We must all tackle the systemic racism that led to the abuse of Child Q
We wish to express our horror at the abuse Child Q faced at the hands of the adults who should have been keeping her safe in school. That she wasn’t is a damning failure of our society.
But this isn’t about one child in one school in one area of the country; there is an urgent need to tackle the systemic racism that continues to affect children at every level of our institutions and society. Never again should a child be forced to suffer in this way.
Schools must be places where all children are protected. Safeguarding training and relevant guidance for all teachers needs to be reviewed and strengthened, in line with the reviewers’ recommendations.
Child Q’s trauma shames her school and the police | Letters
We also believe that all safeguarding training that teachers undertake must include a specific element on racial bias, so teachers are more alert to the traumatic and lifelong negative impact that racism has on children. We urge the Department for Education to act quickly.
The Home Office and police leaders also need to take action and review statutory guidance and training around searches to ensure that the safeguarding needs of children are paramount in every situation.
Importantly, all bodies should ensure they consult properly with children and young people as they seek to implement these changes – to ensure youth voices are at the heart of relevant decision-making.
And we all, as a society, must work together to tackle and challenge systemic racism which allows the horrific treatment of young people like Child Q to take place. We, collectively, promise to do everything we can as charities that support children to put anti-racism at the heart of everything we do. The safety and wellbeing of millions of our children depends on it.
Russell Hobby CEO, Teach First
Louisa McGeehan CEO, Just for Kids Law
Peter Wanless CEO, NSPCC
Gwen Hines CEO, Save the Children
Ndidi Okezie CEO, UK Youth
Louise King Director, Children’s Rights Alliance for England
Nick Jones Managing director of fundraising, communications and policy, Action for Children
Lynn Perry CEO, Barnardo’s
Mark Russell CEO, The Children’s Society
Anna Feuchtwang CEO, National Children’s Bureau
Jo Hobbs CEO, British Youth Council
Ruth Marvel CEO, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
Leigh Middleton CEO, National Youth Agency
Kathryn Morley CEO, OnSide
Tessy Ojo CEO, The Diana Award
Alison Peacock CEO, Chartered College of Teaching
Kathy Evans CEO, Children Englan