Wednesday, 30 November 2016 10:43

Preparing for a Safeguarding Audit by Chris Gould

Like all other educational establishments, International Schools have a duty of care to their students.

Beyond this central imperative there will be a raft of possible host country legislative and regulatory procedures, as well as guidelines pertaining to the safety and protection of children. Many of these in fact will be based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In addition, there is likely to be a collection of international laws, protocols and treaty based and other agreements that weave together some complex law enforcement and criminal justice procedures globally.

What does this mean for International Schools and their safeguarding policies and standards in the context of the countries in which they are located? The International Task Force on Child Protection (ITFCP) has worked for the past two and a half years with numerous International School accreditation bodies and others, to produce both essential minimum standards as well as a set of expectations that accreditation or inspection bodies may choose to include as part of their school assessment criteria. Chris will give an overview of these and talk about them and other standards that should be beneficial in very practical terms for your organization.

Chris Gould

chris gould

Chris was the founder and Honorary Vice President of Child-Safe International Ltd (registered charity) based in the UK from 2004 - 2013.

He completed 32 years of police service in 2007, retiring from the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, UK as a Detective Chief Superintendent. During his extensive service he built a wide and varied police background, predominantly within the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). For a number of years, he was a Detective Superintendent heading the Child Protection Group for the force, coupled with responsibilities as a senior investigating officer. He was also the Head of the Criminal Justice Department for the force for over 6 years.

After seeking research funding whilst still in the police, he received finance from the Home Office and later the European Commission to examine the issue of child abuse on international, cultural, educational and language trips abroad. This work resulted in Chris receiving a Police Research Award for Innovation from the Home Secretary in April 1999.

Chris has also worked with both the British and Australian Governments on the introduction of methods to stop unsuitable people working with children and in more recent years has collaborated with the Home Office and the Department for Education regarding aspects of the new Disclosure & Barring Service (UK) and more recently with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on the introduction of the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC).

Chris has a BA (Hons) degree and a Diploma in Social Policy & Criminology and was the recipient of a Children’s Champion Award from the Children’s Charity “Kidscape”. His work and specific knowledge linked to a criminal behavior and child protection has led to him lecturing and working worldwide.

It was in 2004 that he founded the International “Child-Safe” charity, endorsed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and others, to promote his research and safeguarding work of children and young people, specifically within the youth travel sector. The aim of the charity is to ‘safeguard and prevent the abuse of children and young people away from home’.

In late 2013 Chris migrated to Australia, where in April 2014 he set up his own company: Travel Safe (Youth Travel Consultancy), based on the Sunshine Coast Queensland. Since that time he has worked as an Independent Child Protection Consultant directly with International Schools in the UK, Switzerland, Indonesia, Singapore, Oman and Thailand as well as given advice to others in places such as Jordan, China, Vietnam and elsewhere. His work has included criminal investigations, expert witness work, safeguarding audits and reviews, training, consultancy, disciplinary investigations, research, case reviews, media work, crisis management consultancy and more.