Towards May 2015

I started the Campaign for Daniel’s Law in August 2013, in shock and horror at the suffering four-year-old Daniel Pelka endured over an extended period of time – in spite of the fact that he was in regular contact with professional staff, with a ‘duty of care’ for his well-being.

Within weeks, I had secured 50,000 signatures in support of the mandatory reporting of child abuse by professional staff and I travelled to London on September 16th to deliver my petition to Downing Street, one day ahead of the publication of Daniel’s Serious Case Review. Although some warned me against anticipating the content of that important report, I was absolutely convinced that the failure of school staff to help Daniel would be highlighted i.e. their repeated failure to report Daniel’s countless visible injuries and his painful emaciation over a period of months.

On September 17th, the findings of Daniel’s Serious Case […]

By |October 9th, 2014|Campaign Update|0 Comments

Significant Developments

There have been a number of exceptionally significant developments for the campaign for Daniel’s Law in recent weeks. In the light of ongoing revelations of historic child abuse – at best unreported and at worst covered-up – in regulated settings ranging from schools to hospitals and care homes, the government came under serious pressure from both media and politicians to launch an independent inquiry. Finally, NSPCC chief Peter Wanless was appointed to head up such a commission last week.

As the depravity of the Savile affair continues to unfold and other high profile celebrities and politicians are implicated in child abuse allegations, Cameron appointed a second inquiry under Baroness Butler-Sloss to investigate levels of awareness, complicity and cover-up in Westminster. Revelations concerned missing dossiers would appear to indicate the horror is rooted to the very core of our establishment.

And therein is the irony. Not only is the NSPCC increasingly recognised as […]

By |July 14th, 2014|Campaign Update|0 Comments

Campaign Update

There has been much media coverage of recent statistics on reports of child neglect and abuse – the NSPCC says that cases like Daniel’s have heightened public awareness and therefore the likelihood of adult intervention, which is extremely encouraging. There is also talk of introducing a ‘Cinderella’s Law’ which will make it a crime for parents to emotionally neglect their children. Whilst this is clearly well-intentioned and indicative of a growing commitment to child well-being, it is difficult to imagine how it might be enforced and all the more frustrating when we are still without mandatory reporting of child abuse in regulated activities – tangible legislation which will help protect children suffering abuse both at home and in regulated settings like nurseries, schools and care homes, by requiring staff with a professional ‘duty of care’ to report. This legislation is already in place and working effectively in many other countries […]

By |June 5th, 2014|Campaign Update|0 Comments

100K sign for Daniel’s Law

Last week saw numbers top 100K… and keep on going (we stand at 104,881 at the time of writing). The surge in signatures is largely due to Minister Michael Gove’s comment in the Commons – his acknowledgement that the Department for Education is now actively reviewing the case for ‘mandatory reporting in regulated settings’ has given many organisations, professionals and ordinary people new confidence that, with continued effort, there is every reason to believe we can achieve this important change in our child protection framework and make it law for people who work with children to report child abuse.

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 […]

By |April 7th, 2014|Campaign Update|0 Comments

A significant breakthrough…

The Campaign for Daniel’s Law achieved a significant breakthrough yesterday. Following more allegations of sexual abuse by staff at leading prep schools, Labour MP Tom Watson once again urged government to reconsider mandatory reporting by way of the following question to Michael Gove in Parliament ‘Will Ministers now urgently consider adequate research into the funding of mandatory reporting in regulated settings?’

This time, Mr Gove surprised everyone with his response as follows ‘I have been concerned that this might cause more work for Children’s Services Departments than it would generate safety for children… however, the specific case for mandatory reporting in regulated settings is one we are actively considering’ – watch online at 46.30.

Pressure has been mounting on the government for months to give due consideration to mandatory reporting – continued pressure from the Campaign for Daniel’s Law has been punctuated with many high profile cases including those around Jimmy Savile, Caldicott […]

By |March 27th, 2014|Campaign Update|0 Comments

Campaign update at Daniel’s second anniversary

Monday marked the second anniversary of Daniel’s death 03.03.12. Although there was disappointingly little by way of national coverage in memory of Daniel, the campaign for Daniel’s Law made some great progress and secured a number of new, influential allies.

We continue to work ever more closely with the Mandate Now coalition of survivors (of child abuse) charities; Tom Perry leads this initiative and is a former abused pupil of Caldicott School in Buckinghamshire – notably, Nick Clegg also went to this school. Following the disgrace of Caldicott headlines in late January and the presentation of still more indisputable evidence that staff were aware abuse was occurring over years but failed to report it, the question of child safeguarding was once again raised in Parliament in early February. Tessa Munt MP was quick to ask Edward Timpson ‘Will the Minister reconsider mandatory reporting?’, to which Mr Timpson gave his stock response, […]

By |March 8th, 2014| petition, In the news|0 Comments

Daniel Pelka: Second Serious Case Review

The second serious case review into Daniel’s death was released today. We were expecting 24 hours notice and received none. The findings of this ‘deeper analysis’, which was commissioned by Minister Edward Timpson, back in September 2013 further highlights the need for new legislation requiring staff working with children in regulated activities to report suspected or known child abuse.

The Department for Education continues to assert that teachers and particularly Head Teachers are competent, highly-trained professionals who require only guidance in respect of child protection. Daniel’s death and the evidence set out in both serious case reviews clearly shows this is not always the case. Particularly, the following quotes are lifted from the report:

Page 6  Insufficient training for staff within the school meant that they were unclear of their role in the child protection process, who to go to with concerns and what to do if their concerns were not heard within […]

By |February 5th, 2014| petition, In the news, In the papers|0 Comments

Child-protection policies in ‘most Coventry schools inadequate’

Deeply disturbing article on inadequate safeguarding systems in Coventry schools. Note Little Heath scored just 2 out of 10 against the most basic safeguarding criteria (as outlined by current DfE guidance) 18 months after staff failed to report his suffering and Daniel died at the hands of his mother and step-father after months of visible abuse. Darren Clews, Little Heath’s headteacher and the school’s designated lead for child protection when Daniel died, reported no child-protection concerns to social services, despite significant injuries observed on his pupil, including suspected strangulation bruising on Daniel’s neck; Clews went on to take up a new position at another Coventry School which scores similarly.

Of course, there is no reason to imagine that schools in other parts of the country would perform any better – Jonathan West’s research clearly illustrates that the safeguarding guidance which government claims to be ‘crystal clear’ is not being effectively implemented; staff need […]

By |January 9th, 2014|In the news|0 Comments

Continuing Pressure

The new year saw a couple of important reflective pieces in the press on Daniel’s case, including this convincing article in Forbes by Nick Morrison, who also writes for The Guardian and The Sunday Times. We must do everything we can to keep Daniel’s story in the public domain and to continue to bring to bear pressure for change as we anticipate the now pending report of the second Serious Case Review into Daniel’s death.

Please share this YouTube film to promote the campaign for Daniel’s Law and the critical need for the mandatory reporting of child abuse in Regulated Activities – sooner or later, another child’s life will depend on it.

By |January 3rd, 2014|In the news|0 Comments

Slow but steady progress

One of our supporters Hilary Minor posted a message on the campaign Facebook page this week to remind us all that Christmas is a time for thinking of others and that, for far too many children, it will not be a happy time. Certainly, Christmas would not have been a happy time for Daniel.

It’s interesting to see the current NSPCC campaign headline ‘Lost for words’. The copy reads ‘Imagine you’re the child… too young, too frightened, too vulnerable to call for help’. And yet the NSPCC opposes the introduction of a law to support and require those people who are paid to work with children to speak out on their behalf. Soon, I hope the NSPCC will become embarrassed by their indefensible position, as progressively more charities join our cause. Last week, a debate on Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London indicated overwhelming […]

By |December 20th, 2013|General|0 Comments