Thames Valley Police is committed to working with our partners to reduce domestic abuse harm and have developed a process called Operation Encompass in order to notify schools that a pupil has witnessed Domestic Abuse and may need additional welfare support at school.
What is the age range of children you are sending DV notifications for? Is it statutory school age (5 upwards) only?
- The age range the notifications are sent for is 4-17. In regards to signing nurseries up for encompass there are many reasons this isn’t currently possible and these are as follows:
- We don’t currently have the resilience to cover this. As the SPOC (single point of contact) for TVP I cover this alongside my main job role, I cover the whole of the Thames Valley area alone.
- It is a statutory requirement for a child to be in education from the age of 5, if they are at school then the school will support with safeguarding.
- To run this system it would be extremely complicated as some people aren’t at nursery full time therefore if an incident occurred on Monday and the child didn’t go into nursery until Friday they wouldn’t be able to put safeguarding in place– especially as we specifically ask that when we send a notification the school shouldn’t be approaching the parents about this.
- I am currently managing 1200 schools in the TVP already, there will be at least the same amount of nurseries. We don’t currently have the infrastructure to manage this, partly due to budgets. If you feel like you would like to change this then you can go to your local council who will essentially have to ask for more money for us to be able to do this.
How are school details checked before the notification is sent to the school? Is this based on parent’s sharing those details or is a check run before sending the details?
- When officers attend domestic incidents, they fill out paperwork called a DOM5. On this paperwork there is a box for details of children that were present. There is also a box to add the child’s school which is information given by the people on scene at the time, this is why sometimes schools don’t receive notifications because we don’t know which schools they attend. Unfortunately there isn’t a database which I can check this with as again this is extremely time consuming.
Is consent required from the parents before notification is sent to school?
- No consent is required by parents for a notification to be sent
How are the incidents disseminated to all partners? Is it the same information? On occasions schools have received notification but other professionals such as social care have not received any notifications?
- Different reports are sent to Social care, they receive the whole report whereas schools get a notification to say that there has been an incident involving one of their pupils and they don’t get the whole report. There is different information sharing processes for these reports which is why they are received at different times.
You advised there have been some inconsistencies in how incidents are recorded, which may have impacted on partial notifications coming through. Has this training issue been resolved with officers?
- We are constantly trying to improve the information being sent out to officers, as you can imagine there are constantly so many changes and they get lots of emails daily to remind them to do things or emails that state that processes have changed. There has been an improvement in the way we are recording this information but it isn’t perfect.
Does the child have to present in the family home in order for you to send a notification to the school?
- The child has to be present during the incident for the notification to be sent.
If you have any queries regarding access or passwords to the notifications please do not hesitate to contact Thames Valley Police at: ENCompass@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk.