The use and purpose of safeguarding learning reviews in the Diocese of Oxford
The Diocesan Safeguarding Panel supports the use of Learning Reviews within the diocese and diocesan participation in reviews undertaken by other bodies. This page outlines the process for agreeing and undertaking a learning review to be published by the Diocese of Oxford. Off-site links to reviews undertaken by others are also included on this page.
The following protocol is followed by the Diocesan Safeguarding Panel:
- A review will be commissioned as soon as possible but only when in the view of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) and Independent Chair of the Panel, the inquiry and investigation work has been completed to a level consistent with commencement of a review.
- A review can only be initiated when it is considered that this will not compromise any clergy discipline measure case, criminal or civil litigation.
- The decision to commission a review is made by the DSA, Diocesan Secretary and Independent Chair of the Panel.
- Agreement of purpose, timescale and draft terms of reference is reached between the Diocesan Bishop, Diocesan Secretary and Independent Chair. The Independent Chair provides a scrutiny role on behalf of the Panel.
On establishing the review, the following tasks and responsibilities take place concurrently:
- Resourcing agreement between Independent Chair and Diocesan Secretary timescales for review are set;
- Information is sent to key participants and interested parties - overseen by the DSA/Chair;
- The diocesan or area bishop assumes responsibility for support and wellbeing matters related to clergy/personnel;
- A clear support plan is in place for Parish/location with lead senior personnel;
- Support arrangements in place for victims, witnesses and any potential other people affected;
- Specification set (skills and experience) for reviewer(s) and selection exercise, consistent with the needs of the review undertaken by Independent Chair and HR lead;
- Arrangements in place for quality assurance and independent professional supervision throughout the period of the review.
Completion of independent review
- DSA liaises with the reviewer(s) to establish access to records, interviews etc. as requested by independent reviewer.
- At any stage the independent reviewer(s) will highlight to the Chair and DSA any issues which need immediate escalation: these could relate (but are not limited) to support arrangements, matters related to further about and/or investigation or beaches of process.
- Checkpoint meetings (timescale, process and any key issues) take place regularly between the Chair and Independent Reviewer
- A final draft of the report is sent to the Chair by the Independent Reviewer.
- A summary headline report is prepared for a review meeting with the Independent Chair, DSA, Review Team, Bishop and Diocesan Secretary.
- Key considerations identified and a high level plan for publication is agreed. This includes the support of key people, victims, survivors and the Parish.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Panel must be assured that the report is rigorous, meets the terms of reference and is clear about what happened, responsibility and learning clearly identified.
- Members of the Panel may comment on process, including whether the time taken on the review was consistent with the duty to prevent reoccurrence as well as produce a thorough review.
- Members of the panel should receive: a summary of actions already taken on recommendations; a format for dissemination of learning with the parishes; assurance on support arrangements.
- The panel will agree outline publication plans and the role of the panel in monitoring and quality assurance.
- The diocese assumes responsibility for publication and dissemination.
Reviews undertaken by the National Church or the Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB)
Review of the Church’s handling of allegations (relating to sexual abuse of a 15-16 year old in Bradford Diocese in 1984) against the late Revd Trevor Devamanikkam.
The Church of England’s Independent Safeguarding Board, ISB, to review the handling of safeguarding issues regarding the former Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Dr Martyn Percy.