SCIE to Conduct Independent Safeguarding Audit of Bishopthorpe Palace in November 2020


The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), is conducting an external, independent audit of Bishopthorpe Palace’s safeguarding arrangements, in November 2020 – please contribute if you have first-hand experience of seeking a safeguarding response from the Palace.

This is part of a national programme covering Church of England dioceses, cathedrals and palaces. The audit of Bishopthorpe Palace was postponed in March 2020 because of restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The independent team want to hear from people with first-hand experience of seeking a response from clergy, or others in Church-related roles, at Bishopthorpe, to safeguarding issues. You may have disclosed abuse, you may have shared Church failures to respond to such disclosures or you may have shared concerns about unsafe practices or people. The independent auditors want to understand what is working well and what has gone wrong in the past.

The role of the Palace in this aspect of the audit is simply to help publicise that the audit is taking place and that the external team want to hear from abuse survivors. Nobody at any level within the Church will be told you are taking part and please be assured that all communications with survivors will remain confidential within the SCIE audit team.

The aim of the independent audit is to support safeguarding improvements and the final report of the audit will be published by Bishopthorpe Palace.

The Reverend Canon Malcolm Macnaughton, Chief of Staff at Bishopthorpe Palace said, “These audits are part of the Church of England’s commitment to making the Church a safer place for all, ensuring that all offices have the best possible practice in place. We welcome every opportunity to learn and to improve our approach.”

The audit is expected to consider safeguarding arrangements including governance and leadership, policies and practice guidance, case-work, recruitment and training.  

If you feel you would like to contribute to this audit, as a survivor or as someone who may have raised a safeguarding concern, please email the auditors directly at: [email protected]  Alternatively you can contact Anna Flower, Provincial Safeguarding Officer at email: [email protected]

The expected dates the auditors are planning to be in contact with those who wish to contribute to the audit are the 27th, 28th and 29th of October 2020.

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