This article contains information about child sexual abuse that some people may find distressing. You will find a link to support resources at the bottom. 

Keeping children safe and well so they can engage in learning and live happy and fulfilling lives is the Department for Education, Children and Young People’s greatest commitment and highest priority. 

The Commission of Inquiry’s final report has today been tabled in Parliament and released publicly. The Report highlights the Government’s past failings to protect children from child sexual abuse, while setting a clear path for the future. 

The historical abuse that occurred to children in our institutions is abhorrent, and we apologise unreservedly to all those who have been impacted by child sexual abuse, who expected – and deserved – far more from us. 

It is vital we learn from our past failures and put every possible safeguard in place to ensure this can never happen again. All children have a fundamental right to be safe and it is our responsibility to ensure they are. 

We are focussed on making a real difference, recognising there will be challenges, we are committed to working with children and young people to get this right and ensure we never make the mistakes of the past again. 

It is our hope that our Department’s commitment to putting children at the centre of everything we do will increase their safety and the community’s trust in us. 

We have not waited for the Commission of Inquiry Report to learn and, importantly, to grow, in our understanding of, and response to, child sexual abuse. Crucial work has already begun to ensure our systems and processes for safeguarding children and young people are as effective as possible. 

The Report recommendations will provide important additional direction that will be built into the Department’s ongoing response. It is important to understand that it will take time to fully consider the recommendations to ensure real difference is made from this point on, which is what we intend to do.