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Education safeguarding -what makes a good referral

Staffordshire County Council services

Education Safeguarding have devised this guidance to help and support you, our colleagues, working in all education settings.

It is designed to help you to understand and feel confident in knowing 'What makes a good referral?

  • Know your thresholds (have you viewed the threshold tool?) Threshold Guidance

  • Have your information ready (name, address, date of birth, contact numbers - yours, the child’s and their family’s).

  • Gain consent (unless this would put the child or someone else at risk - see in red below).

  • Be clear about why you are referring? What are your concerns?

  • Be specific - who, what, where, when (specific dates if available)?

  • Avoid ambiguous language i.e. dirty/smelly means different things to different people

  • Include the voice of the child, what did they actually say?

  • Include actions/previous interventions i.e. was an Early Help Assessment offered?

  • Include risk and protective factors.

  • What do you know? Include relevant previous concerns using your chronology.

  • Be prepared for questions during your telephone referral.

  • Confirm your referral by completing a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) as soon as possible, but in any case, within 48 hours. (This is a requirement).

  • Be prepared to challenge if you’re unhappy with a decision - record this and your rationale.

  • Document all of the above and the outcome of the referral in the child’s record.


It is vital to remember that where threshold has been met for a child protection referral, ie that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the child is suffering or is likely to suffer signifiant harm, consent is not required.  Contact First Response Immediately.


Who to contact

Contact Name
First response Monday to Thursday 8:30am-5:00pm and Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
0800 1313 126
0345 604 2886 outside of the above hours
Go to SSSCB website
Last updated: 19 Apr 2021
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