St Paul’s Serious Case Review

The Serious Case Review (SCR) commissioned by Richmond Safeguarding Children Board concerning St Paul’s School London concluded with the publication of the report on13 January 2020.  A SCR is a statutory process entailing a holistic consideration of the conduct of agencies involved in allegations of abuse. ISI was pleased to participate on the review panel chaired by Edi Carmi and to contribute to recommendations.

SCR conclusions

The following paragraphs from the report summarises the conclusions:

This review has brought into stark relief the complexities surrounding keeping children safe in school. Whilst many of the experiences of ex-pupils explored within this review could be described as “non-recent” and expected responses today would be very different, there are lessons for safeguarding that transcend time and place and raise important questions for current safeguarding practices. A minority of recommendations are specific to St Paul’s School and even these may have relevance in other school settings.

The majority of recommendations are aimed at firmly establishing a culture where the safety and wellbeing of pupils is paramount and in helping schools to put this into practice in a context where academic success may be perceived as the top priority in state maintained and independent schools alike. The recommendations recognise the importance of a sound legislative, strategic and procedural framework, but most importantly the crucial role played by sound relationships across safeguarding partnerships. These relationships need to be based on trust, clear respectful communication and a willingness to challenge, reflect and learn together.

Key recommendations

The review has identified some gaps in the current national safeguarding system
that need to be addressed. Themes revolve around:

  • Accepting responsibility in order to affect cultural change.
  • Developing positive relationships and partnerships as a prerequisite for effective safeguarding practice.
  • Working with safeguarding in a school environment – balancing various legal requirements.
  • Developing and refining national systems and guidance.
  • Managing complex investigations – the need for strategic oversight.
  • Refining practice systems and processes within the School.

The IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) is aware of the Review.

Follow links to the Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Board pages for the full SCR Report and the media briefing pack.

The most recent ISI inspection reports for St Paul’s School can be accessed through searching Find a Report.