Council goes its own way on flag system

East Sussex Council has shunned government recommendations to flag
concerns about children on its secure electronic telephone
directory, fearing the move would not be in children’s

Guidance to the Children Bill suggests that councils should
establish a flagging system identifying whether the child is known
to agencies.

But East Sussex, which is due to launch its pilot scheme in the
summer, said putting a marker on an IT system is “fraught with

East Sussex with West Sussex is one of the 10 identification,
referral and tracking trailblazer projects. Pilots have received a
grant of £1m from the Department for Education and Skills to
develop systems to identify, support and monitor vulnerable

Sharon Payne, East Sussex IRT pilot manager, said: “We do not have
a hit squad that will monitor flags on an IT system, therefore who
will pick up on the flags?

“We are looking into adding an action date column where
professionals can enter the date of what they have done for that
child over and above their normal work.”

The council is the first to launch the directory listing the basic
contact information of every youngster between 0 and 18 years.
Basic information will include name, address, school, GP, and
health visitor.

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