Domestic abuse - notification to schools

On average 275 incidents of domestic abuse are reported to the police across the county every month. It’s likely that a number of these incidents will have children and young people in the homes who either experience or are involved in the incident. 

We want to support schools and settings in identifying children and young people living with domestic abuse. You have told us that it helps you provide the support and care these pupils need to enable them to learn. 

Notification scheme for schools

We have a domestic abuse notification scheme in Northamptonshire. This enables early intervention and support to be offered to vulnerable children and young people.

How the notification scheme works

The scheme involves early reporting to schools when a child or young person has been involved in a domestic abuse incident.

Upon receipt of a police referral, the Education Inclusion Team within Northamptonshire County Council will contact the designated safeguarding leads within each respective school and share information about the child or young person who has experienced or been subject to domestic abuse.

How will schools receive the information?

You will receive an email from the MASH-education email account. The subject line will contain the words “Domestic Abuse Notification”.

Due to the sensitive information contained within the email, we will send through our secure email system Egress. Information on how to open an email received through Egress can be found here.

What should we do with the notification?

Your designated safeguarding leads can then share this information with relevant staff and they jointly assess what type of support (silent or overt) needs to be offered to the affected child or young person.

Some examples of the support offered are:

  • Mentoring or someone to talk to
  • Checking on well being
  • Offering ‘quiet time’
  • Referrals to Social Care  
  • Just ‘keeping an eye’ on the individual
  • Referrals to specialist support via an Early Help Assessment

Within the notification email there is a link to an online form. You should access this link and complete the form to advise that you have received the notification and outline what support was offered.

What if the school is out of county but the pupil is from Northamptonshire?

You will not be notified about a domestic abuse incident if your school is outside of Northamptonshire.

Domestic abuse briefing sessions

We held a number of briefing sessions to provide an overview of domestic abuse, the impact to children and to outline how the scheme works. You can view a presentation from the sessions below.

Safeguarding

If you have a safeguarding or welfare concern about a child at your school, you should use Thresholds and Pathways to assess the level of help they require.

Frequently asked questions

​You are not expected to contact parents. The police will inform the parent(s) that they will notify the local authority. The local authority will then contact the school to inform them of the incident.

​If the information you receive increases your level of concern in relation to this child you should follow the established safeguarding procedures.

​Yes, police have an obligation to inform parents when they share information with other professionals.

​Do not assume that a person has been arrested.  Depending on the circumstances the police will make the decision about what action to take.

​The schools of all children affected will be contacted.

​We no longer use the word “witness” as this may not be the case. Instead we say “experience” as a young person can experience an incident by hearing, seeing, or because of the emotional and physical impact on a parent. This  level of detail will not be given by the police.

​Action for Children and Spurgeons Children's Centres are supported with awareness training.

​The emails will be sent via the secure email Egress system, from the MASH-Education email address at NCC and will have Domestic Abuse Notification in the subject line.

​Courses are run where there is an identified group of individuals and dependant on the availability of the facilitator.

​It may not be appropriate to inform the child. It is about offering the child a safe environment and the opportunity to talk if they wish to. The school may just have a watching brief. The circumstances for each individual will be different.

​We will send the notification to your designated safeguarding lead and headteacher.

​It is unlikely that we will have this level of detail so Hospital and Outreach will need to ensure that they make it clear to schools if the schools are notified they will then need to contact Hospital and Outreach.

​No. They will only be told the name of the child, the child's date of birth and the severity of the incident. The information is for the school to be able to ensure the child is supported appropriately.


 


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