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 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

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.