Operation Bullfinch

John Howson

The publication earlier this week of of the serious case review (SRC) into the grooming of six girls for sex in Oxfordshire raised serious questions for all professionals working with young people, including those working in schools. As an Oxfordshire county councillor since 2013, I have followed the developments after the outcome of the trial in 2013 with growing concern. The SCR has much to say about all agencies and their responses and makes uncomfortable reading.
One the one hand, schools have clearly responded with the creation of education programmes such as Chelsea’s Choice and through better working with other services. On the other hand, I am not sure that all the weaknesses identified in the SCR have been fully addressed. Are records of students changing schools forwarded promptly and in proper order? Do schools have good policies for the integration of pupils arriving outside of the September start date…

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