Barnsley schools expected to adopt system to protect pupils who see violence at home
South Yorkshire’s Chief Constable has said he is “entirely confident” Barnsley schools will take up a policy of stepping in to support pupils known to have witnessed domestic violence at home, now in place across the rest of the county.
Operation Encompass relies on open channels of communication between the authorities so schools can be informed following incidents where their pupils are known to have seen violence taking place, an ordeal known to have damaging consequences.Evidence shows where schools step in to offer support, the impact can be minimised or eradicated entirely, with schools across the local authority areas of Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham now signed up.However, that has yet to take place in Barnsley but Chief Constable Stephen Watson said he believed that was just down to timing.He presented details of Operation Encompass to the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, at a meeting of his Public Accountability Board, where he holds the force to account.Mr Watson told him: “I don’t think it is because Barnsley has said ‘no’, they are yet to take it up,” adding he was “entirely confident” that would happen.The development was eased by the fact South Yorkshire Police has existing positive links with all but two of the county’s 278 primary schools.He told the meeting: “Being in a household where you witness the abuse of a loved one falls square into ‘adverse childhood’.“Being able to get into school and notify them about what has happened has a marvellous effect in offsetting some of the unpleasant effects.“Schools can make a real difference to young people’s lives. It is a developing piece of practice. We are continuing through partnerships to try to encourage all schools to interact with the programme.“I think we will get to that,” he said. It is acknowledged that youngsters who go through adverse childhood experiences are likely to experience consequences of low achievement later in life, unless steps are taken to help them.