What is Operation Encompass?
Operation Encompass is an initiative that enhances communication between the police and schools where a child is at risk from domestic abuse
The purpose of the information sharing is to ensure schools have more information to support safeguarding of children. By knowing that the child has had this experience, the school is in a better position to understand and be supportive of the child's needs and possible behaviours
Operation Encompass will complement existing safeguarding procedures
Q. What is Operation Encompass?
A. This is a process used to inform schools when the police have attended an incident of domestic violence or abuse, where domestic abuse incidents have occurred in the homes of their pupils since the previous school day.
Q. How will it work?
A. Police automated systems will share information with the school DSLs prior to 8.30am. The school will be informed simply that there was an incident and the name of the child. This will be limited information.
Q. What is the school meant to do with this knowledge?
A. By knowing that the child has had this experience, the school is in a better position to be supportive and understanding of the child's needs and possible behaviours. The DSL will share this information on a need to know basis e.g. the class teacher.
The initial approach is that the sharing of information should not, in itself, provoke a proactive response to individual children by the school, but informs the schools' response to any presenting behaviour. Some schools will have the staff and resources to reassure the child that they know. This can be a real relief to a child as it can give them a tacit permission to talk about how they feel and what has been happening to them. The key aim of this process, however, is to ensure that the child is offered sensitivity and understanding following a distressing incident.
Q. How frequently will schools receive this type of email?
A. Research indicates that around 100 calls will be made across the County each morning.
Q. Will parents be aware of this new process?
A. Schools will need to let all parents know, via newsletter or other appropriate means, that when Police attend an incident of domestic violence/abuse, the school will be informed first thing the next morning. By sharing this information the parents affected by domestic abuse will know that they can approach the school.
Q. What should Schools do to ensure effective participation?
A. There are a number of activities which will support the process:
Trained school-staff will screen a duty Encompass box in Outlook.
Increase awareness amongst staff and parents by sharing/organising media and training
Schools can reference Operation Encompass in their safeguarding policies to ensure that schools staff and parents are aware of the process. Schools can make use of template letters for parents about the scheme.
Q. What is the review/evaluation process?
A. The scheme will be evaluated and reviewed as it evolves. In other areas it has been found to be a very effective way of supporting children at a most difficult time.
Q. Where can I find out more about the background to Operation Encompass?