The Department for Education and Skills has clarified new child protection guidance after confusion among professionals.
It has stated that professionals are not required to report cases where children under 13 are sexually active to the police or social services.
There had been disagreement over whether professionals were able to exercise their discretion in all cases, under the revised version of Working Together to Safeguard Children (Child protection register scrapped in favour of electronic care records, 13 April).
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 those 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 Guidance needs more clarity to gain professionals’ confidence