The Department of Education is proposing wide-ranging changes to the legal framework which protects society’s most vulnerable children throughout England and Wales, removing the obligation on Local Authorities to act swiftly in assessing the needs of children at potential risk. The proposals are set out in a consultation which runs until 4th September 2012 (https://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/departmentalinformation/consultations/a00211065/revised-safeguarding-guidance.).
We are supporting ‘Every Child in Need’, a campaign launched on 26 July 2012, challenging the Department of Education’s proposals.
The Ministers, Michael Gove MP and Tim Loughton MP, say the proposed changes involve cutting ‘red tape’, allowing local authority children’s services departments more freedom to meet children’s needs. Many local authorities – cash-strapped following swingeing cuts to their budgets – are happy to take this lifeline, which will mean less pressure to act quickly when a child in need comes to their attention.
We disagree with the Ministers’ comments. The legal framework is not ‘red tape’ – it is an essential safety net for children when they are failed by their local authority. Basic minimum national standards and requirements are essential. A hands off approach, allowing local authorities to do what they want, when they want, is dangerous.
Please follow the attached link for further details in relation to the campaign. www.everychildinneed.org.uk
Further details will be provided as and when they become available.