The Department for Education and Skills has reacted to confusion over new child protection guidance by stating that professionals are not required to report any cases where children under 13 are sexually active to the police or social services.
The follows disagreement over whether professionals were able to exercise their discretion in all cases, under the revised version of Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Metropolitan Police detective Ian Angus, a member of the London Child Protection Committee, had claimed the guidance was in line with the committee’s interim protocol for professionals working with sexually active young people, which requires reporting of cases involving under-13s where penetrative sex has occurred.
But a DfES spokesperson said there was no requirement to involve police or social services in any cases.
See news analysis on page 12 of this week’s magazine issue 20 April.