Rotherham agencies had to turn to Australians over teenage suicides response

Wickersley School in Rotherham'Picture Dean Atkins
Wickersley School in Rotherham'Picture Dean Atkins
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Health and education bosses had to seek advice from Australia in dealing with a spate of teenage suicides in Rotherham - due to a lack of national guidance in this country.

A new independent review commissioned by Rotherham Council has revealed organising an initial response to a series of tragedies involving teenage boys was made more difficult for local leaders because there was no national policy framework in place at the time.

The report was commissioned after the deaths of four teenage boys since November 2011 and two other ‘severe self-harm incidents’ – one involving an 11-year-old girl.

It was sparked following two suicides and a further self-harm incident involving pupils from Wickersley School and Sports College.

The report said: “In the absence of specific national guidelines it was agreed that Rotherham agencies would follow guidelines developed by the University of Melbourne in Australia. There was no UK national guidance available and it took a few weeks to absorb and then utilise the guidance from Australia.”

The guidelines were used to develop new guidance for relevant organisations in Rotherham from June 2013.