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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Protecting children at school

Friday, January 25, 2013

As Chair of the Child Protection All-Party Parliamentary group Meg Munn MP was pleased to discuss Ofsted’s inspection of child protection practices in schools with Edward Timpson MP Minister at the Department for Education. She was accompanied by Ann Coffey MP, a member of the group, and Alan Wardle from the NSPCC. The Prime Minister arranged the meeting after Meg had questioned him on the new arrangements for inspection meant that some schools’ child protection practices might not be reviewed by Ofsted for many years if at all.

Both Meg and Ann pointed out that although there is a risk assessment undertaken to decide whether outstanding schools should be inspected, it relies only on academic achievement and whether specific safeguarding concerns have been raised.  Academically outstanding schools can have poor child protection cultures, as evident in a recent situation where a school girl went missing with a teacher.  The recent revelations about serious child abuse in many of our institutions also demonstrate the need to be proactive in ensuring that schools have a culture that is open and transparent.

There was a productive discussion with the Minister stating that Ofsted will be undertaking a survey during this academic year to look specifically at safeguarding in outstanding schools. This will include consideration of how well staff are trained to understand and act on risk of significant harm. Meg pressed for young people to be consulted as part of this process, and the Minister agreed that this should be considered as part of the design of the survey. He agreed at the end of the process to consider whether further steps should be taken.

It was also agreed that there should be a follow up meeting with the Chief Inspector of Ofsted to discuss the issue in more detail.

Meg said:

“This was a positive meeting with the Minister listening carefully to our concerns. The Child Protection All-Party Group will continue to press the government on this issue to ensure that the protection of our children is taken seriously in all schools.”

 

Question to the Prime Minister

Meg Munn (Sheffield, Heeley) (Lab/Co-op): The Prime Minister has rightly expressed concern about child abuse in our institutions, but last year the government reduced child protection measures in schools, and changes made to Ofsted will result in some schools never being inspected on their child protection procedures. Will the Prime Minister now meet me and cross-party MPs from the all-party child protection group to protect our children now and in the future?

The Prime Minister: I am very happy to arrange a meeting between the hon. Lady and the new Minister, who has huge experience in this area and who I know will be delighted to discuss it with her. What we have tried to do is simplify a set of rules and regulations that involved 9 million or 10 million more parents in this sort of thing and concentrate on where the focus is needed, but I am happy to arrange that meeting.

Associated Photograph :

Meg, Edward Timpson MP and Ann Coffey MP

Meg, Edward Timpson MP and Ann Coffey MP


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