On 25 October, the government launched a consultation on its proposed changes to the statutory guidance 'Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’, expected to be published next year and accompanying new regulations. The changes to the guidance are intended to support the new system of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements established by the Children and Social Work Act 2017, which became law earlier this year. The consultation closes on 31 December.
- The replacement of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) with local safeguarding partners. There will be three local safeguarding partners (local authorities, chief officers of police, and clinical commissioning groups). Currently schools are represented on many LSCBs but, under the new arrangements their status will be that of a ‘relevant agency’, alongside other bodies that currently comprise membership of the LSCBs. The local safeguarding partners will be under a duty to make arrangements for themselves and the relevant agencies to work together for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in their area. The new guidance provides that all local safeguarding arrangements should contain explicit reference to how the safeguarding partners plan to involve, and give a voice to schools, in relation to safeguarding arrangements.
- The establishment of a new national Child Safeguarding Practice review Panel.
- The transfer of responsibility for child death from LSCBs to new Child Death Review Partners.
Transitional arrangements will be in place before the changes are all introduced.
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