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National Safeguarding Team News

by Adrian Smale last modified 14 Aug, 2020 11:02 AM

News letters July 2020

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1...Message from the Director 7...Safeguarding Standards and QA
2....Learning and Development 8...Staff update
3.....PCR2 9....Communications
4.....National Case Management System 10...Regional DSA meetings
5.....Safe Spaces 11... Share new contact details
6.....Update on regional model   


Message from the Director of Safeguarding
Dear colleagues,

I hope that you all manage to get some sort of break this summer, whatever that may mean for you in the current COVID context. This is the last newsletter over the summer period as we will not send one out in August.

We have an update below on the plans for the regional models and are working towards a pilot phase in 2021. I am very grateful to everyone who provided their written feedback from the consultation, and also to all those who have joined us in zoom calls over the past months to discuss it further. It has been really good to have the opportunity to meet you face to face, even if virtually, and we would like to continue holding zooms to enable that dialogue to continue. The written and verbal feedback was summarised for the last meeting of the National Safeguarding Steering Group and has informed the decision to consider a pilot phase. We have had feedback of all different types and opinions on aspects of these proposals, and it has been challenging to try and order this into things that most people are supportive of about the model versus things that most people are concerned about, because there hasn’t been a consistent consensus. We are unlikely therefore to tick everyone’s boxes with the next iteration, but the quality of debate and discussion has helped us to refine the thinking about what we are trying to achieve. We will keep you posted on next steps.

Also in this edition, David Worlock has provided an update on National Safeguarding Standards for the Church. These are really important developments for our safeguarding journey; the need for more investment was a clear consistent message from your feedback. There is also an update on training and development from Lisa and Craig, along with other updates from the Team. We will continue to notify you of any newsworthy developments or issues that need feedback in between times. The communications section provides links to announcements or news coverage you may have missed.

We are expecting to go live with Safe Spaces before the next newsletter, and I do hope you will be able to join the webinars with Victim Support which have been set up. As part of this project we have been able to work with survivors in the procurement phase, but also recently in thinking about how survivors' voices will influence the future governance and evaluation of the project. My thanks goes to those working on this, especially survivors, who have had such a positive influence so far including being on Victim Support’s successful interview panel for the Safe Spaces manager. Victim Support are also due to have an introductory meeting with members of the survivors' reference group in August, as part of survivor engagement with the service going forward.

It is hugely encouraging that the Bishop of Bristol Viv Faull will join the lead safeguarding bishops as a deputy working closely with Bishop Jonathan Gibbs and Bishop Debbie Sellin along with the National Team and dioceses. We welcome Deborah McGovern who has taken up one of the policy posts, she may be known to some of you through her previous role at St Paul's Cathedral. For further detail on the NST as a whole do take a look at the organisational chart we have included. Tim Bonnett, adviser to the lead bishops, took up his role at the beginning of the month, as previously announced.

I wish you all a restful summer as we look ahead to a very busy autumn!

Best wishes


Learning and Development

Dear colleagues,

The National Safeguarding Team, with the support and agreement of the National Safeguarding Steering Group, is committed to leading a “paradigm shift” in the Church’s approach to safeguarding. Although the Church has made important steps to becoming safer, there is still a long way to go (and this will no doubt be highlighted in the forthcoming IICSA report). The vision is that safeguarding, rather than being on the periphery, becomes part of the DNA of the Church, its mission and its theology. This will involve changes on several fronts. With regard to “training”, the direction of travel is now an approach which emphasises the idea of transformative learning journeys which impact on people's beliefs and values and, through that, their behaviours. This approach involves a blending of methodologies, with an emphasis on self-reflexivity and dialogue. It also involves a move away from a focus on process.

Work is now underway on the review and remodelling of the safeguarding learning modules based on these principles involving a wide range of people across the Church. This will include a greater emphasis on the direct involvement of survivors.

Upon revision in 2020 the Safeguarding Learning and Development Framework will contain 14 modules which can be grouped into five categories – Core, Role Specific, Issue Based, Toolkits and Pathways. The Core modules are those which build safeguarding learning dependent on a person’s level of responsibility for safeguarding and are mandatory for Church Officers. The remainder of the modules have been designed to offer specific learning opportunities for those holding specific roles, cover specific safeguarding related issues, provide knowledge and toolkits for practitioners on specific areas of safeguarding practice or offer developmental opportunities for our safeguarding advisers and trainers.

Two, Basic Awareness and Foundation, will be for online completion although there will be the ability to download the content for use to deliver at a face-to-face session in special circumstances – this should be by exception rather than the usual form of delivery. 

The rest of the modules will be for face-to-face delivery although some may have online or virtual components.

Learning Framework

The picture above shows that of the 14 modules, seven will be delivered directly by the National Safeguarding Training and Development Managers. The remaining modules are for delivery locally. Two of these are online modules leaving five modules for direct delivery – Leadership, Domestic Abuse, Safe People Management (formally called Safer Recruitment), Managing Risk at Local Level and Parish Safeguarding Officer Induction.
The offer of support to you all from Lisa and Craig is still live, if you need us please get in touch with us – /

Lisa Clarke and Craig Hutton

National Safeguarding Training and Development Managers

Past Cases Review 2

The PCR2 project have responded to questions that have been raised in recent months about the independence of the Independent Reviewers. The Protocol and Practice Guidance for PCR, 2019 states that the Independent Reviewer must be “Manifestly independent of the diocese ie not a diocesan church officer or closely involved in the diocese eg member of Synod or Board of Finance.” To seek some clarity on this the guidance has been expanded on and the full note on this has been published on the Church of England website under 'Key criterion of independence for reviewers' and has been circulated to Bishops and DSAP Chairs. I appreciate that this further information may cause some concern for Diocese or raise further questions about the independence of your reviewers, if you would like to discuss individual situations in relation to “independence” please do get in touch with me directly.
Donald Findlater who has been the project manager since November 2019 will be leaving the PCR2 project on the 21st August. I would like to thank Donald for all of the hard work that he has done on the project and wish him well for the future. We are currently in the process of restructuring the PCR2 project team. As soon as I have more information on this I will ensure it is communicated to you all. For any enquiries on the project please send you enquiries to the PCR2 inbox:

Zena Marshall
Deputy Director of Casework

National Case Management System (NCMS)

Work continues to progress with the NCMS project, managed by Katerina Bashutska. We are now in the ‘plan and design’ stage of the project. Part of this will include looking at a few products in more depth, participating in online ‘demos’ to help us learn more about the systems available and narrow down the list of potential providers, before we invite organisations to tender.

I’m also delighted that Jason Tingley joins the team from Monday 3rd August as Lead User for the project. A former Chief Superintendent and Sussex Police Officer of 30 years, Jason worked in a number of roles such as Head of Public Protection, Head of Criminal Investigation and also as the operational lead for various change management programmes. More recently Jason has worked as the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor for the Diocese of Chichester with lead portfolio responsibility for casework.

Jason will be working Mondays and Thursdays and is looking forward to building relationships with safeguarding advisors across the Church.

If you are interested in participating in any of the system demos, or would like to find out more about the project, please get in touch with Katerina and Jason –,

Nathalie Ballard, Deputy Director - Partnerships

Safe Spaces

As mentioned in the last NST newsletter, Victim Support will be running some introductory webinars via Zoom for safeguarding advisors to find out more about the forthcoming Safe Spaces service. The first webinar took place on 30th July, but if you missed this, there will be a further webinar on 12th Aug, 2pm – 3pm. Please email Helen Todd at to book your place. In order to manage numbers, we would be grateful if only one representative would attend from each diocese and one from each cathedral, and then information may be shared with colleagues afterwards.

If no one from your diocese/cathedral is able to attend, please do not worry. As Victim Support prepares to launch the service, we will continue to share further updates and information with you, including materials and referral information produced by Victim Support.

Update on the regional model

We received feedback from 25 individuals or groups (e.g. DSA groups, diocesan leadership teams, DSAPs) in respect of the Regional Model (we will circulate a summary of the key issues raised soon) – many thanks to all those who contributed. This feedback comprised a wide range of views and questions, and was immensely helpful. The one consistent message, however, was the need for the Church to invest further in safeguarding work in order to enable the Church to get to a better place on its safeguarding journey. The areas of difference were around what that investment should focus on. The NSSG considered these responses at its July meeting and decided that the next step should be the undertaking of pilots in 2021. One pilot will be of the Regional Model. For this, two groups of dioceses and cathedrals (each group comprising about five dioceses and five cathedrals) would each pilot the model with a Regional Safeguarding Lead. The other pilot will comprise an enhanced centralised support offer from the NST to the dioceses/ cathedrals involved. The next step is to work up the more detailed specification for the pilots, which will be presented to the NSSG’s November meeting. We will use the extensive feedback we have received to inform these specifications. These would then be shared so that dioceses and cathedrals could consider whether they wish to be involved in the pilots.

National Safeguarding Standards/ quality assurance framework

As colleagues will be aware, one of the NSSG’s goals for 2020 is the development of National Safeguarding Standards and a supporting quality assurance framework – see summary paper here. The plan is to have national standards in respect of the following five areas:

  • • Safeguarding expertise, supervision and support, management structures, governance
  • • Organisational culture, leadership and capacity
  • • Prevention
  • • Responding to and managing risk
  • • Survivors

 During June and July workshops involving DSAs and CSAs have been held to consider each of these five areas in order to develop concrete statements about “what good looks like” in each of the five standard areas. The final version of these statements will be at the heart of the quality assurance framework as they will provide the basis for dioceses, parishes and cathedrals to evaluate the quality and impact of what they do in respect of safeguarding. The outcome of the workshops will be written up and shared with those participating to agree on a version that will be shared for wider consultation.

Staff update

An updated structure chart for the National Safeguarding Team, including several new members of staff, is available here.

Deborah McGovern is the new National Safeguarding Policy and Development Lead (IICSA and External Relationship Lead), covering Nathalie’s substantive role for 12 months. Deborah started on 20 July. Deborah is a public sector senior governance and policy development professional, specialising in the area of safeguarding. This has included developing polices through academic research at Warwick University, practical implementation in two police forces and developing policy nationally and internationailly at the Internet Watch Foundation. Deborah's previous role was at St Paul's Cathedral, where she led the development of governance and safeguarding practices.

Godfred Boahen is the new National Safeguarding Policy and Development Lead (Survivors Lead), starting on 14 September. Godfred qualified as a social worker at the University of York and practiced in disabled children and safeguarding services before returning to York to complete a Master's in Research degree. He then did his PhD in adult social work (including safeguarding) and after working as a social work academic, Godfred took a job in UK policy development for the British Association of Social Workers. Godfred has expertise in co-production and working with users of services and advocacy groups. Godfred also has expertise in international social work and international development.


There has been a range of media coverage and proactive statements around the work of the NST this month, all listed below. Rachel Harden and Nick Edmonds from the national communications team are in regular touch with comms colleagues in dioceses but feel free to be in touch with them direct.

Inform us of your Regional Meeting Dates

We would love to attend your regional DSA meetings. We understand these are likely to be taking place virtually for the time being. If your region has arranged meetings for this year and you would like a member of the team to attend, please email with the dates so we can arrange for someone to join you via phone or video call.

 Share contact details

If you have a new member of staff joining your safeguarding team, please contact us to share their details (name, role, email address and contact numbers) so that we can update our distribution lists accordingly.

For all general NST enquiries, please contact:

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