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Police scheme sees schools told when pupils are exposed to domestic abuse

Hundreds of schools across the county are now told when a pupil is exposed to domestic abuse within 24 hours as part of a new police strategy.

Officers have been rolling out the programme, named Operation Encompass, to try and protect children from the impact of trouble at home.

The process involves recording the student's name, date of birth and school by the attending officer at any domestic abuse incident where a child is present or lives.

Police are now telling hundreds of schools when one of their pupils is exposed to domestic abuse at home
Police are now telling hundreds of schools when one of their pupils is exposed to domestic abuse at home

Details will then be passed on to the appropriate manager at the school, who will record and store them securely.

The force says the sharing of such information will provide support and early intervention for children, allowing them to remain in school and continue to learn in a safe environment.

It comes as a review into the death of Leo Tompsett, murdered by his mother at a beauty spot, revealed the five-year-old's school only heard of domestic abuse incidents at the family home from the father.

This meant they only had a partial view and possibly were less aware of the risks posed by mum Cheryl, who then also killed herself at Beachy Head in East Sussex, than if a scheme involving the police were in place.

Cheryl Tompsett died along with her five-year-old son Leo at Beachy Head
Cheryl Tompsett died along with her five-year-old son Leo at Beachy Head

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Mercer, lead officer for domestic abuse at Kent Police said: "When a child is exposed to domestic abuse it can have damaging and long-lasting effects.

"Operation Encompass is a national initiative that enables us to provide children with further support by making their school aware when an incident happens.

"This is in addition to the long-standing practice of social services being notified.

"An initial pilot of Operation Encompass was launched in the Deal area in April 2017.

"It has since been rolled out across the county and a total of 368 schools across Kent and Medway are now informed when a pupil is exposed to domestic abuse.

"We are now looking to expand Operation Encompass further to include children who attend secondary schools."

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

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