Statutory guidance

Directors of children’s services: roles and responsibilities

Statutory guidance for local authorities with responsibility for education and children’s social services functions.



This statutory guidance is for local authorities in England.

It explains the process for:

  • the appointment of the director of children’s services (DCS)
  • the designation of the lead member for children’s services (LMCS)

It covers:

  • the legislative basis for the 2 appointments
  • roles and responsibilities of the post holders
  • government expectations about the role of local authorities in:
    • education
    • children and young people’s services

This guidance replaces the previous versions, issued in 2005 and 2009.