Legislation to Safeguard Child Rights in the UK


21 Nov 2017

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Steven Howells

CYP Core 3:3


Because the well – being of all children and young adults is so important, organizations in the United Kingdom and around the world have created policies and legislation’s to ensure a structure of security. This structure ensures that everyone in an educational environment is safeguarded.

Some of the main policies include:

  • The Children’s Act 1989 – This policy was designed to make all the laws that relating to children and young adults less complicated. It also brings many organizations and authorities together to ensure that children receive the assistance they require.
  • The Children’s Act 2004 – This Act is an update that was put into place after the death of Victoria Climbie. The information was reviewed by multiple services and yet they failed to work together which resulted in this child’s suffering, and eventually her death. Rules and regulations were put into place to allow services to share the information accordingly to ensure that anyone under the age of 19 years old who may be at risk could be helped and not overlooked.
  • Children and Young Persons Act 2008 – This Act changes the structure of the care system. It pushes services to provide the best care as quickly as possible to children and young people. It also enables children and young adults to be capable of achieving the same as a child who is not in care.
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003 – This policy covers a large scale of offences, but is designed to cover against, sexual offences or rape in the United Kingdom or in some circumstances abroad.
  • Adoption and Children Act 2002 – This act was put into place to ensure that children were going to homes that hold the best intentions for them. It also gives a more reasonable approach to single people and unmarried couples who would like to adopt and provides more assessments to ensure the child is going to the best home for them, but to also ensure that a family is adopting a child best suited to their current environment (i.e. if a family already has children, they will not be put at risk by putting a child with history of severe mental illness in the same home).
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 – “Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is an integral component of protecting their rights to survival, growth and development” UNICEF, (2011)
  • The Education Act 2002 – The policy was designed to create a structure for anyone in educational services to help with safeguarding. The helps protecting children and young people by ensuring a safe place to study. It also helps protect children and young people by identifying anyone who could be / already at risk in a school environment or at home.
  • Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 – The act covers many areas of protecting victims of crimes. It also covers new rules and regulations to give bailiffs the power to use forcible entry to property if a child or vulnerable person is at risk of death.
  • Vetting and barring scheme – After the conviction of Ian Huntley in 2003, further examination into Huntley’s past showed that he had been had been investigated and charged for other offences. But because of the structure of the original checks, he passed and was allowed to work in a school environment. Afterwards, the structure of the checking system was changed in order to ensure this would never happen again. The new checking system now covers every offence, investigation and charges to ensure that individuals with any form of criminal record and/ or any possibility of committing an offence can no longer work in an environment where there is a risk to children, young adults or adults who are vulnerable.


Child protection is only one piece of a larger concept of safeguarding. The health and safety of children and young people is paramount. It protects those who are young and vulnerable nearly every form of mistreatment like being neglected raped or abused mentally or physically. It helps to prevent those who could later suffer results of impairment of any form from the hands of mistreatment. Risk assessments to ensure a safe home and place of study are part of this. Making sure that schools are governed correctly and a structure of policies, rules and regulations are put in place and kept up to date. Ensuring any safeguard issues are dealt with properly, ensuring all staff are up to date with all aspects of training and also promoting the best development for all its students.The development of the children can include tests like the CAF to ensure that children receive any additional learning required, or other tests that ensure health and well – being of its students.


Every School and local authority has their own policies concerning child protection. All of them put the same ideals into action which are: “

  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic well-being. “

In order to make the community aware of child protection issues, campaigns and other similar methods are used. All communities have to be monitored to ensure that all targets and policies are met, also to ensure that all issues are being dealt with appropriately. It keeps a healthy communication with local services to ensure the best methods are used to benefit students. Also to report any signs of cruelty, neglect or abuse. This creates a better success rate of child development. If everybody knows what methods work best for a single / group of student(s), there I more chance for students to progress rather than regress in development. External health and safety management teams are put into place as another form of monitoring. This time they monitor the buildings and the possibilities of risks. Also health services visit to make children aware of what is healthy and unhealthy.

To summarise, every student is protected by a large structure formed from all the acts that are implemented by the government. They all follow these acts to achieve this structure. When this structure is followed correctly there is less chance for a student to be at risk of many outcomes ( i.e. risk of harm, risk of being neglected or risk of failing to progress in development).


If a child is being neglected, abused or worst case scenario has died as a result of either, the child welfare officer should be notified in order in order to find out what happened to prevent this from happening again. They will access every aspect in order to achieve the most accurate of reports. When the report is finished, it will be reviewed and from this the government will decide what went wrong, why it went wrong, how they will improve their service in order to make it better. This in my opinion is the wrong approach to take because to me it seems like the government want to wait for it to happen and then study why it happened. I believe there is many forms of serious child abuse that are not considered as neglect or abuse due to the current status of the country. The government believe that just because a child lives in a home with a water supply, fridge – freezer and oven they have what they need. But this does not include food or clothing which should be included when raising a child.


All personnel must keep confidentiality in accordance of the Data Protection act 1998 (See TDA Section 4). This keeps all information private and helps to safeguard everyone who attends or work’s at the school. In order to keep full confidentiality, all staff are only permitted to discuss personal details, circumstances, or school work connected to their own child(ren). A parent will be able to discuss their children’s work and grades but will not have access to them. The only information that is shared is when a child has reached the age to attend secondary school. The secondary school will require information that is relevant in order to help the student maintain progression through this phase.



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