14:54 04 November 2013
BBC Panorama has recently uncovered declassified files showing how schools have repeatedly failed to protect children from sex offenders. As a result of this, Keir Starmar, the ex-director of public prosecution, has suggested that those who fail to report child abuse suspicions “must face prosecution”.
He said: "If you're in a position of authority or responsibility in relation to children, and you have cause to believe that a child has been abused, or is about to be abused, you really ought to do something about it.”
"There are just too many examples of cases where those who have suspected abuse have not really done anything about it and the perpetrator has either got away with it or, worse still, been able to perpetuate the offending."
He added: "I would have a reasonably broad category of individuals that were subject to the law.
"Obviously school teachers, but others in a position of authority or responsibility in relation to children, including other educational institutions, even sporting institutions."
Meanwhile, the Department for Education said professionals "should refer immediately to social care when they are concerned about a child".
"This happens every year in many thousands of cases and numbers of referrals have increased over recent years.”
"Other countries have tried mandatory reporting and there is no evidence to show that it is a better system for protecting children."
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