The Future of Church Safeguarding Programme (the Programme) was set up to recommend how to make safeguarding within the Church of England fully independent.
While the Programme was requested and commissioned by the Church of England, the Programme operated entirely independently from the Church, and provided support to Professor Alexis Jay OBE.
It was a significant opportunity to learn from the past, acknowledge the need for improvement and to work towards an independent, fair and impartial model of safeguarding that protects people from harm.
It provided a published report in February 2024. This report included recommendations to the Archbishops’ Council on how safeguarding can become fully independent.
Professor Jay and the Programme team heard from people with recent experience of safeguarding processes within the Church of England throughout summer/autumn 2023.
There were two ways for people to share their views, either through an online survey or through an in-person interview.
Contributions were welcomed from anyone with experience of church safeguarding processes within the last five years, including:
- victims and survivors of abuse, or their parents/carers;
- members of the clergy;
- church staff and volunteers;
- members of congregations; and,
- members of the public.
We wanted to build on work done to date. Professor Jay drew on the findings of the report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse on Church of England safeguarding up to 2018 – it was important what was heard during this Inquiry provided a platform for planning safeguarding in the future.
The Programme focused on understanding experiences of safeguarding processes in the last five years, including if it had been reported or investigated in the last five years.
Our questions sought to establish people’s views on what needed to be improved or what was already working well in Church safeguarding processes. We also asked about how to set up a safeguarding body that is independent, fair and impartial.
The Programme chose these dioceses to ensure its work was informed by a wide range of views across all the regions of England, including both urban and rural dioceses, and made participation as practical as possible for people. There was no connection between the dioceses being visited and any aspect of safeguarding in their areas.
We reviewed and selected applicants to ensure that we got a range of views. Applicants were informed within ten working days whether they were invited to an in-person interview. If they were not invited to an in-person interview, they were encouraged to complete the online survey.
In the Expression of Interest, there was an option to tell us about any adjustments we may have needed to make to support applicants to take part.
The Programme published its report in February 2024.
The Programme operated remotely and independently from the Church of England – none of the team involved in delivering the programme were employees of the Church and meetings were not on Church premises. The Church of England had no role in reviewing the final report and recommendations ahead of publication.
Participation was voluntary – participants had to give consent to be involved and had to consent for us to use what was shared. Participants were welcome to share as much or as little as they wanted with us during their participation.
Any information that we heard was confidential – only Professor Jay and the Programme team handled and had access to information shared with us. We asked for participants’ consent to use data and information within the final report but only used it anonymously – this means it could not be linked back to anyone else.
We understood that personal data will have been shared with Professor Jay and the Programme team. Our Data Protection Officer provided advice and oversight to the Programme as required.
When asking for data or information, we obtained consent from participants and also asked for consent to use data and information in the final report. This was confidential and anonymised – it will not be linked back to anyone.
The data or information we collected was used for the Programme and for no other purpose. Only Professor Jay and the Programme team handled and had access to the data or information collected.
We will only store the data for as long as necessary, which is typically for six months after the end of the Programme, and we will destroy the data when it is no longer necessary for the data to be stored.
Participants can request for their data or information to be deleted at any time, except where there are limitations on our ability to do so. If you’d like to request your data or information to be deleted please contact us at [email protected].
The Programme is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant, meaning that our data handling processes meet the requirements for properly handling personal data as defined in the law. Crest Advisory, which is supporting the Programme, operates a Business Management System to meet the requirements of ISO27001, the international standard for Information Security Management. This will allow the Programme to ensure the security of information shared with the programme and operate a risk management process for this information.
The Programme was commissioned by The Archbishops of Canterbury and York on behalf of The Archbishops’ Council. The Programme operated remotely and independently from the Church of England – none of the team involved in delivering the programme were employees of the Church and meetings were not on Church premises. The Church of England had no role in reviewing the final report and recommendations ahead of publication.
The report was published in February 2024. The Programme recommended a model as part of this report and the Church of England will be responsible for deciding to start the process to adopt the recommended model.