In October 2017, the government consulted on proposed changes to its guidance on 'working together to safeguard children' following the passing of the Children and Social Work Act 2017. Read the revised guidance (including transitional guidance and guidance on information sharing) here.
For schools, the key changes to the guidance are as follows:
Assessing need and providing help
- The revised guidance (chapter one) provides further information for practitioners on accessing early help, particularly for certain groups of children
- There is further detail on information sharing between practitioners, local organisations and agencies for the purpose of early identification of need, assessment and service provision to keep children safe.
- There is a new section on 'people in positions of trust', which states organisations and agencies working with children and families should have clear policies for dealing with allegations against people who work with children
- The revised guidance is clear on the applicability of this guidance for all schools
- There is a new requirement for early years settings to have and implement a policy and procedures to safeguard children.
Multi-agency safeguarding arrangements
- Local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) will be replaced by "safeguarding partners"
- Under the new legislation, three safeguarding partners (local authorities, chief officers of police and clinical commissioning groups) must make arrangements to work together with relevant agencies (such as schools) to safeguard and protect the welfare of children in the area
- As a relevant agency, schools, colleges and other educational providers are under a statutory duty to cooperate with the published arrangements
- The safeguarding partners should make arrangements to allow all schools (including multi-academy trusts), colleges and other educational providers in the local area to be fully engaged, involved and included in the new safeguarding arrangements.
First published 16 July 2018