Letters Extra: How to join up thinking

21st February 2003 at 00:00

I was interested in the article (TES,nbsp;February 7) which described the potential of the full-service school in protecting children from abuse.

The article also drew attention to two related issues which are of key importance. Lord Laming's report into the death of Victoria Climbi called for training bodies in each of the key agencies to place a greater emphasis on inter-agency working.

A key step towards this is single agency training. Most initial teacher training courses cover child protection but time constraints limit the input.

A recent survey of over 1,100 newly-qualified teachers has shown that training during their induction period has the potential to be even more significant.

Lord Laming also commented on the importance of agencies co-operating over the protection of children.

LEAs have a key role to play in supporting schools in this. A report, Responsibility without Power, which has just been published by NSPCC, shows the difficulties they face in matching up to this responsibility.

The full service schools initiative is to be welcomed, not least because it brings different professions in to close contact at an operational level and allows for informed and timely decisions to be made.

In the article one head teacher refers to a sharp increase in the number of child protection referrals which range from headlice to serious abuse.

Many of the teachers I have worked with would welcome a more `joined up' response to similar referrals they have made.

Mary Baginsky
Senior Research Officer
NSPCC
42 Curtain Road
London
EC2

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