1. The Reporting Code
The law obliges the educational field to have a Reporting Code for Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. The purpose of this obligation is to intervene more quickly and adequately in the event of suspicions of domestic violence and child abuse. It is therefore about abuse situations in the private sphere and for situations in the domestic sphere.
Because all employees of Esprit Schools must adhere to the Reporting Code described below, it is good to know what to do if you have a suspicion of domestic violence or child abuse.
The Reporting Code has been further elaborated at school level. For example, every school has an attention officer, who is aware of the Reporting Code and gives advice on suspicions of domestic violence and child abuse and the steps to be taken.
The Executive Board of Esprit Schools has adopted the following Reporting Code and declares the attached step-by-step plan and written assessment framework (annexes 1 and 2) applicable to all Esprit schools.
The Executive Board expects an employee who works at Esprit Schools to be attentive to signals that may indicate domestic violence in all contacts with pupils and their parents and that they respond effectively to these signals. There are
signalenkaart.nl lists on the website with signs that may indicate domestic violence and child abuse. Caution is advised. Noticing one or a few signals does not have to be a ground for a suspicion of child abuse.
When suspecting domestic violence or child abuse, the employee makes the decision:
Is reporting to Veilig Thuis necessary or is it also possible to offer or organize help yourself (to a sufficient extent)?
As a tool to arrive at a good decision, an assessment framework has been developed that must be completed since 1 January 2019. This decision framework has been attached to this e-mail.
Domestic violence is physical, mental or sexual violence or threat thereof by someone from the domestic circle. The victim's domestic circle includes: (former) partners, family members, relatives and housemates..
Child abuse is any form of threatening or violent interaction of a physical, psychological or sexual nature for a minor. Violent interaction that actively or passively imposes on the parents or other persons to whom the minor is in a relationship of dependence or of unfreedom. And as a result of which serious harm is caused or threatens to be caused to the minor in the form of physical or psychological injury.
Employee is the professional who works for Esprit Scholen and who provides care, guidance or another form of support to pupils of the school in this context.
Pupils are understood to mean the pupils to whom the employee provides his professional services.
What should an employee do in case of signals or suspicions of domestic violence or child abuse?
The employee must follow the step-by-step plan below:
- Step 1: Mapping signals;
- Step 2: Consulting with a colleague and possibly consulting Veilig Thuis (the advice and reporting point for domestic violence and child abuse);
- Step 3: Conversation with the parent(s)/carer(s);
- Step 4: Using the assessment framework, we can determine whether there is acute or structural insecurity. When in doubt, always consult Safe At Home;
- Step 5: In case of acute or structural insecurity, report to Veilig Thuis.
The employee must immediately inform the school leader of the intended steps.
The school leader informs the Executive Board about suspicions of domestic violence or child abuse / if a report has been made to Safe At Home.
2. The Notification Obligation
The Act Combating Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment in Education has been in force since 1999. The purpose of the law is to prevent sexual offenses from being solved by schools, which could lead to an employee of the same school committing a sexual offense again.
What are sex crimes?
- indecent offense;
- possessing child pornography, view or disseminate;
- a sexual relationship with a minor;
To which situations does the law apply?
The acts must have taken place between an employee of the educational institution and a minor pupil, within or in connection with the school situation. It could therefore be a situation at your own school or at one of the other Esprit schools.
Who should report it?
Every school employee is required to report. This does not only include staff members, but also persons who perform work for the school outside of employment, such as interns, cleaning staff, temporary workers and volunteers.
When do you have to report?
Under this law, all employees who suspect or receive information about a possible sexual offense committed by an employee of the school against a minor pupil must immediately contact the school principal or the Executive Board. The prescribed procedure for reporting sexual abuse to the competent authority is included in Appendix 3.
Where should it be reported?
If you know or suspect that an employee has committed a sexual offence, you must report this immediately to the school principal or to the Executive Board. The school principal informs the Executive Board if he/she has been informed of a possible sexual offense by an employee. The Executive Board then makes a report to the police.
Esprit also has an Integrity Code and a Attachment Integrity Code. These are intended for everyone who works inside (and outside) the Esprit buildings and indicates how we want to deal with each other and with others - students, parents, external parties.
We assume that we have informed you properly with this information. Information about the Reporting Code and the Reporting Obligation can also be found on our website.
- Reporting code step-by-step plan, reporting code assessment framework and reporting obligation step-by-step