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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child protection in religious organisations and settings Investigation Report


Annex 2: Glossary

Abuse Never Becomes Us UK
A charity set up to provide holistic support, resources and advocacy on behalf of Tamil people affected by childhood sexual abuse.
All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Safeguarding in Faith Settings
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal, cross-party interest groups of MPs and peers interested in a particular issue. The APPG on Safeguarding in Faith Settings was established in September 2018. The aims of the group are to increase awareness of issues relating to safeguarding within faith settings, and to provide an opportunity for the faith community to inform safeguarding discourse, share best practice, and work together to create safer places.
Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.[1]
Asian Women's Resource Centre
A voluntary sector grassroots organisation providing services for all women in need, from all ethnicities and backgrounds, who are or have been experiencing domestic abuse.
Islamic scholar, appointed Leader of a Shi′a Muslim community.
A monotheistic religion founded in the 19th century as a development of Babism (a messianic sect of Shi′a Islam).
Bahá’í Community of the UK
The English branch of the Bahá’í community, providing guidance and oversight to Bahá’í living in the UK and organising communal worship and other community activities.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
A centre housing a Hindu temple, exhibitions about Hinduism, a cultural centre, restaurant, IT centre and a school. More commonly known as Neasden Temple.
Baptist Union of Great Britain
An umbrella body for Baptist Churches with approximately 1,945 churches affiliated to it.
Members of a Protestant Christian denomination advocating baptism of believers by total immersion. Worship services are normally led by Baptist Ministers (who undergo theological training).
Beth Din
A Jewish court of law, typically composed of three rabbinic judges, responsible for adjudicating on matters of Jewish religious law and the settlement of civil disputes between Jewish individuals. Rabbis chosen for this role will have particular skills in understanding Jewish religious laws, known as the Halacha.
Board of Deputies of British Jews
An umbrella body of a wide range of Jewish traditions, including community and religious Jewish organisations, to reflect voices of the British Jewish community. Provides advocacy, engagement and support services.
Bradford Council for Mosques
A non-profit organisation working on developing the relationships between mosques, the Muslim community in Bradford and society at large.
Branch Office/Britain Branch Office/Central Branch Office/Bethel (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
The central office and administrative hub for the UK and Eire branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or a branch office operated by the corporations and organisations associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Staffed by elders (who are all volunteers) who provide various services, including advice to other elders about all aspects of the running of their congregation.
A religion based on the teachings of the Buddha (‘Awakened One’/‘Enlightened One’).
Chabad Lubavitch UK
Jewish organisation which provides religious and outreach activities for all Jewish people. It is a grouping of Charedi Judaism which came from Eastern Europe and the Ukraine in the 18th century.
Charedi community/Chadarim (Judaism)
Followers of Orthodox Judaism who strictly adhere to Jewish law (Halacha) and traditions. There are several different traditions of Charedi Judaism.
Charities Act 2011
The most recent Act of Parliament governing how charities can operate in England and Wales.
Charity Commission
A public body which regulates and registers charities in England and Wales. Responsible for maintaining an accurate and up-to-date register of charities. It also provides some oversight of those who are registered to administer charities (known as trustees). It can take steps to dismiss individuals from being trustees of charities if they act contrary to their duties.
Chief Rabbi of United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
Lead Rabbi of the United Synagogue, which represents the Orthodox community of the United Kingdom, and various other Orthodox communities located in the Commonwealth. The current incumbent is Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.
A person under the age of 18.
Child protection (see Safeguarding)
Activity to protect children who are suffering or are likely to suffer significant harm.
Child sexual abuse
Forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities. The activities may involve physical contact and non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse, including via the internet. Child sexual abuse includes child sexual exploitation.
Child sexual exploitation
A form of child sexual abuse. It involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships, such as where a child receives something as a result of them performing sexual activities and/or another or others performing sexual activities on them. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example, being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
Children Act 1989
An Act of Parliament which allocated duties to local authorities, courts, parents and other agencies in the United Kingdom to ensure children are protected and their welfare is promoted.
Children Act 2004
An Act of Parliament which imposed duties on statutory bodies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and cooperate with each other, and to set up local safeguarding children boards. It also created the Children’s Commissioner of England and Wales.
Children and Social Work Act 2017
An Act of Parliament which created local safeguarding children partnerships, which enshrined joint and equal responsibility to the clinical commissioning groups, police authorities and local authorities to oversee these partnerships, which are to supervise safeguarding arrangements in the geographic areas which they serve.
Children’s Commissioner for England/Children’s Commissioner for Wales
A statutory office, independent from the government. Responsible for the promotion and protection of children, and for giving children the opportunity to have their voices heard.

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has the power to deal with complaints made by individual children.

Both Commissioners can investigate and report on general concerns relating to children.
Children’s Services
Officials and members of a local authority charged with responsibility for providing services in respect of social care and education, as set out under statute and guidance. Includes powers to investigate allegations that children have been harmed and provides the local authority designated officer (LADO), who coordinates and advises on allegations of abuse made against adults working with children.
An Abrahamic Trinitarian religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ.
A building used for public Christian worship, and the name of a group engaging in collective worship in Christianity.
Church of England and Anglican Church
The Church of England, part of the Anglican Communion, is the established church within England (with the Queen as its Supreme Governor).

The Anglican Church is a worldwide communion of churches which have similar theological understandings and choose to have the Archbishop of Canterbury as their ‘first amongst equals’.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Religion founded by Joseph Smith in the United States in 1830. The term ‘Mormon’, often used to refer to members of this Church, comes from the Book of Mormon, the holy book of the religion.
Church of Scientology
A spiritual movement and religious system which grew out of the ideas and practices advocated by Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911–1986) through graded courses of study and training.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
An umbrella body of a number of Christian organisations which works on ecumenical (interdenominational) issues. It works closely with Action for Churches Together in Scotland, CYTUN (Churches Together in Wales), Churches Together in England and the Irish Council of Churches.
Circuit (Methodism)
A group of Methodist churches served by a team of ministers. A minister will have pastoral charge of one or more churches, but will preach and lead worship in different local churches in the circuit. The circuit is led by the superintendent minister who presides over both lay and ordained ministers and provides oversight of the area.
Circuit overseer (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
An elder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who has spiritual responsibility for and provides guidance to a group of about 20 congregations. The circuit overseer is responsible for appointing elders and ministerial servants to individual congregations.
Those who are ordained for religious duties, especially in the Christian Church. Ordination means to be set apart from lay people, ie to be consecrated, by way of religious ceremony, which then enables them to perform some religious rites not open to be performed (in some Christian denominations) by lay people.

The term is also applied to non-Christian religious leaders who are ordained in England and Wales as ‘shorthand’ for a religious leader.
Clinical commissioning group
The body which organises and commissions the provision of national health services (both community, hospital and general practice) in a particular geographic area.
A group of people of any faith assembled for religious worship. In some faith traditions, it is used for a group which forms a religious community.
The Council of African and Afro-Caribbean Churches
A grouping of Evangelical churches serving the African and Afro-Caribbean communities in the United Kingdom.
Dayan (plural: Dayanim) (Judaism)
A religious judge in a rabbinic court (Beth Din).
An autonomous branch of Protestant Christianity.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Government department, led by a Secretary of State, with policy and fiscal responsibility for the Charity Commission. Also produces policy about volunteers, including advice on safeguarding for voluntary and charitable groups. Has responsibility for policy on charities in England and Wales.
Department for Education
Government department, led by a Secretary of State, with policy responsibility for all education provided by the state from nursery to university within England. Also has policy and responsibility for social care relating to children and young people, youth work and youth workers, and a role in the provision of guidance for voluntary bodies about out-of-school settings in England.
Designated safeguarding lead (DSL)
Person responsible at both a strategic level within an organisation and on a day-to-day basis for dealing with child protection concerns. The role of the designated safeguarding lead was specified in the Children Act 2004 to ensure that every organisation had a ‘named person’ for protecting children and young people.Working Together to Safeguard Children, the statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education, suggests that all voluntary organisations should appoint someone to this role.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
An executive non-departmental body, sponsored by the Home Office, which helps employers make safer recruitment decisions by processing DBS checks. Also makes decisions about whether people should be placed on the barred list, preventing them from engaging in regulated activity. Replaced the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
Checks of an individual’s criminal record, intelligence about them not amounting to a crime, and whether or not they have been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. Carried out by the DBS on behalf of an employer or organisation. There are different levels of checks depending on the role applied for.
Disfellowshipping (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
Disciplinary process undertaken within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. If a judicial committee (a body of elders of the Congregation to which the particular individual belongs) decides that a baptised Witness has committed a serious sin and is unrepentant, the person is disfellowshipped.
Druid Network
A charity which provides information and a network for those who wish to practice Druidry as a modern, living religion.
A spiritual and religious movement which promotes Pagan religion. A Pagan, for this report, means someone who worships the earth or nature.
East London Mosque
The largest mosque in the United Kingdom, incorporating the London Muslim Centre and the Maryam Centre.
Relating to the Christian church or its clergy.
An umbrella body of a number of Christian churches to promote unity and the common good.

Can also be used to mean a number of different faith groups working together.
Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion
Research centre based at the University of Birmingham, established in 2014 to provide and enhance public understanding of religion on a regional, national and international level through strategic interdisciplinary research. Its research explores the significance of religious belief and practice for public and professional life, working with faith communities and public policy-makers.
  1. In the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a senior, male member who has religious leadership responsibilities, including presiding over religious services, leading Bible study and attending to the spiritual needs of a congregation or congregations.
  2. In Protestant churches and sects, a lay person who may undertake administrative or religious tasks, including leading religious worship.
  3. Religious or community leaders in some Christian traditions.
European Convention on Human Rights
A convention of the Council of Europe to protect human rights, political and fundamental freedoms in Europe, created in 1951.
  1. Something of, or according to, the teaching of the gospels and religion in Christianity.
  2. A member of the evangelical tradition within the Christian church. Evangelicals can be found in nearly every Protestant Christian denomination but particularly within the Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.
The Evangelical Alliance
The oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK. Represents individuals and organisations from the evangelical tradition.
Ex-JW Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children
An advocacy group of former members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses; made up of survivors of childhood sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, former elders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses with deep knowledge of practices adopted by bodies of elders at congregations across the UK, and former member advocates who assist survivors across the UK.
Faith Associates
Consultancy set up in 2004 to meet the needs of ethnic minority, faith-based communities. Provides research, training, advice and guidance to support and influence the challenges faced by these communities.
Faiths Forum for London
An umbrella body of a number of major faiths (Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Zoroastrian) to promote ecumenical understanding and joint working and to promote relationships between faith groups and wider society.
Faith literacy
The ability to understand and engage effectively with religious and spiritual beliefs and understand how those may affect the actions, beliefs and values of individuals and groups.
Faith Workers’ Branch of Unite the Union
A branch of Unite the Union, open to all employees and office holders of any faith organisation, that campaigns on behalf of faith workers and runs a large network of Union representatives who have been trained to support members through difficult times.
Advisory opinion issued by an Islamic legal scholar as to a particular point of interpretation of Islamic law.
The Federation of Synagogues
An umbrella body of synagogues, representing the Orthodox Jewish tradition.
The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches
An umbrella body for Unitarian, Free Christians and other liberal religious congregations in the UK and Ireland. Unitarians are an open faith community celebrating diverse beliefs.
A lay person within the Sikh tradition who acts as a custodian and ceremonial reader of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book in Sikhism.
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre
A mosque and community centre based in Birmingham linked to the Ahl-i-Hadith Salafi movement. One of the largest mosques in England.
A Sikh place of worship, literally ‘the Guru’s Door’.
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Southall
The largest gurdwara organisation outside of India, based in Southall, West London. Provides communal worship, a community centre and a range of religious, cultural and educational facilities.
Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick
A large gurdwara in Smethwick, West Midlands. Provides communal worship, a community centre and educational, cultural and social activities.
Jewish religious laws.
Harmful sexual behaviour
Sexual activity between two children or young people of the same or similar age which is harmful or developmentally inappropriate.
A mystical Jewish movement from the 18th century founded in Poland. A form of Charedi Judaism whose adherents observe strict religious laws about all aspects of their life.
Haven – The Survivors Network
A charity providing support to children and adults who have been subject to sexual and domestic abuse.
Hindu Council UK
A faith organisation representing various Hindu communities and Hindus from different parts of the world settled in the UK. Its main purpose is to give UK Hindus an effective voice on government policy, and to undertake interfaith work.
The Hindu Forum of Britain
The largest umbrella body for British Hindus, with more than 420 member organisations from around the country. It acts as a conduit to policymakers and government, supports projects and community activities for Hindu communities, and undertakes interfaith activity.
The third largest world religion. Originated in India and based on the Vedic texts. Encompasses a diverse system of thought marked by a range of philosophies, cosmological systems, shared textual sources, mythology and rituals.
Home Office
Government department that is responsible for policing and crime. In this context, the body which sponsors the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and leads government policy on recruitment checks and barring services. Also produced a cross-departmental strategy for tackling sexual abuse.
House mosque
Place of communal prayers in Islam in someone’s house. Many mosques began in the UK by people gathering together in their homes to pray.
Human Rights Act 1998
An Act of Parliament which enshrined the European Convention on Human Rights into British law so that individuals could bring claims alleging breach of those rights in UK courts.
In the Sunni Muslim tradition:
  1. A person who leads prayers in the mosque and often gives a sermon during prayers on a Friday. Most often someone who is appointed by the congregation to do so and who has undertaken theological study. They can also provide religious guidance and act as leaders of the Muslim community.
  2. A recognised religious scholar or authority in Islamic law.
  3. A central figure in an Islamic movement.
In the Shi′a Muslim tradition:
  1. Someone who participates fully in the acts of God alone, and is a leader of the community.
  2. There were ‘Twelve Imams’ considered to be appointed by God (all of whom lived between the 7th and 9th centuries).
Independent school
A school that is not maintained by a local authority or is not a non-maintained special school, and at which full-time education is provided:
  1. for five or more pupils of compulsory school age; or
  2. for at least one pupil of that age who is either
    1. looked after by a local authority (as defined under section 22 of the Children Act 1989); or
    2. has an education, health and care plan (EHCP) as defined in the Children and Families Act 2014.
Inter Faith Network for the UK
A charity to promote interfaith understanding and work between communities.
Interfaith Council for Wales
A Welsh Government initiative to promote interfaith activities.
The Interlink Foundation
Membership organisation that provides services to Jewish organisations, including advice and guidance on child protection. Member organisations are predominantly from the Charedi community in England and Wales.
The religion of Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah.
Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque
The Islamic Cultural Centre provides education, cultural and social services to the Islamic community of the London Central Mosque and London.
Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism which targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.[2]
Jain Network
Non-profit organisation that aims to bring awareness of Jainism to the Western world. It provides facilities, resources and services to Jains and the wider community.
A non-theistic religion founded in India.
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Non-trinitarian Christian denomination with millenarian beliefs founded in 1870 in the United States. Jehovah’s Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group of elders in the USA that establishes doctrines based on the Bible.
Jesus Fellowship Church
An evangelical Protestant sect formerly known as the Jesus Army, now closed. At its peak in the early 2000s, the Jesus Army had about 2,500 members.
Jesus Fellowship Survivors Association
A group for people who were abused during their time in the Jesus Army/Jesus Fellowship Church.
Jewish Leadership Council
An umbrella body coordinating Jewish charitable organisations and initiatives.
The monotheistic religion of the Jewish people, which has a number of traditions.
Judicial Committee/Ecclesiastical Judicial Committee (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
An ecclesiastical judicial committee, which usually comprises three elders of the congregation or circuit. Formed if a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is accused of sinful behaviours. Determines if the individual has acted in breach of Jehovah’s witness law and practice, and if the committee determines that the accused is not ‘scripturally repentant’, they will be disfellowshipped (ie expelled).
Karma Nirvana
Charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage.
Kingdom Hall
A house of worship used by Jehovah’s Witnesses for their religious services.
Kol v'Oz/VoiCSA
An Israel-based international organisation working to stop child sexual abuse in the global Jewish community. Its work covers three broad areas: advocacy, awareness and empowerment.
Lashon Hara
A derogatory or damaging statement against an individual who is also Jewish (Hebrew: ‘Evil tongue’), differing from defamation in that it refers to truthful speech rather than false.
Liberal Judaism
A branch of reform Judaism founded in the 19th century and seeking to practise Judaism through modern practices and customs.
Local authority designated officer (LADO)
An officer in each local authority children’s social care service to whom allegations or concerns about the protection of children are reported where they involve allegations made against adults working with children.
Local safeguarding children partnership (LSCP)
Joint arrangements to be put in place under the Children and Social Work Act 2017 to organise and oversee safeguarding in a geographic area between the clinical commissioning group, the police authority and the local authority.
Madrasah / madrassah / madrasa / madrassa
Arabic term for any institution of education,particularly primary or secondary, and for places of Islamic instruction.
Manchester Beth Din
The largest Jewish court of law in the North West of England. Also known as Badatz Manchester.
Masorti Judaism
A Jewish movement seeking to integrate conservative Judaism with modern ideas of science and scholarship.
The action by which one Jew reports the conduct of another Jew to a non-rabbinic authority in a manner and under circumstances forbidden by rabbinic law.
A group of related denominations of Protestant Christianity inspired by the teachings of the Wesley brothers and George Whitefield.
Methodist Church in Britain
The umbrella body representing most strands of Methodism in Great Britain and the mother church to Methodists worldwide. Has approximately 173,000 members in Great Britain and is the fourth largest Christian group in Britain.
Methodist Insurance Company
Insurer of the Methodist Church and associated organisations, including the churches and the governing body known as the Methodist Conference.
Migdal Emunah
A charity providing a support service for victims of sexual abuse and their families across all denominations of the Jewish community.
A bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism to achieve ritual purity.
Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS)
A support group for women and men from Christian backgrounds who have been sexually abused by ministers or clergy, as children or as adults.
Ministerial servant (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
A ministerial servant is someone chosen by a regional elder (who has significant experience of being an elder) to assist the elders to run the congregation. Ministerial servants assist the elders, and are appointed because of their standing within the congregation and their ethics, integrity and leadership skills.
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Government department which has a policy role in liaising with faith organisations and provides policy guidance on developing community cohesion. Has commissioned reports and issued guidance about countering extremism within the community in England.
Ministry of Justice
Government department which has responsibility for drafting legislation about criminal, family and civil justice, the court system and prisons.
A Jewish term for someone who informs on another Jew to secular authorities. Centuries of persecution and unfairness mean that there is Jewish learning and tradition that a Jew should not be reported to secular authorities for fear of those authorities’ response to the Jewish community.
A religion which has one godhead.
A Muslim place of congregational prayers and worship.
The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB)
An advisory body for good governance in mosques and for improving the performance of imams and Islamic teachers through a process of self-regulation based on agreed standards. Works with all the major Muslim traditions and schools of thought.
An Islamic legal scholar.
Muslim Council of Britain
The UK’s largest national Muslim umbrella body, with over 500 members, including mosques, schools, charitable associations and professional networks.
Muslim Council of Wales
An umbrella body and affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain, set up to serve the needs of the Muslim community across Wales.
Muslim Women’s Network UK
The only national Muslim women’s organisation in Britain. A small national charity working to improve social justice and equality for Muslim women and girls. It provides advice, counselling, education, support and training.
National Council of Hindu Temples
Hindu umbrella body linking over 200 Hindu temples and faith organisations and working with them for the benefit of the Hindu community across the UK.
National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)
Coordinating body for police forces in the UK to help coordination of operations, and to ensure the implementation of national standards and to develop joint national approaches on aspects of policing.
National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRCSE)
A national strategic and support organisation for community-led supplementary schools and the wider supplementary education sector across England.

NRCSE also provides a nationally recognised quality assurance scheme targeting providers of out-of-school education – the NRCSE Quality Mark.[3] This is designed to develop practical teaching skills and understanding of child protection. Nearly 500 schools have qualified for the Quality Mark.[4] In order to obtain it, schools must show that they can create an effective learning environment, and can select and support staff and volunteers.[5] This includes having to meet relevant child protection standards.
National Safeguarding Children’s Board (Wales)
National board responsible for coordination and organisation of regional safeguarding boards which oversee arrangements in respect of child protection in geographic areas of Wales.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
National charity devoted to the prevention of abuse in childhood and the protection of children who have been abused. Has provided resources, consultancy, training and advice for religious organisations
National Working Group on Child Abuse Linked to Faith and Belief
Coordinating grouping of voluntary bodies, charities, policing and central and local government, alongside academics to devise a joint response to children at risk of abuse linked to faith and belief. Devised a national action plan for various statutory and voluntary agencies.
The Network of Buddhist Organisations
Network promoting fellowship and dialogue between UK Buddhists, cooperation in matters of common interest and work with Buddhist and like-minded organisations, such as the European Buddhist Union and Inter Faith Network for the UK.
Term generally applied in England and Wales to all Protestants who are not Anglicans, including those who have seceded from Anglicanism (Methodists), and also to independent groups such as the Quakers and the Salvation Army.
A form of Christianity which rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, ie that God consists of three persons who are co-eternal and united in one being or essence.
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, a non-ministerial government department which inspects a range of educational, social care and child care institutions in England. Its counterparts in Wales are Estyn (for education) and Care Inspectorate Wales (for social care).
Operation Hydrant
A coordination hub to deliver the national policing response to, and oversight and coordination of, non-recent child sexual abuse investigations concerning persons of public prominence, or in relation to those offences which took place within institutional settings.
To officially make someone a priest or other religious leader, in a religious ceremony.
Orthodox Jewish communities
Communities complying with traditional Jewish beliefs and practices. Adherents are committed to Torah law (Halacha) and its derived laws and traditions.
Out-of-school settings/supplementary schooling
A setting for supplementary education which is not regulated in a comparable way to full-time education settings. Such settings are not required to register with any authority, and are able to operate so long as they comply with relevant legislation, including health and safety law.
Pagan Federation
An umbrella body providing support to Pagan groups, and information on Pagan beliefs to the media, official bodies and the wider community.
A polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.
Paramountcy principle
The principle that when making decisions about children, their interests are paramount. Section 1(1) of the Children Act 1989.
Pentecostal churches
Christian movements across denominations emphasising baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced by ‘speaking in tongues’, prophecy, healing and exorcism.
A Sufi spiritual guide whose job is to instruct disciples on the Sufi path through lessons and guidance.
Worshipping a number of different godheads as part of religious belief.
The Islamic sacred book, believed to be the word of God as dictated to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel.
  1. A Jewish scholar or teacher.
  2. A Jewish ordained religious leader.
  3. An elder or person of influence within the Jewish community who does not have any formal religious qualifications – a term of respect for their seniority.
The position or tenure of office of a Rabbi or collective Rabbis.
Reform Judaism
National umbrella body of 41 autonomous synagogue communities which seeks to practice Judaism in the light of 21st-century principles and practices.
Regulated activity
Activities from which a person may be barred. These activities include teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children if the person is unsupervised, or providing advice or guidance on physical, emotional or educational well-being, or driving a vehicle only for children (and anyone supervising or caring for them). Set out in schedule 4 to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

It also includes work for a limited range of specific places with the opportunity for contact with children (such as hospitals, schools, care homes), excluding work done by supervised volunteers. This is only regulated activity if done regularly, but some activities are always regulated regardless of frequency: personal care (ie toileting, bathing a child) or health care.

Someone working in regulated activity is eligible for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate with a check of the relevant barred list.
Relevant agencies
In England, local safeguarding children partnerships have powers under regulations issued under the Children and Social Work Act 2017 to place a duty on ‘relevant agencies’ (including charities, schools and representative organisations of religions for their schools) to cooperate if asked to do so as part of the local safeguarding arrangements.
Having a religious belief and/or practising those beliefs.
Religious Society of Friends in Britain (Quakers)
A member of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian movement. Central to the Quakers’ belief is the doctrine of the ‘Inner Light’, or sense of Christ’s direct working in the soul. This has led them to reject both formal ministry and all set forms of worship.
Religious studies
The study of religion or religions as an academic discipline.
An organisation set up by the Jewish Leadership Council in order to support Jewish youth work throughout the UK. Provides advice, training and guidance.
Roman Catholic Church
The second largest Christian denomination in England and Wales, with approximately 3.8 million Catholic adults.
A term used by statutory bodies and others involved in child protection, coming from section 10 of the Children Act 2004 and section 17 of the Children Act 1989, meaning to both protect children but also to take active steps to prevent them from coming to harm. See Part A for further information.
Salvation Army
A worldwide evangelical Christian church and registered charity. Particularly known for the practical support it provides to the homeless and those subject to human trafficking.
From or connected with the Bible or other holy book.
Section 11 Audit
Questionnaire or information request from a local authority sent to schools, voluntary organisations and religious groups to ask them about their safeguarding arrangements and practices. Taken from s11 of the Children Act 2004 which empowers various organisations to ensure that their functions and any services provided by them are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Section 15 Regulatory Advice
Advice given by the Charity Commission, called s15 as the Commission has power under s15 of the Charities Act 2011 to issue such advice on the charity’s compliance with the law. The provision of such advice usually involves the Charity Commission asking the organisation to comply with an action plan to improve aspects of their functioning.
Not connected with spiritual or religious matters.
Serious incident reporting
A requirement by charity trustees to report to the Charity Commission adverse events which result in or risk significant harm to a charity’s beneficiaries, staff, volunteers or others who come into contact with the charity through its work.[6] Reports should also be made if there has been harm to a charity’s work or reputation (child protection failures or complaints are seen as causing harm to the beneficiaries, staff or others, and to their reputation and work).
The Service Department/Service Desk (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
The Service Department is a department within the Britain Branch Office, which is the national headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.[7] The Service Department provides guidance to congregation elders on implementing the child safeguarding policy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.[8]
Religious law forming part of Islamic tradition.
Sharia councils/tribunals
Bodies made up of Islamic legal scholars/imams which make decisions about Islamic practices and/or make decisions about aspects of daily life between Muslims.
Sharia marriage
Informal common name for a marriage conducted by an imam under Islamic law but which is not recognised as a marriage in English law.
Sheikh/Sheik/Sheyikh and other transliterations
Honorific title in Arabic language. Commonly used to refer to a Muslim religious scholar.
Shema Koli
A confidential, anonymous helpline, counselling and support service for people in the Jewish community (primarily within the Charedi community) who have experienced or been affected by abuse of any kind.
A member of the Shi′a branch of Islam. One of the two main branches of Islam.
Shree Hindu Temple and Community Centre
Hindu temple and community centre providing community and religious activities, education and training, arts, culture and sport in Leicester.
Sikh Women's Action Network (SWAN)
Women-led organisation providing training and support on issues of gender and domestic abuse in the West Midlands.
A monotheistic religion founded in Punjab, India in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
Charity providing consultancy, guidance, advice and support to organisations on issues related to social care.
Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
Act of the Welsh government which establishes the requirement for a national independent safeguarding board and regional safeguarding boards made up of representatives from local authorities, local health boards, the police and others.
Southall Black Sisters (SBS)
A not-for-profit secular organisation established in 1979 to meet the needs of Black (Asian and African-Caribbean) women. It undertakes campaigning, provides advice, support and education in respect of gender-related violence, and works to develop women’s rights in society.
Spent convictions
Criminal records which have reached the defined time as set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Spent convictions will not appear on a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check.
Spiritual or faith healers
A person who seeks to cure or heal by means other than conventional medical treatment or other physical methods, using religious or spiritual beliefs as the basis for healing.
Statutory inquiry (Charity Commission)
A statutory inquiry enables the Charity Commission to formally investigate matters of regulatory concern, for example by compelling the production of documentation or information from within a charity, and to use protective powers for the benefit of the charity, its beneficiaries, assets or reputation.
Strengthening Faith Institutions (SFI)
Non-governmental organisation made up of facilitators of various faiths who provide ‘health checks’ and education to religious groupings unaffiliated with major religious umbrella bodies, typically in urban areas of England.
A branch of Islam emphasising mysticism and an inward search for God. It uses particular rituals, practices, doctrines and institutions, such as dancing and singing, which are uncommon or forbidden in other parts of Islamic worship.
Sunday school
A class held on Sundays in the Christian tradition, typically to teach children.
A member of one of the two main branches of Islam, the branch which consists of the majority of Islam’s adherents.
The building where a Jewish assembly or congregation meets for religious worship and instruction.
The S&P Sephardi Community
Sephardis are members or descendants of the Jews who lived in Spain and Portugal until their mass expulsion from those countries in the last decades of the 15th century.
A building devoted to the worship of a god or gods.
Third sector
Shorthand for voluntary organisations, charities or not-for-profit social enterprises.
Thirtyone:eight (formerly Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS))
An independent non-denominational Christian child protection charity providing training and consultancy about safeguarding practices.
The first part of the Jewish bible. Torah refers to the five books of Moses.
Triratna Buddhist Order and Community
The Triratna Buddhist Order and Community was founded in the UK and is now a worldwide movement of people who engage with the Buddha’s teachings in the conditions of the modern world.
Person appointed to a charity who has financial and operational responsibility for the running of the charity and owes duties in law.
Umbrella body
An organisation which controls or organises the activities of an association of institutions (in this context, religious institutions) which work together formally to coordinate activities or share resources and information.
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC)
An umbrella body of Charedi Jewish communities in London whose stated mission is to protect traditional Judaism.
United Reformed Church in the UK
Protestant reformed denomination of Christianity, created from the merging of various nonconformist denominations in the 1970s in the UK.
The United Synagogue
The largest synagogue movement in Europe. Comprises local communities supported by a central office, representing what it calls ‘mainstream, Orthodox Judaism’.
Unregistered school
A school in England which is not registered with the Secretary of State for Education. Schools only have to be registered if they provide full-time education, ie over 18 hours a week.
Unspent convictions
Records which have not yet reached the defined time as set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Unspent convictions will appear on a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check.
Vetting and Barring checks
A check carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) of an individual’s criminal record. Employers can ask to see a DBS certificate to ensure that they are recruiting suitable people into their organisation.
Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE)
Voluntary, charity, social enterprise organisations.
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
A charity operated by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Watchtower (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
Religious text published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The May 2019 edition “explained and expanded on” the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ worldwide child protection policy.[9] It is studied and read by congregation members during group study.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (Working Together Under the Children Act 2004/Safe From Harm)
Statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education to statutory bodies about how to assess and deal with safeguarding issues. Includes some limited advice about the role of religious organisations.
World Ahlul-Bayt Islamic League
A registered charity and worldwide organisation of Ulama (scholars) for the advancement of the Islamic Sh′ia religion.
A Jewish educational institution (single sex) which focusses on the study of religious texts, primarily the Talmud and the Torah, and Jewish Law (Halacha). In the context of this report, yeshiva refers primarily to all-male educational institutions for boys and young men, from 13 to early adulthood, organised and run by members of the Charedi community to educate them in religious law and religious studies alone.
One of the world’s oldest known living religions, developed about 3,500 years ago from ancient Indo-Iranian religion.


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