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.

Applies to England



This 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 legal 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

Statutory guidance sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.

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

Updates to this page

Published 8 April 2013

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