Working Together to Safeguard Children: Changes to statutory guidance

ASCL response to the DfE consultation on WorkingTogether to Safeguard Children: Changes to statutory guidance.
Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) already hold significant responsibility within schools. Any changes to the existing expectations outlined in Working Together must not overburden DSLs.

Clear communication is important, but regular changes of labels and language used in relation to safeguarding make the work of busy school leaders more difficult and can be a distraction rather than an aid to focusing on good collaborative working. 

Strengthening the function and effectiveness of the safeguarding system is our priority. ASCL does not believe that education needs to become a fourth statutory safeguarding partner to achieve further improvement.

Given the shortages of resources and current recruitment and retention challenges in schools and colleges, ASCL believes that now would be the wrong time to propose that education becomes a statutory safeguarding partner. 

We would like to see a separate process of assessment for disabled children and their families. The current system can mean they experience the same ‘one size fits all’ assessment process as children who are considered to be at risk of neglect. This is not appropriate. 

Full response to consultation