LADO – Managing Allegations
Nationally, all agencies and settings providing services and staff who work or volunteer with children are required under statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, to have clear procedures in place for responding to allegations against staff. Within Education services, additional guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education, outlines specific requirements to be considered when managing allegations against staff working in education settings.
When an allegation is made against a member of the children’s workforce, the needs of any children the professional might have contact with are considered as set out in The Children Act 1989. Employers have an additional duty of care towards their staff and allegations can be a difficult and anxiety provoking situation for employers who are faced with the dilemmas and implications of not following procedures or reaching the wrong conclusion. Consequently, decisions around risk and actions can often be finely balanced. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) supports this process giving advice on:
- providing mediation with colleagues in other agencies or with parents regarding a proportionate response to investigations;
- guidance on individual risk, including consideration to suspending a member of staff.
- In addition, the LADO will provide support around the analysis of information and evidence obtained as investigations progress, to ensure risks continue to be managed until the investigation has concluded.
The Pan Sussex Procedures on Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children should be applied when there is an allegation or concern that any person who works with children, in connection with his/her employment or voluntary activity, has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children.