Special Guardianship is regulated by the following Acts and regulations:

The Children Act 1989 was amended by the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to establish Special Guardianship.

The following sections of the Children Act 1989 are relevant in setting out the legal definition of parental responsibility which is core to special guardianship.

  • Section 1 
  • Section 2 which gives the definition of parental responsibility.
  • Section 3 which gives the meaning of parental responsibility.

The Regulatory Framework for Special Guardianship can be accessed at:

The Special Guardianship Regulations 2005

The Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016

The Department of Education also provides Statutory Guidance on Special Guardianship.

A commissioned summary of relevant case law judgments has been prepared by James Munby and Lucy Logan Green.