Safer recruitment

Last month, Ofsted clarified their guidance for inspectors inspecting safeguarding under the Common Inspection Framework (in Annex 2) about individuals who start work in settings before their DBS certificates are available. The guidance states: “If a school or college allows an individual to start work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available, it should ensure that the individual is appropriately supervised and all other checks are completed to ensure that the individual is not barred by the DBS. If an early years setting allows an individual to start work in a regulated activity before their DBS certificate is available, they should ensure that the person is never left in unsupervised contact with children, and that they are in the process of obtaining a DBS certificate for that individual”. The full document can be accessed at:


Children’s safety- a postcode lottery?

A report produced by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children (APPGC) has raised concerns that the varied thresholds across Local Authorities in supporting children at risk of harm or in need of help equates to a postcode lottery. The report findings, from a survey of 97 directors of children’s services and 1,700 social workers (DCSs), found that there were variations across Local Authorities in the thresholds for deciding when to put a protection plan in place because a child is at significant risk of harm, in the terms for care order applications and provision of early help and wider preventative services. Whilst the APPGC have stated that “Local Authorities should be empowered to set local priorities that respond to the specific needs of their populations”,they believe “that a postcode lottery in children’s social care is unfair to children and families and is not acceptable.” Evidence submitted to the inquiry by social workers and researchers indicated that funding constraints influence decisions on whether to intervene to support children. The APPGC brings together MPs and members of the House of Lords who are committed to improving policy affecting children and young people