The Every Child In Need campaign's response to the DfE consultation, which closed on 4th September 2012.
ECIN Consultation Response.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [326.9 KB]
The DfE's consultation has now closed - but you can still support the campaign by signing our E-Petition - as over 1,000 people did before the consultation closed. The campaign's response to the consultation is above.
For other ways you can support the campaign see our Get Involved page.
We have asked DfE to commit to formally respond to the consultation before publishing any revised guidance, summarising the responses received and explaining any decisions which are taken. This is required by the Government's Code of Practice on Consultation which was in force at the time (criterion 6).
We do not know when DfE will publish any response, or any revised guidance, but we understand that this is unlikely before the end of this year.
If you are concerned about this proposals, and particularly if you have experience of the situation in the trial authorities, please Contact Us.
See our Case Studies to understand why we are so concerned about the DfE proposals.
EVERY CHILD IN NEED
Welcome to 'Every Child in Need' - our campaign to protect society's most vulnerable children from damaging changes proposed by the Department for Education.
We are a broad group, comprising charities, campaigners, lawyers, professionals who work with vulnerable children, and affected children and families themselves. We are supported by many social workers, children's services managers and members of Local Safeguarding Children's Boards who share our concerns. A number of professional bodies are also now supporting the campaign - including the Royal College of Nursing (the representative body for nurses and nursing, with 400,000 members) and the Law Society (which represents all solicitors in England and Wales).
We work with and reach thousands of children across the country, including disabled children, children who have been trafficked, critically ill children, unaccompanied minors, and others facing challenges such as homelessness, physical and sexual violence (often gang-related), parental neglect, educational difficulties and behavioural or mental health problems. All of them are 'children in need.'
The Department for Education is proposing wide-ranging changes to the legal framework which protects these children. The Ministers, Michael Gove MP and (previously) Tim Loughton MP, say these changes involve cutting 'red tape', allowing local authority children's services departments more freedom to meet children's needs. Many local authorities - cash-strapped following swingeing cuts to their budgets - are happy to take this lifeline, which will mean less pressure to act quickly when a child in need comes to their attention.
We disagree. The legal framework is not 'red tape' - it is an essential safety net for children when they are failed by their local authority. Basic minimum national standards and requirements are essential. A hands off approach, allowing local authorities to do what they want, when they want, is dangerous.
Even the Government's own impact assessment (.pdf) recognises this - it accepts that, "there is a risk of negative impact on children if central government is less prescriptive.” That is not a risk we should be taking.
We believe these proposals are wrong-headed, dangerous and will place the most vulnerable children at risk. Join us and stop these changes.
View the videos from our launch event