O'Dowd publishes Department of Education Action Plan in response to Marshall Report on Child Sexual Exploitation

Date published: 26 June 2015

Education Minister John O'Dowd has published the Department of Education Action Plan in response to recommendations made in the Marshall Report into Child Sexual Exploitation.

The report from Kathleen Marshall made 17 key recommendations and a further 60 supporting recommendations, 14 of those related to areas of responsibility for the Department of Education and education sector. The Department has progressed work on all recommendations and outlined where existing arrangements are already in place. A cross- departmental working group including the Departments of Health and Justice has also been established to progress cross-cutting issues.

Commenting on next steps, Minister O’Dowd said:

“This Action Plan reflects the detailed consideration and commitment that is being made to support our children and young people and work is already underway to take forward these recommendations.

 My Department continues to engage with schools to share information and advice on the issue of child sexual exploitation, but we must all work together to develop a fully robust response to educate and support our children and young people whether it is in the school environment or in the home.

 I will continue to work with my Ministerial colleagues in the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Department of Justice to ensure this important work progresses.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The independent expert-led inquiry into child sexual exploitation in NI was commissioned by the then Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Mr Edwin Poots MLA on 5 November 2013.
  2. The Minister for Education Mr John O’Dowd MLA agreed that the Education and Training Inspectorate would enjoin the Inquiry to assist in relation to the role of schools and the statutory curriculum.
  3. Kathleen Marshall was the Inquiry lead. The independent inquiry was supported and facilitated by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and the Criminal Justice Inspection for Northern Ireland (CJI).
  4. The report, known as the ‘Marshall Report’ was presented to Ministers on 13 November 2014.
  5. The report had one key recommendation for Education and several supporting recommendations. Each recommendation is addressed in the DE Action Plan.
  6. The DE Action Plan is available on the Department of Education website 
  7. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  8. See photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection
  9. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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