News and Support from The NASUWT
The NASUWT has opposed the introduction of a mandatory duty on teachers to report or act on child abuse and neglect, warning that the current proposals place too much responsibility on the individual teacher.
All those who work with children have an important role to play in child protection and keeping children safe. However, the proposals to introduce either a mandatory duty to report safeguarding concerns or a duty to act are deeply concerning.
Even if teachers have followed their school’s internal safeguarding procedures, they will be required to report their concerns to social services if they feel insufficient action has been taken by their school and will therefore be under an even greater responsibility to chase all the agencies and professionals involved in child protection, until they are satisfied the right action has been taken.
Teachers found to have taken insufficient action could face possible criminal sanctions.
The NASUWT, in its response to the Government, has argued that child protection is a corporate responsibility of the school, rather than of an individual, and that once a teacher has reported concerns, failures in child protection should be viewed as corporate failures.
The Union has stated that a failure to act on concerns raised by staff indicates a problem with the reporting systems in place in a school and that this is the level at which any sanctions, if appropriate, should be directed.