Under consideration PE1979: Establish an independent inquiry and an independent national whistleblowing officer to investigate concerns about the alleged mishandling of child safeguarding enquiries by public bodies
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to launch an independent inquiry to examine: concerns that allegations about child protection, child abuse, safeguarding, and children’s rights have been mishandled by public bodies, including local authorities and the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS); gaps in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry; and establish an independent national whistleblowing officer for Education and Children’s Services in Scotland to handle these enquiries in the future.
Previous action taken
Have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in July 2021 and received a response in August 2021. We are also aware that Oliver Mundell MSP and other MSPs have corresponded with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills on this issue.
We support the #Unfeartie campaign, which was set up by the Children’s Parliament in 2017.
The #Unfeartie pledge is to have courageous conversations regarding children’s issues and speak up and stand alongside children. We take these principles very seriously, and have supported whistleblowers in raising historic and current allegations about child protection, child abuse, safeguarding and children’s rights matters.
The alleged mishandling of child safeguarding concerns in many public bodies (Edinburgh, Borders, Aberdeenshire, East Lothian and the GTCS) have been well publicised, with whistleblowers calling for a public inquiry, open to existing or new whistleblowers and the public to raise recent or historic concerns.
A number of written and oral parliamentary questions highlighting these concerns have been lodged by MSPs. These include questions to the First Minister from Christine Grahame, Willie Rennie, Meghan Gallacher and Douglas Lumsden.
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry focuses on historic abuse and is specific to children in care. A wider inquiry into safeguarding concerns and enquiries from parents, guardians, carers, professionals and the public, which have been mishandled, is needed. This should consider gaps in the existing inquiry; mainstream and specialised settings; and regulated children’s activities.
This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee