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Nov 21 2012

IBB Law’s ‘Safe from Harm’ Report – Why didn’t Harrow respond?

West London law firm, IBB Solicitors, released a major report earlier this week based on legal research undertaken by a third party organisation, which looks at the effectiveness of the legislation that was introduced to protect children in the wake of the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

The report, Safe from Harm, draws on Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requests which were sent to all local education authorities (LEAs) in England to get an understanding of how many allegations of child abuse have been made in schools and how those allegations have been dealt with in the past three academic years.

FOI requests were submitted to all 152 LEAs to gain an understanding of how many allegations of child abuse have been made in schools and how those allegations have been dealt with over the past three academic years. Staggeringly, IBB say that Harrow is one of 30 authorities who didn’t respond.

The report makes fascinating reading, but we’re more concerned about why Harrow apparently didn’t respond. For a Council that purports to listen, this is a very real subject, at a time of intense scrutiny. Is Harrow’s recent result of merely ‘adequate’ in terms of child safeguarding related to this? Is it, perhaps, anything to do with a recent report on Harrow’s Youth Offending Service, which was described as ‘very disappointing’, and recommended ‘drastic’ or ‘substantial’ improvement in all areas of the service.

This smacks of a council falling apart: with one councillor – indeed, the former Portfolio Holder for Children, Schools and Families – recently arrested following allegations of child pornography offences, and another pleading guilty in court to a fraud-type offence, we can only picture the recently-installed Leader of the Council sitting there, head in hands.

IBB Law have made the report available here. In the meantime, we’ve also asked Harrow a similar question: how many reports of sexual abuse of children by teachers were made over the last three years, and how many of those led to dismissal. You can follow the progress of that request here.

 

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1 comment

  1. Anonymous

    Wasn’t there a scandal a few years back, when Harrow Council were placing children in a home outside the London area, and this home was shown to be a very abusive one. I doubt whether this was properly investigated. I think given the report today about the high levels of child abuse that there are several councils who have records which should be investigated.

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