All Leicester Schools have become part of a new safeguarding initiative, which aims to improve outcomes for children and families affected by domestic violence and abuse.
This scheme has been designed to provide early reporting to schools of any domestic abuse incidents that might have an impact on a child that attends their school. The approach, known as Operation Encompass is used in a number of other places across the UK and is run in partnership with Leicester City Council and Leicestershire Police.
All public agencies currently share information where there are safeguarding concerns or risk of harm to children and the Police currently share information on all incidents of domestic abuse in Leicester with Leicester City Council.
To further support the welfare of children this information sharing is being extended. Our Designated Safeguarding Lead will now be informed when any domestic abuse incident has been reported to the police and one of our pupils was in the household. It will not give any details about the incident.
This has been introduced because domestic abuse in a household can have a big impact on children, even if they do not see what is happening.
This information will be used to ensure the school is able to provide appropriate support to our pupils. The information will remain confidential and only shared on a strictly need-to-know basis, for example with the class teacher. It will not be shared with any pupils.
If you would like to speak to someone in confidence about domestic abuse, call the Leicester, Leicestershire& Rutland Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 802 0028 or visit https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-community/emergencies-safety-and-crime/domestic-and-sexual-abuse/
We look to offer the best support possible for our pupils and believe that this scheme is going to be beneficial and supportive for all those involved. In other areas of the country where it is in place it has been found to be a very effective way of supporting children at a most difficult time.
“For schools to be able to effectively play their part in supporting children who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence early information is essential. This simple but invaluable sharing of information will help schools prepare for the needs and potential behaviours of a child immediately following an incident. Schools already work closely with police and social services but early notification can only strengthen that relationship improving the overall support to the child.”
Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of the NAHT
“… actually Operation Encompass is doing exactly the right thing”
Bradley Simmons, South West Regional Director, OFSTED
Why is it important for schools to work with the different services to support children who have witnessed domestic violence?