Time to improve safeguards in private schools

Plaid MS criticises government delays in protecting children

Plaid Cymru’s North Wales MS has welcomed moves by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales to improve safeguards in independent schools in Wales.

Llyr Gruffydd said the review into ensuring private school staff were registered was vitally important to provide assurances about child protection in their care.

He said: “This review is long overdue, as Professor Sally Holland herself acknowledges. Two successive Labour governments have proposed reforms to registration requirements for independent school staff as well as better regulation of elective home education and it hasn’t happened. All staff should be required to register with the Education Workforce Council, as is the case with state schools.

“If this had been in place then perhaps the behaviour of the head teacher at Ruthin School towards pupils in his care may have been prevented. In light of that case, I hope the Children’s Commissioner will ensure that adequate protections are put in place to safeguard all children in an educational setting.

It’s not good enough to see children being put at risk by government inaction.”

Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said:

“For years, we’ve made repeated calls to improve the legal framework to protect these children’s rights and have been particularly concerned about the Welsh Government’s response to the death of Dylan Seabridge in 2011.

“Reforms to elective home education regulations and registration requirements for independent school staff have been proposed by two successive governments but have not proceeded. I wish to examine why this has happened.

“Whilst I understand and appreciate that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the workings of Government across every department and function, we have a duty to safeguard the rights and welfare of children and young people. Elements of this review will focus on decisions and actions pre-pandemic and I have made a commitment that this work should not impede any ongoing policy work in relevant departments within Government.”

FULL DETAILS HERE:  https://www.childcomwales.org.uk/2020/09/announcement-of-the-childrens-commissioner-for-wales-review-of-welsh-government-actions/

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