Outline current policies and legislation relating to children and how these affect your practice. Whether you are a headteacher, teacher or teaching assistant you have a vital part to play in protecting and promoting the welfare of the children and young people in your care. Below are some of the policies and legislation that all education professionals should be aware and inform their practice accordingly. The ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ document (2006 revised 2010) looks at how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Act (1989) and the Children Act (2004). It is directed at practitioners and frontline managers who have particular responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and to senior and operational managers in organisations that are responsible for commissioning or providing services to children, young people, and adults who are parents/carers also organisations that have a particular responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.
The Children Act (1989) acknowledges that the welfare of the child is fundamental and sets out an overarching system for safeguarding children and the roles different agencies play. It introduced the concept of parental responsibility rather than parental rights. A key principle is that Local Authorities have a duty to provide services for children and their families and all children and young people should have access to the same range of services.
Children Act (2004) updates but does not supersede Children Act (1989). The Act provides a legislative core for the wider strategy for improving children's lives. This covers the universal services which every child accesses, and more focused on services for those with additional needs.
The overall aim is to encourage integrated planning, commissioning and delivery of services as well as improve multi-disciplinary way of working with an increase of accountability and improve the coordination of individual and joint inspections in local authorities. The legislation is enabling rather than prescriptive and provides local authorities with a considerable amount of flexibility in the way they implement its provisions.
The Children Act ( 2004) placed a new duty of care on local authorities to promote the educational achievement of looked after children.
In 2003, the Government published a green paper called ‘Every Child Matters’. This was published alongside the formal response to the report into the death of Victoria Climbié.
There was a wide consultation with people working in children's services, and with parents, children and young people. Following the consultation, the Government published Every Child Matters: the Next Steps, and passed the Children Act 2004, providing the legislative spine for developing more effective and accessible services focused around the needs of children, young people and families under the five Every Child Matters outcomes: Be healthy, Stay safe, Enjoy and achieve, Make a positive contribution and Achieve economic well-being
The Childcare Act ( 2006), was pioneering legislation and the first ever exclusively concerned with early years and childcare. The Act is intended to transform childcare and early years services in England, taking forward some of the key commitments from the ‘The Ten Year Childcare Strategy’ published in December 2004. Measures in the Act formalise the important strategic role Local Authorities play through a set of new duties. These duties require authorities to improve the five Every Child Matters outcomes for all pre-school children and reduce inequalities in these outcomes secure sufficient childcare for working parents provide a better parental information service
The Protection of Children Act (PoCA) came into force in...
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