Following reports of pupils from Bethnal Green Academy travelling to Syria, the department provided support to the school through the Regional Director (previously Regional Schools Commissioners), in addition to the support being provided by the local authority and police.
The department is clear in its statutory guidance, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018), that it is for local authorities to assess and consider safeguarding concerns of individual cases working with their statutory partners (police and health) where necessary. This includes considering risks outside the home such as exploitation by organised crime groups, including county lines, trafficking and influences of extremism leading to radicalisation.
Through their regulatory powers, Ofsted inspects local authority children’s social care services to check that the department's minimum standards are being met and takes proportionate enforcement action to ensure children are safe and well looked after.
When a serious incident becomes known to safeguarding partners, they must consider whether the case meets the criteria for a local review. Meeting the criteria does not mean that safeguarding partners must automatically carry out a local child safeguarding practice review. It is for them to determine whether a review is appropriate, taking into account that the overall purpose of a review is to identify improvements to practice. This was also the case in 2015 when previous local children’s safeguarding boards were in operation.