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schools allegations management criticised

5 December 2012

A significantly slimmed down version of Working Together is due to be published soon, but some are suggesting that leaving schools to make the decision on when to refer an allegation to the LADO (local authority designated officer) leaves many children at risk.

Comments in the article suggest that the only way to eliminate that risk is to make schools report all allegations, removing the school’s discretion and withdrawing professional judgment.

This would be going too far. There is already specific guidance for schools when dealing with allegations (revised in October 2012), which make it clear when schools should contact the LADO. To make it compulsory to do so sidesteps the skills and experience of the senior teachers involved and would overload the already busy LADOs with very minor allegations that do not meet the threshold set out in the guidance.

At a time when the government is scaling back its guidance and giving schools more discretion, this suggested step is unlikely to be adopted.

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