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Safeguarding Officer

Safeguarding Report (Child Protection) 2016


I am pleased to report that I continue to receive enquiries from ringers about safeguarding and child protection, and thank everyone for your input on this important subject.

During 2016 I announced to members that the National Church has introduced new child protection and safeguarding procedures which will be rolled out by each diocese during 2017. One major change is the requirement for tower captains to attend safeguarding training. At the time of writing, the details and timescales are not known but it is expected that ringers will be advised in due course by their local parish church safeguarding co-ordinator or PCC. 

I have amended the Association safeguarding policy and procedures to reflect the most recent information received from the Diocese. The relevant documents can be found on the Association website. Further amendments may be required.

The relationship between ringers and parish church is vitally important and there can sometimes be gaps in our understanding of one another. I hope that together we can build on the work we do for all our stakeholders, and continue to communicate effectively with church authorities for our mutual benefit. I will continue to represent ringers as best I can to maintain close links between ourselves and the Diocese. 

Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss any safeguarding issues, as I am always pleased to help.
Phillip George

Safeguarding Report (Child Protection) 2015

The Association policy, procedures and related documentation were reviewed in November 2015. No changes were necessary at that time.

In April I held a safeguarding presentation in Oakington church hall which was attended by 25 ringers from across the Association. The presentation broadly followed the Diocesan Guidelines in safeguarding, being an introduction defining types of abuse, the national picture, the vulnerability of the church, managing risks and an explanation as to why DBS checks are necessary in certain circumstances. 

As usual in any 12-month period, I have received several enquiries from individuals and parishes, one of which involved me attending a parish ringers’ meeting. I have also worked with Barbara Le Gallez helping to set up procedures for the Recruitment and Education Centre(s). 

Occasional revelations of child abuse incidents in the media, including ringing publications, are a cause for concern and I encourage everyone to be aware of your own parish and the Association safeguarding policies and procedures to help protect vulnerable people. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or would like to discuss any safeguarding issues.

Phillip George 

Safeguarding Report (Child Protection) 2014

The Association policy, procedures and related documentation were reviewed in November 2014. No changes were necessary at that time.

In March I attended a safeguarding workshop in Ely. This is an annual refresher training when there is an opportunity to meet with other parish safeguarding coordinators and parish priests. I am usually called upon at these meetings to give a bell ringers’ perspective on some aspects of safeguarding, which I hope raises our profile amongst the other delegates. 

During the year I received several enquiries from ringers or other parish representatives. Topics included: DBS checks for tower captains, safeguarding considerations for visiting ringers, transferability of DBS certificates, the development of the Young Ringers’ website, and the safeguarding requirements of attendance at the National Young Ringers Striking Competition. 

New DBS certificates can be registered with the Updating Service (within 19 days of the date on the certificate). In some circumstances this can help make the certificates transferable to other organisations. The website page is at https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service.

Ringers need to be continuously aware of safeguarding issues and I would ask that you do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance with procedures or administration.

Phillip George 

Safeguarding Report (Child Protection) 2013

The Association policy and related documentation were reviewed and amended in October 2013. CRB checks are now known as DBS checks due to the merging of The Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority to become the Disclosure and Barring Service. 

I attended a refresher workshop at Ely for stage 2 safeguarding, and also met with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer to discuss the DBS certification of ringing members. It is not a requirement that our members are certified in order to carry out work on behalf of the Association, but the formal introduction of monthly practices for young ringers increases exposure to safeguarding issues and the leaders involved have now been DBS certified as Association Bell Ringing Trainers. The documentation is managed through me via the Diocese.

Recommendations from the Diocese on the taking and use of photographs has been included in our policies. All webmasters of Association websites have now included a statement pointing out that appropriate permission must be obtained before publication of photographs which include images of children.

During the year I have received enquiries from and been able to help two towers within the Association regarding safeguarding procedures. 

I thank the webmasters for their co-operation in helping to highlight the new procedures. All relevant documentation can be found on the Association website and I will always be pleased to help with any enquiries.

Phillip George

Safeguarding Report (Child Protection) 2012

In December 2012 changes in the safeguarding legislation meant that all those who help with teaching and training under the direct supervision of an authorised CRB checked trainer are legally exempt from CRB checks. As a result of this I have reviewed the Association Policy and made relevant changes. These amendments have been brought to the attention of members via the District Secretaries.

I have attended two Safeguarding Co-ordinators' meetings arranged by the Diocese. These take the form of workshops when there are opportunities to share ideas and consider case studies. I would urge all tower captains / trainers to be aware of your own church safeguarding procedures.

I have not received any enquiries from members about safeguarding during 2012 but I was approached by the Association of Ringing Teachers and helped with developing their safeguarding policy.

Details of the Association policy are on the website and I will always be pleased to help with any enquiries.
Phillip George