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STOP PRESS - DfE Publishes Revised Statutory Guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and Related Guidance

on Monday, 09 July 2018.

On 4 July the DfE issued the final version of Working Together to Safeguard Children (Working Together 2018) which applies to all organisations with functions relating to children across England from 29 June 2018.

The new guidance follows the 2017 government consultation on proposed changes to the March 2015 guidance of the same name and the subsequent draft and has principally been issued to reflect the legislative changes introduced by the Children and Social Work Act 2017. From 29 June 2018, local authority areas must begin their transition from Local Safeguarding Childrens' Boards to Safeguarding Partner and Child Death Review Partner arrangements. This must be completed by 29 September 2019.

Most of the proposed changes to Working Together have been implemented as anticipated (including personal responsibility for information-sharing and a focus on wider contextual issues), but the new guidance also introduces a number of additional changes. It specifically cross-refers to the wider charity law safeguarding duties regulated by the Charity Commission and now expressly requires all voluntary, charity, social enterprise and faith-based or private sector organisations (including sports organisations) which work with children to work with safeguarding partners and to have policies in place to safeguard and protect children from harm.

The new guidance is some 112 pages in length and we are carrying out a detailed review of this and the updated advice on information-sharing which was issued on the same day. Compliance Toolkit subscribers will receive information next month on steps required as a consequence of the new guidance and we will update all our materials to ensure that they are compliant and provide a summary of safeguarding changes for schools in time for Inset. 

We also expect the relevant sections in the new statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 to be updated before its implementation date of 3 September.

If you have any queries about this or your safeguarding arrangements generally, please contact Tabitha Cave in our Regulatory Compliance team on 0117 314 5381.

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