The Minister for Education is writing to apologise to families for the anguish caused following the conviction of a former youth worker for possessing indecent images of children in March 2018.
None of the images for which the man was convicted involved any of the children at the school which he was connected with.
Before his conviction, the man had an association with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) and in 2016, he was commissioned to paint a mural at St Mary’s Primary School in Douglas.
This work was funded by the Isle of Man Arts Council, but the man was not employed by the school.
Following his conviction, an inquiry was launched after parents raised serious concerns having read about the court case in the local media. The inquiry was chaired by the Government’s then Director of Children and Families, Debbie Brayshaw, and the DESC said it ‘has cooperated fully’.
The summary of learning praises the ‘tenacity of parents’ who called for the review and said their ‘anguish cannot be underestimated’. The department said :’Lessons have also been learnt about how anxieties and complaints from concerned parents are managed.’
The Safeguarding Board is monitoring the speed of improvements against each of the recommendations to prevent a similar situation happening again.
A DESC statement added: ‘All affected parents have now received a general overview of the inquiry’s findings and recommendations from the Safeguarding Board, which focuses mainly on school safeguarding procedures, as they were at the time, but identified opportunities to improve practice, policy and procedures across relevant departments to improve services.
‘These recommendations are wider than St Mary’s Primary School. It has been recognised and acknowledged by both DESC and the Department of Health and Social Care that rapid improvements have been made at St Mary’s over the last two years, and both departments are confident that the school is clearly demonstrating a commitment to keep pupils safe.
‘The DESC continues to work to ensure quality assurance processes in relation to safeguarding are robust and standards are both applied and complied with in all situations, no matter who is involved. ‘