Lead by the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), a coalition of charities is calling for the Government to introduce ‘mandatory reporting’ in the UK. Under current legislation, reporting child abuse is purely discretionary. This means that if a teacher were to witness their colleague sexually abusing a young pupil they would be under no legal obligation to report the crime to their head teacher, Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or the police. The crime could quite easily be swept under the carpet and if the teacher did go ahead and report the abuse, they would have no statutory protection.
Pete Saunders, Chief Executive of NAPAC said: ‘Mandatory reporting is long overdue in this country. Parents will probably be shocked to learn that such legislation does not already exist. Staff who suspect abuse may report it, but face no sanction for failing to report. In places such as Hillside First School, Downside, St Benedict’