The statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ states that where a local authority in England knows or suspects that a child has been abused or neglected, the local authority must notify the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel if:
- the child dies or is seriously harmed in the local authority’s area; or
- while normally resident in the local authority’s area, the child dies or is seriously harmed outside England.
The local authority must also notify the Secretary of State and Ofsted where a looked after child has died, whether or not abuse or neglect is known or suspected.
Working Together to Safeguard Children, including the above notification criteria, was updated in July 2018. Prior to this (under statutory guidance Working Together 2015) local authorities were required to make notifications to Ofsted. This data continues the series previously published by Ofsted in their Serious incident notification from local authority children's services Official Statistics. This new data is currently being published as transparency data (see Methodology section for information on data quality).
All data in this release is based on single notifiable incidents and the information is only about the first child identified in the notification. The characteristic information is as at the point of notification.
The data shows the number of incidents reported in the period, rather than the number of incidents that occurred in the period. We know that in some cases, there is a delay in the Department being notified.