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Children: Protection

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families who was responsible for drawing up guidance notes for the barring decision making process published in February 2009 by the Board of the Independent Safeguarding Authority; which external bodies were consulted in the preparation of the guidance; how many civil servants from which Departments were involved; what legal advice was sought concerning the guidance; and from whom. (307245)

[holding answer 14 December 2009]: I have been asked to reply.

The Board of the Independent Safeguarding Authority was responsible for the drawing up of the guidance notes for the barring decision making process with input from advisors and support from ISA staff. The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) engaged in discussions with over sixty stakeholders and held meetings in October 2008 and January 2009. Stakeholders included the Department for Health, Department for Children Schools and Families, General Social Care Council, General Medical Council, General Teaching Council and the Royal College of Nursing. Civil servants were not involved in the development of the Process or the Guidance as barring decisions are a matter for the ISA. They were included in the consultation process. The Process and Guidance was developed with the close involvement of the Board's legal adviser who is provided by the Treasury Solicitor.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many people have contacted Ofsted's safeguarding children whistleblower hotline in each month since its inception. (307577)

This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 16 December 2009:

Your recent parliamentary questions have been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for response.

Since 1 April 2009, Ofsted has received 1,292 calls to its whistleblower hotline. Most of these calls were not actually “whistleblowing”, defined as the disclosure of employer malpractice by an employee. Of the 1,292 calls, 26 calls qualified as whistleblowing disclosures under Ofsted's whistleblower procedures. The other calls were either general queries or were complaints about providers, which were not whistleblowing as such, for example a parent making a complaint about a childcare provider.

In addition to calls on the hotline, Ofsted has received 15 whistleblowing disclosures by email and 24 disclosures by letter.

The table at the end of this letter gives a break down of the number of calls by month since the hotline's inception.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Vernon Coaker MP, Minister of State for Schools and Learners, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Total number of calls received by Ofsted's whistleblower hotline


Number of calls