§ 25. Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what advice his Department has issued to local education authorities on how to increase teachers' sensitivity to the possibility of child abuse and on how to make an appropriate response to any suspicions.
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
The Department issued in July last year a circular entitled "Working Together for the Protection of Children from Abuse: Procedures Within the Education Service", which is designed to help local education authorities and schools to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to prevent and deal with child abuse. The circular includes advice regarding possible signs of abuse, and on action which should be taken within the education service to enable cases of suspected or identified abuse to be properly considered and pursued.
§ Mrs. Dunwoody
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will organise a conference of education authorities which have followed training programmes concerning child abuse; how many have held training sessions in the last 12 months; and how many advice notices have been issued by his department to encourage such training courses;
(2) what information he has on how many educational authorities have organised special courses which would help teachers recognise signs of child abuse.
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
The Department's circular "Working Together for the Protection of Children From Abuse", issued in July 1988, included the recommendation that local education authorities should develop arrangements for the appropriate in-service training of teachers and other staff on child abuse matters.218W
The Department has asked all local education authorities to report by the end of this month on the action they have taken to give effect to this and the other recommendations in the circular. These reports should provide information regarding the number of local education authorities which have arranged training provision for teachers and other staff.
The Department has no current plans to organise a conference of local education authorities which have followed training programmes concerning child abuse.