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Crime: Children

Question for Department for Education

UIN 102886, tabled on 13 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to strengthen legal obligations on local authorities to share information relating to children at risk of criminal exploitation.

Answered on

16 October 2020

The statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)’ is clear that effective sharing of information between practitioners and local organisations and agencies is essential to help identify, assess and respond to risks or concerns about the safety and welfare of children. In July 2018, the government published updated guidance ‘Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services (2018)’. The guidance sets out the golden rules and key principles to sharing information and includes a myth-busting guide aimed at dispelling common myths that prevent the effective sharing of information. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-practitioners-information-sharing-advice.

We are clear that that local authorities hold legal duties for protecting children in their areas and for developing policies, including on information sharing, to fulfil those functions. Guidance therefore seeks not to overly prescribe practice but allows for professional judgement to be used within the local framework in the best interest of children.

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