LSCBLocal Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire

Designated Officer (formerly LADO)

Manging Allegations

It is the expectation that all referrers are familiar with Northants Safeguarding Children’s Procedures guidance in respect of allegations against staff or volunteers in a regulated activity. They should also be aware of their own processes for managing allegations against staff or volunteers.

Working Together to Safeguard Children, updated in 2023 underpins the role of LADO and places duties on a range of organisations and individuals in relation to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. All allegations of abuse of children by those who work or volunteer with children must be taken seriously.

An allegation may relate to a person who works with children who has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children
  • behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children

The LADO should also be informed of any assessments / allegations about a professional's personal / family life which could suggest that they may be a risk to children with whom they are working - for example if someone is arrested for a crime against a child outside of their role, or their own children become the subject of a child protection plan.


Any allegation against a person who works with children should be reported immediately to a senior manager within the organisation.

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention or that are made directly to the police.

The Role of the LADO

The role of the LADO is to manage and oversee allegations against people who work with children. LADO’s are not responsible for undertaking investigations; investigations are completed by Police or, if criminal threshold has not been met, by the employer / agency. LADO can provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations.

The LADO does not:

  • undertake any investigation;
  • have direct communication with the person subject of the allegation;
  • provide advice and support to the person subject of the allegation;
  • provide HR advice in respect of suspension or dismissal

Please note:

  • Incidents where one child harms another child, or a parent who does not work with children harms their own children do not need to be reported to the LADO Service; these matters need to be referred directly to MASH (see additional information below for link to MASH referral)
  • Parental complaints should be made via any organisation’s complaints process, initially raising the complaint with the Head Teacher / Manager of the setting in the first instance.
  • General dissatisfaction with a school / setting / team or individual needs to go through the setting’s complaints process.

Make a Referral to LADO

Please complete a LADO referral form for any consultation or referral to LADO via the link below:

Report a Concern about an Adult working with Children

This form is the initial method of contact with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). This is the only way to refer a concern or request a consultation.

LADO will contact you to discuss whether LADO threshold is met (or not) and guidance will be given about next steps if threshold is met.

You should seek HR advice with regard to actions you may need to take in respect of members of staff, as LADO cannot make decisions about suspension or dismissal of staff – this is retained by the employer.

LADO can be contacted via

Andy Smith - 07850 854 309 / Sheila Kempster - 07831 123 193

LADO Business Support can be contacted via phone:

Beth Panter – 07836 687 844 / Adebola Attah – 07836 690 052

LADO Referrals Indicator Matrix

Please note that LADO indicators can apply to organisations as well as to individuals. The LADO service will analyse referral information to identify organisations that may need additional support with their implementation of safeguarding policies.

Click here to view the LADO Referrals Indicator Matrix

Helpful Information

What to do if you are concerned about a child’s safety or welfare:

In any emergency where a child is in immediate danger, contact the police directly on 999.
If you need to report a Non-Urgent Crime call 101 or see below

Report a crime | Northamptonshire Police (

MASH at Northampton Children’s Trust
If you are concerned about a child’s safety or welfare but they are not in immediate danger, you should establish the level of need and risk before you take action.

Thresholds and Pathways - Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership

If you have an urgent concern outside of normal working hours, you can contact the emergency duty team on: 0300 126 7000.

Reporting a concern to MASH
For more information on reporting a concern, please use the link below.

Reporting Concerns (

If you need to make a referral to DBS please see below for guidance

DBS barring referral form - GOV.UK (

Regulated activity
Department for Education (

Completing Investigations

Last updated: 22 May 2024

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