In December 2016, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Scotland announced that Helen Liddell would Chair the Independent Review Group (IRG) set up as a result of the McLellan Commission Report into the current safeguarding policies, procedures and practices within the Church in Scotland.
The IRG is an autonomous body which will function separately from the Church and will review safeguarding standards and carry out independent audits as recommended by the McLellan Commission.
The Group met for the first time on 27 May and established working groups to develop and scope the future activities of the IRG. The current membership of the Group is listed below. Further members may be recruited if requirements for additional expertise are identified by the working groups.
Commenting on the IRG Helen Liddell said:
“This Group has been set up six months ahead of schedule and the experience members bring to this vital role is considerable indeed. I am very grateful to them for their willingness to serve.”
“The IRG is committed to ensuring the safeguarding procedures in the Catholic Church in Scotland meet the highest standards and it will conduct its business with transparency, vigour and compassion.”
Helen Liddell (Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke) Chair, is a former Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Scotland. She is a member of the House of Lords.
Bartolomeo Biagini is an educational consultant with extensive experience of leadership of children’s services, inspection and review. He was formerly a lead HM inspector of education with responsibility for inclusion across all sectors of education and was involved in child protection inspections. He also held senior leadership posts within education authorities in Scotland, including a depute director post as head of learning communities within South Lanarkshire Council.
Gordon Jeyes OBE was the UK's first Director of Children's Services and retired recently as the first Chief Executive of Ireland's Child and Family Agency (Tusla ).He is currently engaged in governance assurance reviews and chairs the National Children's Hospital (Ireland)Community Benefit group as well as serving on the Legal Aid Board in Ireland.
Roisin McGoldrick is a former member of the McLellan Commission. She is a registered social worker and is currently employed as a teaching fellow in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Strathclyde University.
Lesleyann Russell is an experienced charity trustee and manager, specialising in organisation change, management of risk and safeguarding.
Donald Urquhart is the National Safeguarding Adviser to the Scottish Episcopal Church with considerable experience of public protection and safeguarding in both Scotland and England. He is a retired police officer and has worked as both a lead officer and an independent chair of child protection committees in Scotland.