Response to Child Q

A commitment from headteachers

The ordeal suffered by Child Q is dismaying and shocking. All school staff have a foremost duty to safeguard children. In this incident Child Q was let down and had a traumatic experience which will affect her long term. The incident itself is deeply distressing and raises wider issues including around safeguarding, racism and adultification. 

The report into Child Q’s experience was released on Monday 14 March 2022. 

Hackney headteachers, at their conference on 18 March 2022, and in follow up discussion, produced this core statement in response to wider issues raised by the Child Q incident. They are taking this forward in discussions in their school and settings.

Statement from headteachers

As Hackney Headteachers, we jointly affirm our full commitment and continued action to the best possible safeguarding of every child in our care, ensuring a safeguarding first approach always applies.

We know that we have already been doing work to eliminate racism in our schools, but recognise that there is much work to be done. We recognise that Black and Global Majority children face racism in Hackney and beyond: we are committed to and will act on taking forward anti-racist practice.

In Hackney we are ambitious, caring and inclusive in working for every child. As educationalists we will work jointly, with our children, their families, our staff and with other professionals, particularly with our Black and Global Majority stakeholders, in building on the strong work already in our schools, towards being a beacon of excellence in inclusion and anti-racism.  

We are committed to revisiting staff training and guidance to ensure that all staff:

  • feel confident that their duty to safeguard the children in our care comes above any other need,
  • understand, and are able to counteract, any assumptions or actions that may lead to children being treated unfairly or unjustly
  • are able to act to protect children in crisis as if they were our own, seeking senior leader support if needed.

We are committed to supporting and challenging each other to ensure this happens.

Next steps

Hackney Education colleagues will work with schools and partners across Hackney to see these commitments embedded in our schools and systems.

Letter to parents and carers

Annie Gammon (Director of Education) and Jacquie Burke (Group Director, Children and Education) have written to parents and carers in Hackney about their shared commitment to the safety of children and an anti-racist approach.

This page was last modified on: 6 Apr 2022