Children may be at risk after messages don't reach police
POLICE have refused to say whether 19 local children are still at risk of sexual abuse after a computer program blocked schools' attempts to alert police.
Documents obtained by APN Newsdesk under Right to Information legislation revealed some reports sent from principals and teachers in Gladstone and surrounding areas through the OneSchool computer system between January 28 and July 30, 2015 did not reach authorities.
School staff in the region sent 141 reports through the OneSchool Student Protection Module during that period.
The program enables confidential reporting about physical, emotional and sexual abuse or potential abuse to the Education and Training Department; the Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Department and Queensland Police Service.
But the 19 sexual abuse reports sent only to police did not make it through because of a failed IT update.
Statewide, 644 reports did not reach police. Police have begun investigating the reports that failed to come through the first time.
A police spokeswoman said privacy and investigative reasons prevented police from discussing whether charges had been laid or students removed from their parent or carer's custody.
"The Child Safety and Sexual Crimes Group finalised the assessment process and sent the matters to the relevant specialist investigators within the regions for investigation," she said.
"These matters remain ongoing." The government hired independent auditors Deloitte to investigate the IT failure and make recommendations on how to prevent similar problems in future.
An Education and Training Department spokesperson said all of Deloitte's OneSchool - Technology Review report's recommendations had now been followed or were on track to being implemented.
P&Cs Queensland chief Kevan Goodworth said they did not receive a flood of inquiries from concerned parents when the error was discovered.
- APN NEWSDESK