Safeguarding Case Studies

Outstanding Safeguarding from Ethica.

We do not identify locations, cases, victims or accused parties. However, these anonymised actual cases, illustrate the personal professional experience of our Safeguarding Associates.

Following allegations of sexual assault at an Independent school

Ethica Solutions were commissioned by the Head teacher of a large Independent school to review the evidence in respect of allegations that a teacher had sexually assaulted a number of pupils. The teacher had been found not guilty of criminal offences at Crown Court.

Following the acquittal, the ongoing safety of pupils and employment issues remained for the Head teacher and governors to consider. They wanted to ensure that all available evidence was acquired and reviewed in an effective, independent and cost effective way, in order to enable them to make judgments that were both rational and fair to all parties including the teacher.

Ethica Solutions were asked to review the evidence, in order to provide the decision makers with the ability to make a rational judgment as to whether the available evidence indicated that the teacher’s continued presence represented an unacceptable risk to children at the school on the basis of the ‘balance of probabilities’ test, as opposed to ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, that is required in a criminal trial.

Ethica Solutions deployed an experienced investigator to gather all available evidence, including negotiating with the police regarding the criminal investigation and speaking with the teacher.

The school were able to use with confidence, the report provided by Ethica Solution’s investigator as a key component of their decision making in this difficult and sensitive matter.

Review of current policies and historical cases

Two large children & young person’s organisations that each have regular care for up to 40,000 youngsters commissioned Ethica Solutions separately. The organisations were concerned, given the abounding allegations of child abuse emanating from institutional organisations and the ongoing ‘Jay’ enquiry, to be reassured that historical and current incidents of alleged child abuse had been properly dealt with, and that their current policies and procedures were effective in providing a safe environment for the children & young people in their care.

The clients were understandably concerned regarding confidentiality, and were reassured by our reputation and experience in dealing with sensitive issues in absolute confidence.

Ethica Solutions deployed two associates to each client organisation, importantly in order to provide a blended multi-agency, moderated approach those two associates came from a police investigative background and a social work, child services background.  Using a robust methodology, they reviewed a very significant number of incident files.

Other associates reviewed extant policy and procedures.

Findings and recommendations were reported in writing and by way of personal presentation to board level in those organisations.  The findings and recommendations were positively received and actioned to improve their safeguarding delivery, and we were delighted with the very positive feedback from the organisations emphasizing the utility of our reviews and the professionalism of our service delivery.

Radicalisation training and review

A regional school governor’s forum identified a training need in respect of their responsibilities as regards the difficult subject of radicalization in schools from a governance perspective. Ethica Solutions developed and prepared a bespoke awareness seminar that was delivered to a large number of governors who provided positive feedback that their confidence in their capability in this area of safeguarding had been significantly enhanced.

Child safeguarding awareness

Ethica Solutions have provided well-received child safeguarding awareness training to regional independent school bursars at regional ISBA meetings, and to primary Head teachers at regional IAPS as well as prestigious independent schools.

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Talk to us about how we can help you with Safeguarding. Call us on 0208 720 6792.

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Review support following incidents of peer on peer abuse

Ethica Solutions were engaged by a large Academy trust at a strategic and operational level to support the review and learning arising from a critical incident involving a child pupil who was a registered sex offender who assaulted a disabled child whilst on an external visit. The review that included learning & best practice seminars led to Ethica Solutions being engaged to develop a trust risk assessment policy and procedure in respect of all aspects of child safeguarding.

Large scale safeguarding training program

Ethica Solutions are proud to be providing a unique holistic safeguarding support service to 53 academy schools across 4 multi agency trusts. The service being delivered includes;

  • Development, authoring and review of the academy child safeguarding policy & procedure.
  • Development of a self-inspection toolbox, to enable head teachers to assess their child safeguarding arrangements against the Ofsted – Joint inspection framework.
  • Delivery of our 3 tiered independently accredited child safeguarding training to all 4200 teachers and staff over a 3 year programme.
  • Delivery of focused seminars on discrete child safeguarding areas, i.e. Sexting, FGM, CSA and radicalisation.
  • Reviews of historical and recent child safeguarding incidents, identifying learning opportunities.
  • Investigation of safeguarding complaints that do not meet the threshold for a joint agency investigation.
  • A real time advice and response dedicated telephone line available to all schools providing them with direct contact to an experienced child safeguarding professional who can provide advice across the spectrum of child safeguarding issues.
  • Real time deployment of a strategic safeguarding expert to advice and support to the Head teacher and governors in the event of a critical safeguarding incident, including communications and media reputation management issues.

Tackling bullying

Ethica Solutions supported the family of a child, who was bullied at his independent school. The matter was not dealt with appropriately causing significant distress to the victim and his family.  Our associate sensitively worked with the family in negotiating with the school, ultimately facilitating a resolution that restored the confidence of the family and enabled the pupil to continue his education in a secure environment.

Effective and responsible management of response to a critical incident

In this situation, the multiagency response to a particularly tragic critical incident was led by a highly experienced member of our team of Safeguarding Associates.

A Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA) framework had been set up by local responsible agencies around a dangerous offender with convictions for violent crime, including murder, who was living back in the community.

Over time, the agencies agreed to iteratively relax the restrictions placed upon the individual in response to pressure from his legal team. One of the restrictions removed was the requirement that he not enter a city near to the bail hostel in which he was resident.

On his first visit to the city, the offender met a woman whom he raped and killed.  In addition to the horrific implications for the victim’s family, and grave concerns of the community, this dreadful event represented a critical incident for all of the agencies involved in the MAPPA process.

Our Associate led the multiagency response, which worked to identify what had gone wrong, do what they could for the family of the victim, and sought to reassure the community that lessons learned would ensure such an event would be unlikely to happen again.

Managing this response required absolute openness and honesty on the part of all agencies, a feat achieved by the negotiating skill and diplomacy of our Associate.

Managing the enormous media interest and criticism became a crucial part of explaining to the family and community what had gone wrong and what had been done to learn lessons, as well as to expressing the sorrow of the agencies involved that this dreadful attack had been allowed to happen.

Our now Associate, along with fellow agency leads, prepared and offered a public apology in the media, accompanied by a message of reassurance as to the lessons learned.

Development and delivery of more effective Safeguarding awareness training

It is hugely important that both parents and teachers have a thorough understanding of how and why child abusers might use the Internet to target children. Yet this is a subject for which there is little available education.

While there are training programs available which simply instruct parents on the fairly obvious ‘dos and don’ts’ of managing their children’s internet use, our Safeguarding Associates team has developed bespoke training backed by its many years of child abuse investigation and research.

The sessions are for adults only, due to the content discussed, and are fully interactive between the audience and our Associates. We have delivered these sessions to audiences of both teachers and parents.

The sessions explain the criminal offences in question, the myths around child sex offenders and online dangers, what grooming actually is, and the behaviours and warning signs to look out for in children.

Arrest and conviction of an offending teacher

Where a person has a sexual interest in children, it’s common for them to gain confidence over time and embark on more ambitious offending. They may also seek any available opportunity to gain unsupervised access to potential victims.

One of our Safeguarding Associates investigated and contributed to the successful prosecution of a primary school teacher who had worked in education for over 15 years (the scope of his historic offending is still not truly known).

Following a school residential trip which the teacher had run, a 10 year old boy reported that he had been sexually assaulted in the early hours of the morning.

Owing to a lack of evidence, the teacher was not, on this occasion, even suspected. Some months later, whilst volunteering at a local youth centre, the teacher was caught by a member of staff, again engaging in a sexual act with a young boy in the early hours of the morning as the child slept.

Many former colleagues, when interviewed by police, observed that they had felt that the man had taken every opportunity to plan and run school trips, and to find other opportunities to take children away overnight.

As a result of the investigation, the teacher was charged with relevant offences and banned from working with children.

Arrest and conviction of a teacher over images of children

Many people who have a sexual interest in children may restrict their activity to viewing indecent images and not go on to commit contact offences. However, research shows that there can be an escalation from viewing images to committing contact offences.

One of our Safeguarding Associates investigated and contributed to the successful prosecution of a secondary school IT teacher found guilty of making and storing indecent images of children.

In his spare time, the teacher was a keen photographer who ran a side-line business photographing weddings and offering ‘glamour’ photography. When suspicion fell on the teacher, he was found to have many hundreds of indecent images.

Following detailed investigation, it became clear that he had been photographing students in the schools at which he been employed. (Alarmingly, it emerged that on several occasions the schools involved had been aware that the teacher was taking ‘glamour’ photos of students as an out of school activity.)

The investigation led to allegations of acts of sexual touching by several other students. As a result, the teacher was charged with substantive offences.

Get in touch

Talk to us about how we can help you with Safeguarding. Call us on 0208 720 6792.

Contact us now

Safeguarding Training

With a range of programs designed to meet the needs of every section of your community, Ethica Solutions is the only provider of Safeguarding training accredited by SFJ Awards, the qualifications body licensed by the UK Government department Ofqual.

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Our Safeguarding Investigations team of former police investigative officers has the expertise needed to carry out sensitive yet robust investigations into matters involving allegations of mis-conduct, abuse or other inappropriate or endangering behaviour.

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Our team of experienced Safeguarding Associates with backgrounds in education, policing, social services and local authorities means Ethica Solutions is ideally equipped to review your Safeguarding arrangements, and to make recommendations on how to replan or enhance your procedures.

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With one of our highly experienced Safeguarding Associates on hand to advise you as it happens, you can emerge from even the most unfortunate Safeguarding incident having acted in the best interests of victim, justice and your organisation.

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