Implementing a duty to report child sexual abuse and its impact on children, organisations and affected workforces and volunteers

ASCL response to the call for evidence on how implementing a duty to report child sexual abuse is likely to impact children, organisations, and affected workplaces and volunteers; and how different aspects could be implemented. 

ASCL fully recognises the importance of ensuring sexual abuse is properly identified and reported. Keeping children safe in schools and FE institutions is fundamental. As such, the proposed definition of a ‘mandated reporter’, to include any person working in regulated activity in relation to children (under the Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, as amended), any person working in a position of trust (as defined by the Sexual Offences Act 2003, as amended); and police officers is appropriate. However, given the broad nature of the definition for what constitutes a ‘mandated reporter’, and potential sanctions being considered for failing to meet the duty, it is essential that careful consideration is given to the overall scope and obligations under the duty to ensure a disproportionate, imbalanced expectation is not placed on school leaders who are already required to comply to obligations as set out within other statutory guidance such as ‘Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE)’ and ‘Working together to safeguard children’. 

Full response to consultation