Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeNewsCampaigners seek justice for bullied children

Campaigners seek justice for bullied children


A PUBLIC hearing will take place today at the High Court in London to decide whether to grant permission for a judicial review of a decision by the Chief Deputy District Judge Tan Ikram at Westminster Magistrates’ Court not to summon former Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to answer criminally in regard to allegations of Misconduct in Public Office.

The case has been brought by the Safer Schools Campaign which includes families who have lost children to suicide or had them seriously harmed due to bullying, physical and sexual violence in schools. 

The campaign group brought a private prosecution in March following a police assessment of allegations that the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had wilfully neglected his duty to take reasonable steps to protect children from harm, and to protect children whose lives were at risk, by wilfully failing to investigate and act to address alleged failures and potential misconduct within the Department for Education, in addition to complaints of a possible cover-up of the issues by other Ministers and  Officials.

It is alleged that these failures potentially resulted in serious harm and the deaths of a number of children, mainly through suicide, and have continued to leave others at risk. 

The hearing will be focused on the decision of the previous judge, who agreed that there may be prima facie evidence that Mr Williamson failed to take necessary steps to protect children from harm and prevent potential deaths. He disagreed though that there was evidence of any corrupt motive or misconduct of a level high enough to cross the very high criminal threshold, where acting recklessly and deliberately knowing it would likely result in harm amongst other things in this case, would need to be proved.

This will be the first time the case has been heard in public and the first time that the majority of the British public have heard anything about the case.

Here is the link detailing today’s High Court hearings. If you scroll down to 1.3, the London Administrative Court cause list, you’ll see Barnett v Westminster Magistrates’ Court. 

The campaign details can be found here

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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