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Independent Scrutiny

The Purpose of Independent Scrutiny

The Independent Scrutineer (IS) will serve as a constructive critical friend, offering an independent high challenge and high support perspective. As set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023, the role of the IS will be to:  

  • Provide safeguarding partners and relevant agencies with independent, rigorous, and effective support and challenge at both a strategic and operational level.

  • Provide assurance to the whole system in judging the effectiveness of the multiagency safeguarding arrangements through a range of scrutiny methods.

  • Ensure that statutory duties are being fulfilled, quality assurance mechanisms are in place, and that local child safeguarding practice reviews and national reviews are analysed, with key learning areas identified and effectively implemented across the safeguarding system.

  • Ensure that the voice of children and families is considered as part of scrutiny and that this is at the heart of arrangements through direct feedback, informing policy and practice.

  • Be regarded as a ‘critical friend’ and provide opportunities for two-way discussion and reflection between frontline practitioners and leaders. This will encourage and enable strong, clear, strategic leadership.

  • Provide independent advice when there are disagreements between agencies and safeguarding partners and facilitate escalation procedures.

  • Evaluate and contribute to multi-agency safeguarding published arrangements and the annual report, alongside feeding into the wider accountability systems such as inspections

Meet our Independent ScrutineerJim Gamble QPM

Jim is Lambeth's first Independent Safeguarding Children and Young People’s Commissioner. Jim is responsible for independently chairing and scrutinising the effectiveness of local services. 

He was the founder and CEO of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. He has an excellent record, as the first chair to lead a Local Safeguarding Children Board to an outstanding Ofsted judgement. He was also part of the leadership team that drove another London authority from ‘inadequate’ to ‘Good, with outstanding leadership’ in just two years. 

Jim is also the Independent Commissioner for both London Borough of Bromley and the City of London and Hackney.


With an unwavering commitment to championing the voices of young people, Jim’s extensive expertise brings an invaluable perspective to Lambeth Safeguarding Children Partnership.

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