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Every Child Matters (ECM) is a national approach to the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19, and impacts on all groups working with them.
ECM places better outcomes for children firmly at the centre of all work involving children's services. One of the outcomes is Staying Safe. The others are:
- Be healthy
- Enjoy and achieve through learning
- Make a positive contribution to society
- Achieve economic well-being
ECM demands that all organisations that provide services to children work together in more coherent and effective ways.
The need for change was made apparent in Lord Laming's report into the death of Victoria Climbié. She was the young girl who was horrifically abused and tortured, and eventually killed, by her great aunt and the man with whom they lived. The report highlighted a need for improved cooperation and accountability across children's services.
In 2003, the Government published a green paper called Every Child Matters alongside its response to Lord Laming's report. The green paper prompted an unprecedented debate about services for children, young people and families. There was a wide consultation with people working in children's services, and with parents, children and young people.
Following the consultation, the Government published Every Child Matters: the Next Steps, and passed the Children Act 2004, providing the legislative spine for developing more effective and accessible services focused around the needs of children, young people and families.
As a school, we have a duty of care towards the young people in our community. As part of that duty it is important that we work in partnership with pupils, parents, staff and any agencies who work with schools to educate all involved about how to Stay Safe.
It is with this in mind that the information evening and booklet have been produced.