National Child Protection Leadership Group: June 2018

Minutes from the June 2018 meeting of the National Child Protection Leadership Group.

Attendees and apologies


  • Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People (Chair)
  • Eddie Follan, Children and Young People Policy Manager, COSLA
  • Neil Hunter, Principle Reporter/Chief Executive, SCRA
  • Wendy Mitchell, Chief Nurse and Head of Child Protection, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
  • SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour, and Chair of Committee on Care & Support for Children and Young People, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland (CCPS)
  • Anne Houston, National Chair, Child Protection Committees Scotland
  • Sharon Glasgow, Child Protection Programme Lead, CELSIS
  • Judith Ainsley, Head of Child Protection, Scottish Government
  • Iona Colvin, Chief Social Work Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Susan Hannah, Head of Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative, Scottish Government


  • Elaine Galbraith, Public Protection, Police Scotland (attending on behalf of DCS Boal)
  • Kevin Mitchell, Executive Director of Scrutiny and Assurance, Care Inspectorate (attending on behalf of Karen Reid)
  • Andy Jefferies, Vice Chair, Social Work Scotland Child Protection Subgroup (attending on behalf of Alison Gordon)
  • Jennifer Davidson, Executive Director, CELCIS & Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures
  • Lindsay MacDougall, Child Protection, Scottish Government (Secretariat)
  • Susan Downes, Child Protection, Scottish Government (Secretariat)


  • Angela Leitch, Chief Executive, East Lothian Council. Strategic Lead for Children and Education, including Child Protection SOLACE
  • Claire Burns, Co-Director, CELCIS & Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures
  • Karen Reid, Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate
  • DCS Lesley Boal, Head of Public Protection, Police Scotland
  • Alison Gordon, Chief Social Work Officer, North Lanarkshire
  • Kay Tisdall, Professor of Childhood, Edinburgh University
  • Peter Diamond, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed members to the meeting and noted apologies.

The Chair advised members that an update would be provided to Parliament on the Child Protection Improvement Programme (CPIP) through a Government Initiated Question in early July. The answer references the work of the Leadership Group and a copy will be circulated to members shortly.   

Minute of last meeting

The minute of the last meeting on 27 March 2018 was agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.  One amendment was noted to correct the misspelling of Eddie Follan’s name.

The Chair noted that action 3 from the last meeting, which was to invite Wendy Mitchell to a future meeting of the CPC Scotland National Child Protection Learning and Development Group, was outstanding, and this will be taken forward by Anne and Wendy.    

Leadership group tracker and draft workplan: paper one

Lindsay MacDougall presented the Leadership Group tracker and draft workplan paper.  In discussing, the group noted the complexity and scale of the work being taken forward by delivery partners.

In discussing the workplan, it was agreed that the areas that the group was responsible for progressing should be separated out from the areas that the group would want to receive updates on given its oversight role. It should identify where the work of the group can have the biggest impact and where the group’s attention is most needed. There is also a need to reflect wider work being taken across Scottish Government.  Iona Colvin informed the group that the National Health and Social Care Workforce Planning Group is currently gathering up current and future workforce requirements across children’s services.  Anyone who wants to be involved with this work should contact Iona directly.  The need to make links to education was also highlighted.  [Secretariat subsequently confirmed that Gayle Gorman, Chief Inspector of Education for Scotland has accepted the invitation to join the group].

The group discussed its role in supporting Chief Officers/Chief Officers’ Groups in undertaking their child protection functions. It was noted that where there are weaknesses in child protection leadership there are weaknesses in leadership more generally.  It was felt there was merit in considering what the work of our scrutiny partners and improvement agencies tells us about what needs to change and how these bodies, together with activity led by Workforce Scotland, the Scottish Leaders Forum and others could support and strengthen child protection leadership. 

The group agreed that there are some practical steps it could take to support local leadership, such as the development of a national induction programme for Chief Officers/Chief Officers’ Groups. This would build Chief Officers’ understanding of their role and responsibilities and provide them with help and support to ensure that they have the confidence to ask the right questions.  This could also be used as an opportunity to learn from each other and build a peer support network.  The group could also consider whether it could take a more direct role in supporting local areas facing particular challenges, including meetings with local leadership groups.   

It was agreed that a sub-group, led by Neil Hunter, would be convened to identify priority areas within the workplan for discussion at the next Leadership Group meeting in October.  

The following members agreed to form the sub-group:

  • Neil Hunter (Chair)
  • Judith Ainsley
  • Wendy Mitchell
  • Elaine Galbraith
  • Jennifer Davidson  

The workplan subgroup will:

  • identify priorities and any gaps in the current version of the workplan
  • consider the method and presentation of future updates 
  • consider how the group should communicate priorities, timescales and progress to CPCs and other stakeholders
  • consider how to include new and emerging risks at future meetings and leadership events
  • report to the next Leadership Group in October

       Action 1: Neil Hunter, SCRA  

Chief Officers’ leadership events and feedback: paper two

Sharon Glasgow introduced the evaluation report paper and highlighted that the feedback from attendees has been relatively positive and supportive of the events.  The feedback indicated that there is an appetite for future events and highlighted some areas of work for future sessions.  Health leadership was less well represented than other areas and the group discussed what support/challenge it could make of Health Board Chief Executives and Integration Joint Board Chairs.  As a starting point, the Chief Nursing Officer has joined the group and has written to Nursing Directors to confirm NHS lines of responsibility for child protection.  The evaluation report will also be put on the agenda of the next Nursing Directors meeting.

It was agreed that a subgroup, led by Sharon Glasgow will consider the programme for future events.  The subgroup will also consider how to improve attendance at future events.  

Action 2: Sharon Glasgow, CELCIS

The following members agreed to form the sub-group:

  • Sharon Glasgow (Chair)
  • Kevin Mitchell
  • Anne Houston
  • Wendy Mitchell
  • Lindsay MacDougall/Susan Downes 

  The COLEs subgroup will:

  • consider the feedback from the previous events
  • consider the frequency/timing of future events
  • develop a draft agenda for a future session
  • report at the next leadership group meeting in October

The Minister, as Chair of the group, will write to Chief Officers to ask for views on the events and to find out from those that did not attend what might encourage them to attend in future and what they’d like to see coverd. 

Action 3: Chair and Secretariat 

Feedback on the review of the 2005 Guidance was also discussed. It was agreed that the guidance subgroup, led by Kevin Mitchell, will reconvene to consider the comments from the events and amend the guidance where appropriate.  The group will also consider how best to consult on the additional amendments. It was agreed that the revised guidance will be issued to CPCs through CPC Scotland for further comment. 

Action 4: Kevin Mitchell, Care Inspectorate

National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation

Moira McKinnon provided an update on the implementation of the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation.  The second annual progress report, which was published in April 2018, sets out work to date.

A current focus was to consider how to connect CSE into other areas.  The group have been building relationships with national organisations including Barnardo’s and the Centre of Expertise on CSE to learn from the work that they have been doing.  They are also making connections with other national groups such as the Expert Group for Preventing Sexual Offending involving Children and Young People, Internet Safety group and Missing Persons group. 

Shared dataset: paper three

Sharon Glasgow introduced the paper by noting that the Care Inspectorate have completed the consultation on the shared dataset.  A number of issues have been identified through the consultation particularly the size and complexity of the dataset.

  The group agreed that:

the dataset should be scaled back in line with the consultation responses, noting that there should be a clear audit trail and justification for the removal of any indicators

the terminology and definition should be refined to ensure consistent understanding of the indicators

the child protection element of the dataset should be trailed, using the selection criteria contained within the paper

the corporate parenting/looked after children element of the dataset will be progressed separately

amapping exercise should be undertaken to identify related datasets including those partners that have a statutory responsibility to report – Scottish Government   

the group has an important role in setting out its expectation that a core set of information about child protection (the original CPIP recommendation) is collected and available to inform CPC and COG discussions.

afurther report on the dataset will be presented at the next Leadership Group meeting in October.

Action 5: Sharon Glasgow, CELCIS

Inter-agency referral discussions: paper four

Elaine Galbraith introduced the paper which provides an overview of the Child Protection Inter-Agency Referral Discussion Standard Operating Procedure for Police Scotland.

Police Scotland have undertaken scoping work to gain a better understanding of the variations in practice and involvement of partners across the country.  There is some confusion caused by the terminology and language used by partners.  

It was noted that the National Child Protection Guidance covers multi-agency information sharing and decision making but does not refer to the IRD process.  The group agreed that it had a role in reviewing different approaches, agreeing what constitutes IRD best practice and providing strategic direction.  This should be a priority for discussion within the workplan subgroup. 

Action 6: Neil Hunter, SCRA

Tackling online child sexual abuse: paper five

This paper was noted. 

Joint investigative interviews: paper six 

Andy Jefferies provided an update on the progress made by Police Scotland and Social Work Scotland in improving the quality and consistency of Joint Investigative Interviews (JIIs).  The initial research stage of the project has completed and the focus has moved to the development of a training programme with an emphasis on understanding child development, interview skills linking information and the impact of trauma on children.

Any other business 

Elaine Galbraith raised information sharing and the implications of GDPR.  Police Scotland has sought its own legal advice which has led it to review its approach to sharing information with third sector partners.

SallyAnn Kelly agreed to raise information sharing with the CCPS Children’s Committee. 

Action 7: SallyAnn Kelly, Aberlour

Members were asked to get in touch with the Secretariat if they became aware of any further examples of practice issues relating to GDPR.

Action 8: all members

The next meeting is on Tuesday 2 October 2018 in Atlantic Quay, Glasgow.


Susan Downes
Senior Policy Officer

Back to top