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Schools must report abuse ‘to save lives’

By TARA ROSS

The father of slain six-year-old schoolgirl Coral-Ellen Burrows believes mandatory reporting – repeatedly ruled out by successive governments – could have saved his daughter…

Under mandatory reporting regimes overseas, teachers and doctors must report instances of suspected child abuse, but efforts to introduce that here have been rejected by both National and Labour governments.

CYF Minister Ruth Dyson confirmed the government had no plans to introduce it in the future.

But a former Commissioner for Children and advocate of mandatory reporting, Roger McClay, said even the slightest suspicion of abuse should be acted on. If one child’s life was saved for every nine false alarms, he said, “so be it”.