Following on from the annual NSPCC conference #howsafe2014 last week, CEO Peter Wanless tweeted on Friday that he had spent a ‘fascinating and important afternoon discussing mandatory reporting options, inspection regimes and school safeguarding’ which is encouraging. I note another recent tweet from Peter Wanless which says the NSPCC does not support the instant introduction of mandatory reporting; does this mean the NSPCC might support the introduction of mandatory reporting in regulated settings, supported by research, training and enhanced specialist resource? If so, that’s what the Campaign for Daniel’s Law wants too – we are not proposing a knee-jerk reaction and we appreciate this is not a quick fix. It is widely acknowledged that our child protection infrastructure requires urgent review; mandatoryreporting laws have proved an important catalyst for improvement in countries where they have been introduced and are working effectively. We can have confidence in a system which is grounded in legislation to ensure absolute clarity of requirement and accountability regarding the reporting of child abuse in regulated settings – whilst reporting remains discretionary, our framework will continue to be fundamentally flawed. I very much hope that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, the NSPCC will recognise the importance of this critical requirement and lend important support to the debate.
Although there are a number of caveats attached, to achieve 100K signatures means the Campaign for Daniel’s Law now has a legitimate platform from which to call for parliamentary debate. It is important we get this right and we are now liaising with expert partners and taking political advice to ensure that we do.
Although we cannot help Daniel, our numbers now make us impossible to ignore. In partnership with the Mandate Now coalition of charities, I am confident we can put this requirement firmly on the national agenda, to help protect the countless other children who continue to suffer all kinds of physical, sexual and psychological abuse in regulated settings every single day.
Watch this space and please keep signing for Daniel’s Law.