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 for Education 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. The data in this release continues the series previously published by Ofsted in their Experimental Statistics release ‘Serious incident notification from local authority children's services’.
In this publication, the number of serious incident notifications for 2014-15 to 2018-19 is from the Ofsted statistics release. The data in this release that relates to serious incident notifications from 2018-19 onwards is produced by the Department for Education.
All data in this release is based on single notifiable incidents, which can relate to one or more children. When incidents involve multiple children, the characteristics information is based on one child only (either the first child listed on the notification or the child whom the harm relates to). 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. In some cases, there is a delay in the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel being notified.