“In 2000 I asked a commission
headed by Lord Nolan to suggest ways in which the Catholic
Church in England and Wales could be an example of good
practice in the prevention of child abuse, and in responding
to it. The bishops and Religious Orders accepted in
full Nolan’s recommendations in his Final Report
of September 2001. Since then great efforts have been
made, throughout the dioceses of England and Wales,
the Religious congregations and through the Church’s
agency COPCA, to move swiftly towards the goal of ensuring
that the Church becomes the safest place for children
and vulnerable adults.
“Lord Nolan’s concluding
(no. 83) suggestion in his Final Report was that his
recommendations be reviewed after five years. I have
therefore asked Baroness Cumberlege to chair an independent
review commission, consisting of outstanding professionals
from the statutory and voluntary sectors as well as
representatives from the Catholic Church. The Cumberlege
Commission will consider the effectiveness of the measures
taken since the Nolan Report; it will ask whether we
have achieved our goal of becoming an example of good
practice in the prevention of and response to child
abuse; and it will also examine the remit and effectiveness
of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children
and Vulnerable Adults (COPCA) which has been the principal
mechanism for the implementation of Nolan.
“The Cumberlege Commission’s
review will be thorough, painstaking and independent.
Where it finds that progress has been inadequate, it
will recommend changes in current policy and mechanisms
for implementing those changes. We will study very carefully
the Commission’s findings, which are expected
to be published in Spring 2007.”
Institutions and organisations will be
invited to submit their views about the implementation
of Lord Nolan’s recommendations. There will also
be the opportunity for individuals to feed into the process
by way of a secure email address, which can be accessed
via a website www.cumberlegecommission.org.uk.
This website also features the conclusions and recommendations
of Lord Nolan, along with the terms of reference and panel
members of the Cumberlege Commission.
Lord Nolan’s A Programme for Action sets out 83
recommendations: on structures locally and nationally;
on action needed to create as safe an environment as possible;
on arrangements for responding to allegations of abuse.
The full list of recommendations can be viewed on the