Information sharing

How to share information

Children, young people and their families need to feel reassured that their confidentiality is respected.  In most cases information can only be shared about a person with their consent, but there may be circumstances when this is overridden.

Six key points of information sharing:

  1. Explain openly and honestly at the outset what information will or should be shared, and why, and seek agreement – except where doing so puts the child or others at risk of significant harm.
  2. The child’s safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration when making decisions on whether to share information about them.
  3. Respect the wishes of children or families who do not consent to share confidential information – unless in your judgement there is sufficient need to override that lack of consent.
  4. Seek advice when in doubt.
  5. Ensure information is accurate, up-to-date, necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, shared only with those who need to see it, and shared accurately.
  6. Always record the reasons for your decision – whether it is to share or not.
The information sharing flow-chart  can also help with your decision on whether to share information. 

More information is available from the Department for Education.