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Inquiry ‘Balanced and comprehensive’


21 August 2012


MEDIA RELEASE

Inquiry ‘Balanced and comprehensive’ but further steps critical

Leading child abuse prevention organisation Child Matters has described today’s Ministerial inquiry into the Employment of a Convicted Sex Offender in the Education Sector as ‘balanced and comprehensive’.

CEO of Child Matters, Anthea Simcock, says “The report highlights opportunities for improvement within the education system and between it and other Government Departments. It also refers to the lack of processes, poor information sharing and the lack of understanding or ability by many to carry out robust hiring practices.”

“This report outlines a combination of recommendations that provide an excellent platform to ensure the actions of people like Te Rito Henry Miki are not able to be repeated. says Mrs Simcock. ”It provides a blueprint for what could potentially be very successful changes to systems, processes and legislation within the education system.”

“Realising such potential requires more than the implementation of the raft of recommendations. It also requires a commitment by those in authority to demand accountability and adherence to processes that are developed from those recommendations.”

Mrs Simcock continues “There had previously been opportunities to identify the risk posed by Mr Miki and to have removed him from the education system. Unfortunately those opportunities were not understood and processes not followed.”

“Any changes implemented as a result of the recommendations of this report will need to be widely understood by everyone involved. They must have the appropriate guidance, training and support to undertake their responsibilities.”

Child abusers will always try to get access to children. The ultimate responsibility for ensuring that this does not happen in our schools lies with the employing Board. Mrs Simcock urges them not to neglect their responsibilities.

The release of this Ministerial Inquiry comes less than a week after Child Matters launched ‘Safe Not Sorry’, a publication that provides guidance and tools for those who have responsibility to hire people who will be safe with children.

-ENDS-

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