Royston headteacher – ‘New approach from police on domestic abuse incidents is welcomed’

Police will inform schools within one working day of incidents of domestic abuse if a pupil's welfar

Police will inform schools within one working day of incidents of domestic abuse if a pupil's welfare is considered at risk. - Credit: Archant

Schools in Herts will now be informed within one working day if an alleged incident of domestic abuse has occurred in a pupil’s home – if a child’s welfare might be at risk.

Herts police’s new scheme launched on Monday, with the aim to ensure schools in the county are aware of potential safeguarding issues surrounding their students so they receive the appropriate support.

The policy will be overseen by the force’s specialist Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit, which in 2016 dealt with around 18,500 reports of domestic abuse within intimate relationships.

The unit is headed up by Detective Chief Inspector Ruth Dodsworth, who said: “After their parents, teachers are usually the adults that spend most time with the child on a day-to-day basis. Now, where appropriate, police will inform schools if a serious incident has occurred at home.

“This will pave the way for the school to then pay extra attention to that child, or if there are behavioural or learning issues, the school will know more of the context around them and therefore be able to provide suitable care and support.

“If there are any concerns around the child’s welfare that later arise then the school will also be able to take appropriate action.

“We will take a proportionate approach, so information about minor domestic incidents where no crime has occurred won’t be shared.”

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Laura Rawlings, headteacher of Royston middle schools Greneway and Roysia under The Royston Schools Academy Trust, said: “Information sharing among professionals is always helpful, to ensure a co-ordinated approach for a family. This scheme ensures schools receive timely updates about a child’s situation to support and safeguard, therefore this new approach is welcomed.”