It may be helpful for parents/carers to know that the law (Children Act 1989) requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child’s welfare, including risk from non-accidental injury, neglect, emotional or sexual abuse. The staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with the parent/carer, and where possible seek their consent to a referral to social services.
This will only be done where such discussion and agreement seeking will not place the child at increased risk of significant harm. Schools are encouraged to take the attitude that where there are grounds for concern they should be very cautious, and seek advice from Social Services, rather than to risk a child’s safety. Occasionally, this duty on Headteachers means that a concern is passed on which is later shown to be unfounded.
It is hoped that parents/carers will appreciate how difficult it is for schools to carry out this delicate responsibility, and accept that the Headteacher was acting in good faith and in the best interests of all children.
Please read the Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.