Updated guidance for people working with children in England Changes to statutory child protection guidance published by the Department for Education

Guidance for people working with children in England has been updated by the Department for Education. These documents tell professionals what they need to do to keep children safe from abuse and neglect.

Working together to safeguard children (HM Government, 2015) is the key statutory guidance for anyone working with children in England. It sets out how organisations and individuals should work together and how practitioners should conduct the assessment of children. This latest guidance updates the previous version published in 2013.

The new version is not a major review, but does include:

  • changes on how to refer allegations of abuse against those who work with children
  • clarification of requirements on local authorities to notify serious incidents (where a child dies or is seriously harmed)
  • a definition of serious harm for the purposes of serious case reviews.

Read more about the changes on our Policy and guidance section for England.

What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (HM Government, 2015) is a shorter document containing advice for practitioners . It has been produced to help anyone whose work brings them into contact with children and families, to identify child abuse and neglect and take appropriate action in response.

This advice replaces the previous version published in 2006.

Read What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused.

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Information sharing (HM Government, 2015) is a document that provides advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers. It aims to help people working with children or parents and carers to decide when and how to share personal information legally and professionally. It replaces the previous version ‘Information sharing: guidance for practitioners and managers’ published in 2008.

Keeping children safe in education (Department for Education, 2015) is the key statutory guidance for all schools, colleges and academies in England. It sets out what schools and colleges must do to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18. It replaces the previous version published in 2014.

The new version is not a major review but does include:

  • some changes on how to report concerns and allegations
  • clarification about recruitment and vetting processes
  • clarification around preventing radicalisation.

Updated guidance for 2016

The Department for Education has published an updated version of the statutory guidance Keeping children safe in education which revises and replaces the 2015 guidance. Our summary highlights key changes.

Find out more

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  1. Department for Education (DfE) (2015) Keeping children safe in education: statutory guidance for schools and colleges (PDF). London: Department for Education (DfE).

  2. HM Government (2015) What to do if you're worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners (PDF). London: Department for Education (DfE).