Our school will be taking part in an initiative, ‘Operation Encompass’, that will be fully implemented across all schools in the Belfast Trust from 15 May 2023. This letter is designed to give you some details about the operation and what this will mean for our pupils and school community.
Operation Encompass is an early intervention partnership between police and schools, aimed at supporting children who are impacted by domestic abuse. The initiative, which began in England over ten years ago, is designed to help schools to offer support to children after the police have attended a domestic incident at their home.
If the police attend a domestic abuse incident, and one of our pupils is present, they will notify our school at the start of the next working day. In practice, this is a short phone call to a member of the school’s Safeguarding Team. This will enable us to provide appropriate and timely support for any pupils who may have experienced trauma.
We know that when children witness domestic abuse at home, this is a very traumatic experience for them. Operation Encompass aims to mitigate this harm by enabling the provision of immediate support. By taking part in Operation Encompass, we can offer compassionate support to our pupils in a manner that suits their individual needs/situation . We are acutely aware of everyone’s right to privacy; any information we receive as part of the Operation Encompass Initiative will be shared with school staff on a need- to- know basis only.
A pilot project of Operation Encompass in NI, involving approximately 140 schools in the Mourne and Down area, was introduced in September 2021. The initiative has also been running in all schools in the Northern and Western Trust areas since 27th February 2023. Feedback from the schools involved has been very positive.
Operation Encompass is being delivered jointly between the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, the EA’s Child Protection Support Service and the PSNI.
If you have any questions or concerns about Operation Encompass, please contact one of our Designated Teachers for Safeguarding and Child Protection: Mrs Lavery,
Mr O’Callaghan or Ms Willis.
· You also may wish to read more information at www.operationencompass.org