wanless,

Following our exchanges on Twitter on 15 May (attached), Jonathan West is in the process of assembling a draft agenda for your consideration and input. We will perhaps be circa 5+ people, the names of whom Jonathan will confirm in advance of the meeting once the agenda agreed.  I propose we meet in chambers located twenty minutes from your Curtain Rd office. These arrangements will be subject to competing diaries, accommodation availability, and no doubt the usual collection of factors that make such meetings so challenging to arrange.  

Let’s firstly agree the agenda,  then proceed with participants and availability to establish a meeting date. I hope you consider this a sensible approach.  Do you have a PA who can liaise these matters for you?

I look forward to your reply.  

Tom Perry
Two days later Peter Wanless replied.
Dear Tom

Look forward to hearing from you again when you are ready to make a proposal.  It all feels terribly formal but let’s see what is suggested.  I’m happy for you to liaise directly with me but have copied my PA into this exchange as well.

Best wishes.
It took a few days' work to put together an agenda, I sent it to Peter Wanless on 5th June.
Hi Peter
Here is what I propose for the agenda for our meeting. Note that I have put some bullet points under item 4, items of concern to Mandate Now. I would appreciate it if ahead of time you could provide some bullet points for item 3 to expand on the issues which have caused NSPCC to oppose mandatory reporting until now.

1. Introductions

2. To develop a constructive dialogue and relationship with the common goal of the safety of children attending Regulated Activities of all types.

3. Issues of primary concern to NSPCC regarding safeguarding in Regulated Activities including those matters which have driven NSPCC to oppose mandatory reporting. [NSPCC to present]

4. Issues of primary concern to Mandate Now: [Mandate Now to present]
  • Abuse in regulated activities not being reported in part because of the inadequate ‘regulatory’ framework.  [abuse within the RA, and abuse outside the RA but noticed and reported by it] [L]
  • Poor child protection policies and protocols  [P]
  • Poor child protection/safeguarding inspection of schools [P]
  • Inadequate training supervision and support of staff, DSO’s and Governors [P]
  • Poorly resourced LADOs / Children’s services + poor training [P]
[L]: Legislation
[P]: Practice

5.  Reporting legislation :
  • What benefits/disadvantages does the status quo provide?  [NSPCC]
  • What benefits / disadvantages does mandatory reporting introduce. [Mandate Now]
6. Practice + Policy issues :
  • Enhancing the role of LADO’s + training for this role
  • Child protection inspections of schools
  • Placing staff, DSO, Governor, training on credible foundations
7. Common ground

8. Next steps

Jonathan West
Peter waited a week to reply
Hello Jonathan

I'm conscious I've not replied to your message but I have been involved in some meetings that will, I hope, better clarify the ground at our end and make for a more productive meeting. I will have some comments on how you have chosen to lay things out below and/but I will be happy to list risks identified by those who have argued against advocating for mandatory reporting (in regulated settings) so we can explore together the strength of those points against the case for a new mandatory reporting requirement.

Best wishes.
And that is the current state of things. A month has gone by since Peter Wanless indicated his willingness to talk about the evidence informing the NSPCCs opposition to mandatory reporting, but I've had no more word from him as to when the clarification he speaks of will occur. We have no date for a meeting and no indication of what (if anything) NSPCC is willing to say in defence of its opposition to mandatory reporting. One wonders how strong that willingness really is.

NSPCC seems to be interested in talking about mandatory reporting to anybody and everybody except the people who are actually proposing it. I'll leave it to you to decide why that might be.

1 comment:

  1. One senses the NSPCC doesn't want to hear what you have to say. They will ‘design in’ justifications to whatever preordained outcome they alighted upon months back in discussion with the Department for Education. This will be justified by their discussions with ‘policy wonks’ and people who speak like them to whom they have been engaged for a while on a ‘divide and rule’ basis. But bear in mind very few of these contributors knew, until relatively recently, that law did not exist that required adults who work with children to report concerns of abuse. NSPCC dialogue is therefore being held with 'instant experts' and ‘theorists,’ who’ve only just learned the facts despite their expertise. The NSPCC will be happy to listen to these contributors who could unlikely muster a 32 speech on their understanding of child abuse is institutional settings.

    In contrast, you 'Mandate Monkeys' have responded to their request by proposing an agenda which is pretty intimidating to anyone who lacks a deep understandfing of this complex landscape, and the location you propose will have nothing to reduce their fright. I suspect the meeting became a deeply unpalatable prospect for the collective of former civil servants that inhabit the corridors of the NSPCC. Just look at Wanless’s reply “It all feels terribly formal but let’s see what is suggested". An extra large order of bog rolls for NSPCC offices is likely to have been placed the day your agenda arrived.

    The position the charity will likely will likely adopt when it eventually speaks could possibly include 'we've listened' (oh dear!) and this is the result of the 'audiences we've granted.' The position, whatever it is, will likely have little to do with effective child protection because NSPCC has been silent throughout the decades long legislative deception that's been perpetrated on parents and all children, particularly those who have been subject to abuse in schools and other institutional settings including church groups. The Department of Education was responsible, and in this enterprise it has been aided and abetted by the NSPCC which has forgotten its job is advocating for its beneficiaries - children.

    Why this might have happened may prompt me to post again.