Peter Wanless
Peter Wanless is the chief executive of the NSPCC, the only charity whose vision is to end cruelty to children in the UK.

He was the Big Lottery Fund's Chief Executive until June 2013 and was previously a Director at the Department of Education in Whitehall.

Peter is married with a 12-year old son, is a Somerset cricket fan and a regular at Welling Utd football club. He was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List for distinguished public service.

Find out more about the charity’s work and how you can get involved at

Entries by Peter Wanless

We Must Build on Record Removal of Online Child Abuse Imagery

(0) Comments | Posted 21 April 2016 | (14:19)

Cleaning up the internet of abuse images and videos - that in the worst cases depict children being raped and tortured - is a global challenge.

The significant achievements of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) are crucial in this battle and this week its annual report revealed...

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Can We Ever Learn From Little Ayeeshia's Death?

(25) Comments | Posted 13 April 2016 | (00:00)

More than 70 years ago a young boy called Dennis O'Neil was beaten to death on a farm by his foster father. The 13-year- old had been starved so severely that he tried to stay alive by sucking cows' udders.

The case provoked horror and revulsion on...

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What Explains the Astronomical Increase in Reports of Sex Offences Against Children?

(5) Comments | Posted 8 March 2016 | (23:00)

Since the watershed moment when we discovered the extent of the utterly repulsive crimes committed by Jimmy Savile the number of reported sex offences against children has almost doubled.

In the year before the harrowing revelations came to light in October 2012 there were 22,664 sex crimes against under- 18s...

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Every Abused Child Needs Support - And They're Not Getting It

(0) Comments | Posted 16 February 2016 | (23:00)


Recorded sexual offences against children have reached record levels. Every year the equivalent of two children in every primary school class in the UK is being maltreated. Right now, half a million young people across the country have to cope with the repercussions of cruelty.

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It's Time for Every Child Who Suffers Abuse to Get the Support They Need

(2) Comments | Posted 27 January 2016 | (12:44)

Every year, over half a million children are abused in the UK - the equivalent of two children in every primary school class.

The effect of abuse on young people's lives can be devastating. Children can have difficulty making sense of what has happened to them. For some children the...

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Not All Sex Offenders Are Celebrities

(2) Comments | Posted 23 October 2015 | (00:00)

There can't be many people unfamiliar with the name Leon Brittan.

But can you recall the names of those found guilty of grooming and abusing- in the most horrendous ways - young girls in Oxford, Rotherham and Rochdale? Or the woman jailed for life for her part in a paedophile...

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Fears of Mental Health 'Time Bomb'

(0) Comments | Posted 13 October 2015 | (16:37)

For children suffering from the overwhelming and devastating emotional effects of abuse, every second without support can feel like an eternity.

This week we have highlighted the difficulties large numbers of abused children face accessing support through local NHS mental health services. These services do...

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Modern World Driving Children to Despair

(0) Comments | Posted 10 September 2015 | (10:00)

Every year the NSPCC shines a spotlight on the troubles children choose to contact us about via ChildLine. This year the glare starkly exposes the growing number wanting to share a broad range of mental wellbeing problems.

In 1995 around one per cent of calls - just...

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'Abuse' Is a Small Word That Maybe Doesn't Convey the Horror That It Should

(0) Comments | Posted 26 June 2015 | (09:32)

When you head the country's leading child protection charity facing the impact of sexual abuse on a daily basis, there is a risk of forgetting the depth and challenge of the service and support we deliver and what is achieved.

So reading James Rhodes' powerful new memoir, Instrumental which describes,...

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Crimes Against Children Are Now Being Exposed, But the Challenges in Keeping Future Generations Safe Are Myriad and Complex

(1) Comments | Posted 17 June 2015 | (08:53)

Our third annual state of the nation report: How Safe are our Children? takes an overview of the child protection landscape and compiles the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across each of the four nations in the UK.

Over the past year, child abuse has...

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This Isn't the First Time Pictures of Child Abuse Have Been Openly Available on Social Media - But It Should Be the Last

(1) Comments | Posted 5 June 2015 | (11:18)

The explosion of social media in recent years has helped change society - providing the opportunity for millions to share information, pictures and films.

And while we can applaud an 'open house' approach of sorts it can sometimes result in completely unacceptable material being posted. Yesterday saw...

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Why Were Child Abuse Images Off the Election Agenda?

(6) Comments | Posted 8 May 2015 | (00:00)

Election fever has brought a rash of in-depth debates from all the political parties about various issues - the health service, affordable housing, non-doms, the economy. But none have even begun to scratch the surface of one of the most serious problems of our time. Child abuse images.

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We Don't Have to Paw Over Dusty Filing Cabinets to Find Child Abuse Happening Today

(0) Comments | Posted 11 November 2014 | (15:06)

A big chunk of my life has recently been dominated by the unenviable but important task, of assessing whether an independent review of what the Home Office did with the so-called 'Dickens dossier' was a decent piece of work. There has been huge interest in 114 files about...

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Rough Justice for Child Abuse Victims

(0) Comments | Posted 6 June 2014 | (15:32)

By any measure 1989 was a momentous year. The Berlin Wall came crashing down and idea of the worldwide web was conceived.

There was also a ground-breaking report from a UK judge recommending a better deal for child victims of sexual and other assaults who gave evidence against their abusers.

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Listening to Children Must Be at the Heart of Child Protection

(2) Comments | Posted 8 January 2014 | (15:44)

There is a sad and recurrent theme in many of the worst child abuse scandals - of a child's voice not having been heard. Poor Daniel Pelka, seen looking through bins for food at his school but whose suffering at the hands of his mother and partner was not discovered...

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It's Been a Positive Year in Tackling Child Abuse, and Your New Year's Resolution Could Make Next Year Even Better

(0) Comments | Posted 31 December 2013 | (23:00)

What's your New Year's resolution? Perhaps you can play a part in helping the 50,000 children in England and Wales who are in care because of abuse or neglect? Now don't get me wrong, for most of them, care will be the best option and care can provide an incredibly...

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New Sentencing Guidelines for Sex Offenders - Another Victory in the Long Battle to Stop Child Abuse

(1) Comments | Posted 12 December 2013 | (10:25)

When an adult sex offender is found guilty of harming a child punishment is often uppermost in the mind of the public, and for some people no sentence will ever be long enough.

However, for the judge passing sentence emotion must be left outside the courtroom and it is to...

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Let's Wipe the Web Clean of Child Abuse

(4) Comments | Posted 19 November 2013 | (23:00)

I will remember 2013 as the year when despicable child abuse images captured the attention of a government leader. Prime minister David Cameron should be praised for his leadership in demanding faster action on this critical issue; industry has responded well to his challenge. The NSPCC has welcomed...

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We Cannot Allow Any Child to Disappear

(12) Comments | Posted 14 November 2013 | (23:00)

Another week, another Serious Case Review (SCR). Another stomach churning and deeply saddening child death. This time a four-year-old boy left to starve in a cot built for a baby, so malnourished in his short life that he was only the size of a one year old despite being nearly...

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'Just Say No?' Er... No! That's Not Enough

(6) Comments | Posted 18 October 2013 | (00:00)

Four months into a job dominated by child abuse and sadly I am not easily shocked. But I was stunned recently by teenage reactions to a conversation about the risks associated with sending explicit images of themselves via their smartphones or onto the web.

It was obvious to me. Don't...

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