New DfE Guidance on Information Sharing for safeguarding practitioners

James Williams

On 19th April 2024 the DfE updated the guidance ‘Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services’ to provide more clarity on the use of consent and the legal frameworks needed to support the sharing of information.

This advice is for:

  • individuals who are directly involved in safeguarding children, including frontline practitioners, managers and senior leaders;
  • individuals and organisations that work with children, parents, carers and families, in sectors such as social care, education, health, justice and voluntary. 

The Guidance sets out seven golden rules for sharing information, including personal information which are as follows:-

  1. All children have a right to be protected from abuse and neglect. Protecting a child from such harm takes priority over protecting their privacy, or the privacy rights of the person(s) failing to protect them.
  2. When you have a safeguarding concern, wherever it is practicable and safe to do so, engage with the child and/or their carer(s), and explain who you intend to share information with, what information you will be sharing and why.
  3. You do not need consent to share personal information about a child and/or members of their family if a child is at risk or there is a perceived risk of harm.
  4. Seek advice promptly whenever you are uncertain or do not fully understand how the legal framework supports information sharing in a particular case.
  5. When sharing information, ensure you and the person or agency/organisation that receives the information take steps to protect the identities of any individuals (e.g., the child, a carer, a neighbour, or a colleague) who might suffer harm if their details became known to an abuser or one of their associates.
  6. Only share relevant and accurate information with individuals or agencies/organisations that have a role in safeguarding the child and/or providing their family with support, and only share the information they need to support the provision of their services.
  7. Record the reasons for your information sharing decision, irrespective of whether or not you decide to share information.

Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners – GOV.UK (

James Williams – Solicitor

James Williams

I am a qualified Employment Law and HR Solicitor. I specialise in acting for schools and advise on all aspects of employment law and HR including attending employee meetings, advising senior leaders, conducting redundancy consultations, drafting contracts of employment, advising on policies and procedures and negotiating settlement agreements.