Welcome to the safeguarding news page. For up to date information future safeguarding dates and any new policy changes can be found here.
The Department for Education (DfE) has published a blog providing guidance to teachers and families on how to talk to children and young people about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The guidance covers how to talk about distressing news stories and how to spot inaccurate information. The Children’s Commissioner for England has also published a blog advising that we should not hide what is happening in the Ukraine from children and young people, but support children in understanding it. Meanwhile, Childline has published content to support children and young people who may be worried about the crisis.
Read the DfE blog: Help for teachers and families to talk to pupils about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and how to help them avoid misinformation
Read the Children's Commissioner blog: We should not hide from children what is happening in Ukraine
Read the Childline content: Worrying about Russia and Ukraine
See also on NSPCC Learning
> How to have difficult conversations with children
Extended deadline for Local Preachers and Worship Leaders to complete Advanced Module training
The Secretary of Conference, the District Chairs Safeguarding Group and the Director of Safeguarding have reached the following decisions:
Local Preachers and Worship Leaders will be given a further 8 months to complete their Advanced Module training i.e. to 31st August 2022
It will be the responsibility of Superintendents to satisfy themselves that a Local Preacher has an up-to-date DBS and has completed the mandatory Advanced Module training before they are included on the Circuit Preaching Plan
It is accepted that in some cases Local Preachers and Worship Leaders cannot immediately complete the training (e.g. no access to technology for online learning or inability to travel to face to face courses) and Superintendents will have to make individual decisions on these situations, documenting the rationale for their decision
After the new deadline of 31st August Local Preachers will no longer be able to be planned unless there are accentuating circumstances
Provision of online and face to face training courses will be essential to supporting this extension and work will be undertaken with DSOs and members of the Learning Network to assess where additional courses may be required
Many of you will appreciate this really helpful extension.
The below is a link to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report, that was published today relating to “Child protection in religious organisations and settings “ the Methodist Church took part in the inquiry and features in the report.
Below is a press statement in response to the report, from the Secretary of the Conference, Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler.
In summary the report says the following about the Methodist Church –
The pen portrait of the case of PR-A10 is the only directly critical information about the Methodist Church in the report (Page XII).
The description of her case in the Executive Summary (Page V) does not name the Methodist Church as the relevant organisation, but the introduction to her case (and two other cases states): “As set out in the report, we have seen egregious failings by a number of religious organisations, and cases of child sexual abuse perpetrated by their adherents. For example: … PR-A10…”
There is also a reference to the finding in the PCR about ministers finding it difficult to recognise and accept that abuse had taken place when the perpetrator was a colleague (Page 28). (The suggested amendments we made to the Inquiry about this comment have not been included, but this is understandable given the context in which this finding is included, i.e. providing evidence that the power held by religious leaders can be a barrier to disclosure).
There are a number of positive conclusions regarding the Methodist Church, including:
The Methodist Church is included as an example of an organisation with appropriate safer recruitment procedures (Page 52)
“There were some organisations with more comprehensive safer recruitment arrangements in place. For example, the Methodis1t Church in Britain…”
The Methodist Church is included as a “rare” example of an organisation with positive internal quality assurance processes (in relation to the PCR). The examples given are referred to as religious organisations “taking a lead in this respect” (Page 99)
“These reviews recognise the needs for effective safeguarding oversight by the bodies themselves and also that past safeguarding problems or failures need to be addressed and dealt with”
The Director of Safeguarding is named in this paragraph
The table at Page 161 sets out the processes in place within the Methodist Church and states that it meets each of the measured categories (Child protection policies, external audit processes, training and DBS checks)
Page 104 refers to the Methodist Church as an organisation where membership of an affiliate body can bring benefits, this appears to be a slightly inaccurate description of the structure of the Methodist Church
No conclusions were reached regarding broader issues such as mandatory reporting or systems for regulating/overseeing religious organisations. This has been left to the final report of IICSA.
Detailed information from the statements regarding the Methodist Church’s views on DBS checks and systems of oversight are set out in the table at Page 195.
Who should attend advanced safeguarding training?
Below is the required attendees list for the advanced training module:
WARNING- EMAIL SCAM
There is a scam that target’s churches across the country that our congregations need to be aware of, in that people are impersonating the Minister of a church and sending emails to request money. An email is sent presuming to be from the Minister asking for support for an immediate emergency need. The “Minister” requests that donations be made in the form of gift cards. The email address may appear as the Minister’s correct email, masked by the scammer. Often, you can click on the sender’s name in the email to see the full email address. However, some scammers are able to mask the entire email address, or the address will be off by one letter or number, easily missed by someone not carefully reading.
The best way to make sure a request is real is to contact the Minister by phone or to send a new email (do not reply, as that will go back to the scammer).
Whilst many of us like to consider ourselves as 'tech savvy', have we ever stopped to check if our wi-fi is secure? Please do take a moment to read the story from the BBC below, and check whether your own wi-fi is as secure as it could be:
Safeguarding is an important aspect in every church, and unfortunately this hasn't always been dealt with properly. This is a link to the enquiry into the Church of England in 2020 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54433295