Op Encompass is a national multi-agency initiative for the safeguarding of children experiencing or exposed to domestic abuse and a preventative measure to try and influence how the effects of the experience may impact on these children as future adults. It is suspected that 1 in 5 children in the UK have been exposed to domestic abuse and children exposed to domestic abuse often experience greater behavioural and emotional problems compared to other children (including depression, anxiety, aggression or anti-social behaviour).
Operation Encompass is the reporting to schools, before the start of the next school day, when a child or young person has been involved in or exposed to domestic abuse. The information is given in strict confidence to a school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead to enable support to be given dependent on the needs and wishes of the child. The educational establishments involved are public and local authority primary and secondary schools, and nurseries attached to a primary school. Once we have seen the success of Op Encompass within this capacity I would like to extend to include ALL nurseries and preschools within Worcestershire.
As of March 2018 33 of all 43 Police forces and their LEA partners have signed up to Op Encompass
Op Encompass allow teachers to be aware of any potential needs of or behaviours by a specific pupil that day. Teachers and staff are able to allow that child quiet time, one to one discussion, allow them to keep with them their favourite teddy for comfort, provide uniform or food if the child is not properly prepared for school that day etc etc.
The sharing of details under Op Encompass is permitted under Statutory Safeguarding Legislation and in respect of LA Schools under the Crime and Disorder Act (for the prevention of crime) and the doing so without the child’s or parents’ consent is permissible under both pieces of legislation and the GDPR.