One of the final 20 recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) was the introduction of mandatory reporting, that is a legal requirement to report child abuse, in England & Wales. 

IICSA's recommendations contained proposals on when and where mandatory reporting should apply. The UK Government having announced that it would progress the recommendations then held two consultations to aid it in its decision making. Last week it was announced that as part of the current Criminal Justice Bill (which is at report stage in the House of Commons) additional provision will be made to introduce mandatory reporting. The announcement noted that:

There will be a legal requirement for anyone in regulated activity relating to children in England, including teachers or healthcare professionals, to report it if they know a child is being sexually abused. Those who fail to report child sexual abuse they are aware of, falling short of their legal duties, face being barred from working with young people. Anyone who actively protects child sexual abusers – by intentionally blocking others from reporting or covering up the crime – could go to prison for seven years.” 

No other detail was provided as to the mechanics of the new requirement, we will have to wait for the draft legislation to provide that detail.