Agenda item

VAWG scrutiny review

The following documentation to inform the review is enclosed.


Officer updates on Modern Slavery and Child Trafficking


·  Action plan to adopt the Co-operative Party’s Charter against modern slavery

·  Modern day Slavery work planned or undertaken by Regulatory Services and Partnerships plus Appendix

·  A evaluation  report on Hand Car Washes in Southwark Project

·  Safeguarding board update on Modern Slavery

·  Southwark Extended Learning Review by the Violence and Vulnerability Unit



Safe and healthy relationships schools survey


·  Summary report

·  Text responses


The Commission first discussed Healthy Relationships and the focus groups with young people on relationships:


·  There are limitations to group roundtables with pro and cons.  Young people may gain confidence in the company of their peers however also may be performing or too shy to share to an audience.


·  Most young people had no real understanding of what a healthy relationship is; with the exception of Harris Girls, who have a large investment in Relationship & Sex Education (RSE). A COLA young person who went on a study tour for a television programme recommended the Dutch system. A recent Guardian spread looked at teaching on relationships across the globe.


·  Salmon Youth Centre young people said they did not receive much RSE at school, although they valued the input from youth workers.


·  Many young people did now know where to report incidents at school and did not trust to police to address allegations or take them seriously.



The Commission then addressed the school survey:


·  More resources were generally requested.


·  It was noted that a Catholic school wanted resources that were in keeping with the school ethos.  



The broader recommendations on Healthy Relationships were then discussed:


·  As the local authority the council could amend the safeguarding policy to report incidents to the council to improve our data analysis.


·  Parents have an important role.


·  Investment in Relationship & Sex  Education (RSE) in schools is very important  and ought to include teaching to prevent sexual harassment and young people being groomed - from the age of 10.


·  More investment in the schools resource portal for primary Relationship Education (RE) and secondary Relationship & Sex Education (RSE), which will be compulsory in 2020, would be good. Southwark has a portal with PSHE curriculum and resources to help RSE/ RE teaching, such ‘consent’ , though not specifically RE/RSE. 


·  More peer support and input from young people on RE / RSE curriculum development would be beneficial, for example talking to the young advisors.


·  A week of public awareness on sexual harassment could help raise the profile and understanding. 


·  Children need to be confident to report incident at school, including anonymously.


·  It can be challenging to engage with secondary schools as they are Academies so it may make more sense to concentrate on the senior end of primary who will engage.



The Modern Say Slavery and Child Trafficking was then considered and the following points were made for recommendations:


·  A task and finish group is needed to coordinate the council’s work on this agenda.


·  All front line staff ought to be trained.


·  Coordination and champions are needed. There was a discussion about whether a unit ought to lead, such as Community Safety, however the challenge here is that  Modern Slavery cuts across the whole council  with  front facing services being more in contact but not necessarily all aware . A centralised body could coordinate, or the responsibility be given to someone. A Special Point of Contact (SPOC) in relevant teams is considered good practice, which strategic leadership.


·  The council could promote businesses doing good work to tackle modern slavery, such as the hotel example. 


·  The census stats show that the most prevalent at risk population in Southwark is Nigerian, and here the risk factor is Domestic Servitude. A member commented that this is prevalent and it needs to become unacceptable. African United are doing excellent work to tackle child trafficking and could form a recommendation for more partnership work.


·  There are good examples of other local boroughs’ work to tackle modern slavery, which ought to be circulated.


·  The council needs a clear policy on using the procurement process to tackle modern slavery.


·  The report needs a snappy title.




Supporting documents: