The Church of England has announced the appointment of an interim commissioner to oversee the resolution of the handling of past safeguarding cases previously under investigation by the now-dissolved Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB).
Kevin Crompton, described in the statement as a "senior safeguarding professional", will be responsible for commissioning and ensuring the reviews and complaints of survivors "in line with the former ISB’s processes", as well as overseeing the implementation of recommendations from the completed Mr X review.
The dissolution of the ISB earlier this year, amid reports of internal disputes, led to the dismissal of two of its three members and the resignation of the interim chairperson, leaving survivors uncertain. Consequently, the Archbishops’ Council committed to establishing new arrangements to continue the promised case reviews and complaint responses initiated by the former ISB.
Now, Crompton has been chosen to continue this crucial work.
According to the statement, survivors with pending review requests can select from a group of reviewers, including organisations such as NSPCC, Thirtyone:eight, and Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel (DSAP) Chairs. FearFree (formerly FearLess) has been enlisted to provide advocacy and support to survivors with completed, active, and pending reviews and complaints.
While most survivors have been able to provide input into these arrangements, the Archbishops’ Council acknowledged that there were four individuals who had review requests with the ISB but whose contact details have not been passed on, according to the statement.
Kevin Crompton said: “I am pleased to have been offered this opportunity to make a contribution to this important piece of work. I am looking forward to working with survivors to ensure they have an independent review of their concerns. I also will do all I can to ensure that recommendations of such reviews are given proper consideration and are implemented within reasonable timeframes.”
Responding to the announcement, Jane Chevous, director of Survivor Voices, wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “I really hope that the survivors affected can find a safe way to communicate about our response to this option, & offer each other solidarity in our response. It needs to work for everyone. Personally, I don't want my review to go ahead if anyone is excluded.”
In July, former chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) Professor Alexis Jay was appointed to develop proposals for a fully independent structure to provide scrutiny of safeguarding in the Church of England.