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Safeguarding children: Ofsted’s whistleblower hotline

What is whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is the term used for an employee raising concerns about practices and procedures in their workplace.

Every organisation – be it a business or public body – may face the risk of misconduct in their workplace. When this happens, usually the first people to realise or suspect will be those who work in or with the organisation.

We want you to be able to contact us easily, so that we know about your concerns as soon as possible. To do this we have set up a pilot whistleblower hotline for circumstances where children and young people are affected or at risk.

When to contact our whistleblower hotline

There may be times when council employees and those working with young children will want to report to us concerns about practices and procedures for the safeguarding of children and young people.

You can contact our hotline in three ways:

  • Call us on 0300 123 3155 (Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 6.00pm).
  • Email us at whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk.
  • Write to us at:
    WBHL
    Ofsted
    Piccadilly Gate
    Store Street
    Manchester
    M1 2WD.

How is whistleblowing different to complaining?

Whistleblowing is very different from making a complaint.

If you are someone who wishes to complain about a service you use that we inspect or regulate, we will deal with your concerns through our normal complaints procedure. For further information please go to the how to complain section available via the navigation on the left.

Before you contact our hotline

If you have a concern you may wish to contact us. However, we suggest that you first read your employer’s whistleblowing policy and then raise your concerns with your employer.

If your employer does not have a whistleblowing policy or if you are still not sure how to raise your concerns with your employer or someone else, we suggest you first get advice from the independent whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work.

You can get free, confidential advice from Public Concern at Work. If you have witnessed wrongdoing at work and are unsure about what to do, a Public Concern at Work adviser can help you to decide whether and/or how to raise your concern. You can call on 020 7404 6609 or email helpline@pcaw.co.uk.

You can visit their website for further information: www.pcaw.co.uk. The website has guidance on whistleblowing legislation: www.pcaw.co.uk/law/uklegislation.htm.