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Reporting on hearings

FAQs when attending hearings

The majority of our hearings will be held in public and journalists, just like members of the public, are welcome to attend. We aim to be as open and accommodating as possible but due to the sensitive nature of the proceedings and when vulnerable people are involved, there are some simple guidelines that we ask journalists to follow.

What should I do if I want to attend a hearing?

If you would like to attend a hearing we ask that you email [email protected] to inform us beforehand. Please note, the majority of hearings are held in public, but sometimes hearings may be heard in private. This will also affect what information is released at a later date.

What can I report on during a hearing?

Journalists are free to report on the information disclosed during a hearing. Journalists who attend will also be able to see a copy of the Determination immediately after it has been announced at a hearing. A copy can be requested via the press office and the information should appear on the website within 48 hours.

Can I use social media to report on the latest information?

Yes, hearings in public can be reported on via social media. However, we would ask that any device is set to silent mode and that you are mindful not to disturb proceedings. Reports that are published at the same time as a hearing must be fair, accurate and must not prejudice the case in question.

The panel have the right to ask people not to use their devices during a hearing if they feel it is appropriate to do so.

Can I take pictures/film during a hearing?

Photographs and filming are not permitted on Social Work England premises without prior permission. Footage may only be captured on what is considered as a public highway.

Can I approach people involved in a hearing to interview?

Interviewing people involved in a hearing could seriously prejudice the case. Journalists are reminded that they should not approach people during proceedings.

Can I see a copy of the allegation?

Yes, all information about the hearing will be listed on our website. Sometimes there may be minor amendments at the hearing or some of the allegations may be withheld from the website. In this instance, journalists can request a copy of the panel’s decision via Social Work England’s media team after a hearing has concluded.

Can I report the name of a witness giving evidence?

Journalists are only able to report the names of witnesses if they are disclosed in the public session at the hearing.


Last updated: 28 November 2019

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