Section 11 audits
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB's) have a Statutory Duty to assess whether agencies in their area are fulfilling their statutory obligation to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as described in 'Section 11 of the Children Act 2004'.
Hull safeguarding Children Board has made a commitment that the Section 11 audit process is:
- an ongoing process rather than a stand alone event
- will engage directly with organisations and settings in order to gain a deeper understanding of the strengths and challenges experienced by organisations across Hull
- provide a platform for good practice to be shared
About Section 11 audits
While everyone shares a responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places a statutory duty on a number of key agencies and organisations to -
‘Ensure that their functions are discharged with regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’
The Section 11 duty means that the key people and bodies must make arrangements to ensure two things –
- that their functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
- that the services they contract out (commission) to others are provided having regard to that need
The duty does not give agencies any new functions, nor does it override their existing functions. Rather, it requires them to carry out their existing functions in a way which takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Who Section 11 audits apply to
Section 11 audit applies to the following agencies –
- local authorities
- district councils
- health bodies
- the police (including the British Transport Police)
- probation and prison services
- youth justice service
- secure training centres
- private and voluntary organisations who are commissioned or contracted to provide services on behalf of the bodies listed above
Other providers and agencies have commensurate duties under separate legislation –
- Local authorities (in the exercise of their education functions) have a duty under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, to carry out their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
- Maintained (state) schools and further education institutions (including sixth-form colleges) have a duty under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to exercise their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of their pupils
- Regulations under Section 157 of the Education Act 2002 prescribe as a standard for independent schools, including academies and technology colleges, that they should draw up and implement effectively a written policy to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
- Early years providers have a duty under Section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006 to take necessary steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of young children
- The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 sets out Cafcass’s duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children involved in family proceedings
The UK Border Agency (under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009) is required to carry out its functions having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the UK. The statutory guidance issued to UKBA is designed to mirror section 11.
Section 11 Toolkits
Multi agency toolkit
The Section 11 toolkit, avaliable to download below, is a supportive self evaluation process allowing each agency to identify the standards that they meet and those where further actions are needed.
The Schools Section 11 self assessment tool has been designed jointly by the Hull Safeguarding Children Board and the Local Authority Education Officer (Safeguarding) in order to assist schools to examine their own safeguarding arrangements, to identify areas which may require strengthening and to highlight areas of good practice.
Early Years toolkit
The Early Years Section 11 self assessment tool has been designed jointly by the Hull Safeguarding Children Board and the Local Authority Early Years Quality Improvement Team in order to assist Early Years providers to examine their own safeguarding arrangements, to identify areas which may require strengthening and to highlight areas of good practice.
Section 11 Feedback and learning reports
Section 11 Summary report 2012
HSCB member agencies were asked to submit Section 11 audits in January 2012.
In order to enhance the learning from Section 11 audits the HSCB agreed that there should be an opportunity for agencies / organisations to meet with Board members and discuss the learning from their audits. This process contributes to the HSCB scrutiny function and is a means of assessing the extent to which partners are fulfilling their statutory safeguarding obligations. It is also a mechanism for understanding how the HSCB can support partners in further developing any specific aspects of safeguarding arrangements
Section 11 Feedback report March 2014
For the 2013/14 Section 11 audit process, agencies have been asked to reflect on and update existing action plans and invited to come and have a conversation with a panel of Board members and officers to report on progress made over the last year. Where organisations were not part of the 2012 audit they were asked to complete a full audit and produce an action plan for the coming year.
Schools Section 11 Feedback and learning report (including information and resources) 2015
Following the Schools Section 11 audit, this summary report captures key learning and good practice points and provides links to some of the resources that schools are accessing to support their work.