North Somerset Safeguarding Children Board have given their backing to John Penrose’s response to revelations that suspicions of Nigel Leat child abuse were not pursued properly by Hillside First School. Following the Serious Case Review, Weston MP John Penrose wrote to the Education Secretary asking him to make sure that rules and procedures for dealing with allegations of child abuse are properly applied in every school. The independent chair of the NSSCB, which carried out the Serious Case Review, has now written to John Penrose welcoming the MP’s involvement and saying:
‘The history of many serious case reviews across the country is that the lessons learnt locally are either not enacted or disseminated to a wider audience and the mistakes identified are repeated elsewhere in the country.
The Board very much welcomes your support to the review findings and your approach to Michael Gove in respect of rolling out the relevant recommendations across the country. The Board will write independently to the Department for Education in the same respect and we will copy you into the letter for your information.’
John said: “I’m very pleased that the Safeguarding Children Board are supporting my efforts. They have an unrivalled understanding of what went wrong at Hillside First school, having investigated the case thoroughly. By working together to raise awareness of the issue and obtain reassurances from the Minister, I hope we can make schools in North Somerset and elsewhere a little bit safer for all our children.”