The Church of England has published a Press Release on the revision of its National Safeguarding Team. This is reproduced below, in addition to a copy of the Secretary General’s letter to the College of Bishops about these developments.
Statement on structure of National Safeguarding Team
Following the establishment of the National Safeguarding Team in 2015 – replacing a 0.5 national post – the Archbishops’ Council has recently reviewed its structure and after consultation will be advertising for a Director of Safeguarding.
Secretary General’s letter to the College of Bishops about staffing developments at the National Safeguarding Team
While this appointment is in process an interim director will lead the National Safeguarding Team and Sir Roger Singleton* has been appointed from January 2. This proposed change is about having the right structures in place to ensure good safeguarding is embedded across the Church in the most effective way possible.
*Sir Roger Singleton is a former Chief Executive of Barnardo’s and chaired the Independent Safeguarding Authority from 2007-2012. He also led the Independent Scrutiny Team which assessed the adequacy of the Church of England’s 2008-2009 Past Cases Review.
Letter to the College of Bishops
Wednesday 5 December 2018
I am writing to let you know about some staffing developments which we are announcing at the Archbishops’ Council meeting today. As you will be aware, the Council regularly reviews its staffing arrangements in the light of evolving developments and workload requirements. Recent years have seen fundamental changes to how the NCIs support the Church’s work on Safeguarding at national, diocesan and parish level. In 2015 we moved for the first time to having a full-time National Safeguarding Adviser after years of a part-time post shared with the Methodist Church. Since then the National Safeguarding Team (NST) has grown steadily and now covers an extensive range of activities including policy, training, case-work handling, survivor engagement, quality assurance, and engagement with the Independent Inquiry (IICSA).
As the demands on the team continue to grow, the Archbishops’ Council asked me to review the structure of the NST to ensure that it has sufficient resources to be able to meet the evolving demands for Safeguarding support at national and diocesan level as well as the ever-changing external context for Safeguarding in the light of the IICSA. Following a period of consultation, we have decided to strengthen further our safeguarding capacity, by creating a new senior post of Director for Safeguarding. This will be a more senior role than the present National Safeguarding Advisor post and will strengthen the Archbishops’ Council’s senor leadership capacity in Safeguarding. The new post will report directly to the Secretary General, and be part of the Archbishops’ Council’s senior management group. The post holder will also have close working relations with the lead bishop on Safeguarding, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and with Meg Munn, the independent chair of the National Safeguarding Panel.
We will shortly be starting recruitment for a permanent Director of Safeguarding. While this appointment is in process we will be appointing an Interim Director of Safeguarding to lead the National Safeguarding Team, from 2nd January until the appointment of a permanent Director. The interim director will be Sir Roger Singleton CBE. Sir Roger was previously chief executive of Barnardo’s. He has been the Government’s Chief Adviser on the Safety of Children and chaired the Independent Safeguarding Authority from 2007-2012. Bishops may recall that he led the independent Scrutiny Team which assessed the adequacy of the 2008-2009 Past Cases Review and reported earlier in the year. Roger will be supported by the present leaders of the National Safeguarding Team, including Graham Tilby the National Safeguarding Adviser. I am very grateful to Graham and all his team for their continuing efforts on many fronts to embed safeguarding across the Church.
As these changes take effect, the NST will continue to work on all its existing areas of responsibility. Once the interim Director is in post, a review of the roles and responsibilities of the team will be undertaken to ensure that we are making best use of the considerable skills and resources that we already have in place and to determine the best structure for staff and resources for the needs of the Church in the future.
I hope that you will welcome these developments, which are about having the right structures in place to ensure good safeguarding is embedded across the Church in the most effective way possible. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many achievements of the NST in recent years, as well as the considerable efforts and improvements which have taken place in the dioceses in recent years, implemented by diocesan staff and clergy under the leadership of members of the House of Bishops. There is a still a huge amount to do, but I know that I can continue to count on your prayers and support for this vital work for survivors and for the mission of the Church.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments or would like to discuss further.
William Nye LVO
Secretary to the House of Bishops