Unanimous Synod support for new safeguarding code


At its April meeting General Synod unanimously approved the draft Safeguarding (Code of Practice) Measure which strengthens and clarifies the obligation to follow safeguarding guidance.
A tray of tea lights.

It will apply to a wider range of people who work closely with the Church (known as ‘relevant persons’) and is a statutory code which must be taken into account at all times.

The Measure will not come into force until it has been scrutinised and approved by Parliament and then presented for Royal Assent.  

The code will replace the existing duty to have ‘due regard’ to safeguarding guidance which was criticised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, IICSA for lacking clarity and not being generally understood.

This was one of a number of recommendations in IICSA’s 2019 report on case studies relating to Bishop Peter Ball and to the Diocese of Chichester, all of which were welcomed by the Archbishops’ Council and subsequently endorsed by the General Synod. 

Synod also unanimously ‘took note’ of a safeguarding update from the Church’s lead safeguarding bishop, Jonathan Gibbs on national projects and workstreams in response to recommendations made in the IICSA October 2020 investigation report.