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Professional Allegations (LADO)

The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

All organisations should have arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This includes having policies for dealing with allegations against people who work with children.

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An allegation may relate to a person who works with children who has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children
  • behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children (school and colleges only)

All local authorities should have a LADO who is involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. They will:

  • provide advice and guidance on whether the LADO threshold is met. This is to manage individual allegations of harm and abuse made against staff or volunteers who work with children
  • oversee and coordinate multi agency involvement. This is to ensure relevant information sharing and a timely, fair and reasonable outcome for the child and person against whom an allegation is made
  • identify practical steps that can be taken to improve organisational safeguarding. This is to minimise the risk of further incidences of abuse
  • provide reports to Our Safeguarding Children Partnership (OSCP) for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on the effectiveness of local safeguarding arrangements
  • the LADO also provides statistical information to the Department for Education and Ofsted as required

The LADO should also be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention, or that are made directly to the police.

If an organisation removes an individual (paid or unpaid) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.

For further guidance on safe working with children, please refer to the following documents: