Domestic Abuse - Notifications to Schools
Domestic abuse - The facts
On average 275 incidents of domestic abuse are reported to the police across the county every month. It’s likely that a number of these incidents will have children and young people in the homes who either witness or are involved in the incident.
Do you know which of your pupils are living with domestic abuse?
We want to support schools and settings in identifying children and young people living with domestic abuse. You have told us that it helps you provide the support and care these pupils need to enable them to learn.
How the notification scheme works
The scheme involves early reporting to schools when a child or young person has been involved in a domestic abuse incident.
Upon receipt of a police referral, the Education Inclusion Team within both North and West Northamptonshire Council will contact the designated safeguarding leads within each respective school and share information about the child or young person who has witnessed or been subject to domestic abuse.
What if my school is out of county but the pupil is from Northamptonshire?
You will not be notified about a domestic abuse incident if your school is outside of Northamptonshire.
How will we receive the information?
You will receive an email from the MASH-education email account. The subject line will contain the words “Domestic Abuse Notification”.
Due to the sensitive information contained within the email, we will send through our secure email system Egress. Information on how to open an email received through Egress can be found here.
What should you do with the information?
The designated safeguarding leads can then share this information with relevant staff and they jointly assess what type of support (silent or overt) needs to be offered to the affected child or young person.
Some examples of the support offered are:
- Mentoring or someone to talk to
- Checking on well being
- Offering ‘quiet time’
- Referrals to Social Care
- Just ‘keeping an eye’ on the individual
- Referrals to specialist support via an Early Help Assessment
Within the notification email there is a link to an online form. You should access this link and complete the form to advise that you have received the notification and outline what support was offered.
Domestic abuse briefing sessions
We held a number of briefing sessions to provide an overview of domestic abuse, the impact to children and to outline how the scheme will work. You can view presentations from the sessions below.
Frequently asked questions
Do we contact the parents to advise we as a school are aware of the Domestic Abuse incident?
You are not expected to contact parents. The police will inform the parent(s) that they will be notifying the local authority who will contact the school to inform them of the incident.
Do we need to complete our own referral?
If the information you receive increases your level of concern in relation to this child you should follow the established safeguarding procedures.
Will the family know that school have been informed?
Yes, police have an obligation to inform parents when they share information with other professionals.
Will we know if a person been arrested?
Do not assume that a person has been arrested. Depending on the circumstances or situation of that incident the police will make the decision about what action to take.
Siblings – will they be aware, will school be informed?
The schools of all children will be contacted.
What support is there if we are concerned about unhealthy relationships among young people?
Choose to Change would be an appropriate session for that young person.
Does an Early Help Assessment (EHA) have to be completed?
Schools should follow the Northamptonshire Thresholds and Pathways document.
How will we know if the young person has witnessed an incident the night before?
We no longer use the word “witness” as this may not be the case. Instead we say “experience” as a young person can experience an incident by hearing, seeing, or because of the emotional and physical impact on a parent. This level of detail will not be given by the police.
What support is there for Children's Centres?
Action for Children and Spurgeons Children's Centres are supported with awareness training.
How will we identify these emails when they are received?
The emails will be sent via the secure e-mail Egress system, from the MASH-Education email address and will have Domestic Abuse Notification in the subject line. Information on how to use the secure email Egress system can be found on the Domestic Abuse notifications webpage.
When do Women's Aid run their courses and are there waiting lists?
Courses are run where there is an identified group of individuals and dependant on the availability of the facilitator.
At what stage will the child or young person know that the school have been informed of an incident?
It may not be appropriate to inform the child; it is about offering the child a safe environment and the opportunity to talk if they wish to. The school may just have a watching brief. The circumstances for each individual will be different.
Who in the school is informed?
We will send the notification to your designated safeguarding lead and head teacher.
If a child is dual registered, e.g. with their school and Hospital and Outreach, will both be notified?It is unlikely that we will have this level of detail so Hospital Outreach will need to ensure that they make it clear to schools if the schools are notified they will then need to contact Hospital and Outreach.
Will schools be told of the identity of the perpetrator?
No they will only be told the name of the child the child's date of birth and the severity of the incident. The information is for the school to be able to ensure the child is supported appropriately.
Training and guidance
Last updated: 06 June 2022