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School abuse – serious case review circulated nationally

18 April 2012

Tim Loughton has taken the unusual step of asking for the Serious Case Review into the abuse perpetrated by Nigel Leat at Hillside First School to be circulated to all school authorities across the country.

Leat admitted 36 sexual offences involving five girls, some as young as six, at Bristol Crown Court in May 2011. The January 2012 serious case review criticised school management for not acting on earlier warnings.

The review highlighted a number of learning points for schools, including ensuring policies and procedures for safeguarding and managing allegations against staff are disseminated to all staff and historical allegations are correctly recorded so patterns can be detected. The importance of effective safeguarding training for staff and governors was also highlighted, along with the need to follow proper recruitment practices.

All schools, not just those in early years settings, are well advised to read the serious case review and the executive summary before carrying out a thorough review of their policies and procedures and training provision. As well as ensuring best practice, it will stand you in good stead for your next Ofsted inspection.

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