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Kevin Watkins commissions a root and branch review - Save the Children Statement

20 Feb 2018

Save the Children has always sought to protect all employees from inappropriate comments and behaviour.  If concerns about behaviour occur, there are very clear policies and processes in place to deal with them.

In 2011 and 2015, concerns were raised about inappropriate behaviour and comments by the then CEO, Justin Forsyth.  In each case, the chairman instructed HR to manage the process in conjunction with an independent trustee. Two trustees carried out two separate investigations into a total of three complaints made by three female employees.

Both reviews resulted in unreserved apologies from the CEO.  All the parties agreed to this and the former CEO apologised to the women in question.  At that time the matters were closed.

Concerns were raised with trustees that matters should not have been left as they were and that a further review was required. The review found that HR processes had not been followed in every aspect.

In a statement on Sunday, 18 February 2018, Kevin Watkins – who was appointed CEO of Save the Children in late 2016 - confirmed that he was commissioning a root and branch review of the organisational culture, examining the systems and processes that protect and preserve the safety and wellbeing of all staff, and addressing any behavioural challenges among senior leadership.

A spokesperson for Save the Children said: ‘The review will commence by the end of this week and report in June 2018.  The final report will be published, shared with the Charity Commission and made available to Government and every single member of staff.

‘We apologise for any pain these matters have caused and sincerely hope that the complainants feel able to help us with the review in the coming weeks. This is so that we can better support our skilled and highly valued staff as they help change the lives of millions of children around the world every day.’