A year on from the Child Q strip search scandal, new figures show continuing poor practice in schools. Safeguarding expert James Simoniti considers how schools must be ensuring that incidents like this are never repeated

The strip search of Child Q in 2020 and the subsequent furore which erupted last spring prompted a wave of concern about the searching of children in schools and the role of the police.

Child Q was a 15-year-old girl who attended a school in London.

A Hackney and City Safeguarding Children Partnership Review into the case of “Child Q” (CHSCP, 2022) set out the facts about the incident: the school suspected the girl was in possession of cannabis and were advised by their safer schools officer to call the police after an initial search found none.

The police carried out a strip search which again found no cannabis. This was done without the child’s parents being informed, without an appropriate adult present, and while the girl was menstruating.

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