The Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance has been updated, effective from 1 September 2022.
What has changed?
Significant changes have been made to parts two, four and five of the guidance. We outline the key changes made below.
Part two of the Guidance
Additions to part two of the guidance outline the following information.
Relating to staff behaviours:
- All staff must be aware that children may not feel ready, or know how, to tell someone they are being abused
- Staff should tailor their approach to safeguarding accordingly but should not be prevented from speaking to the DSL if they have concerns
- Staff should build trusted relationships with children and young people to facilitate communication
Relating to school governance:
- Governors and trustees must receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training at induction; the training should be regularly updated
- Schools’ obligations under the Human Rights Act, Equality Act and Public Sector Equality duty are clarified
- Schools and colleges should use their regular contact with parents and carers to reinforce online safety when learning remotely. A link is available to additional guidance for harmful online challenges and online hoaxes, reflecting the growing concern of harmful behaviour online
- The role of the virtual school head is clarified
Relating to risk of harm:
- A new paragraph recognises the detrimental effects to a child living in a household with domestic abuse
- The added risk of harm that may extend to LGBT children is clarified. A link to the current Relationships Education, Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education guidance has been added
We would also remind schools and colleges that the DSL should be a senior member of the leadership team with the role clearly set out in the holder’s job description.
Part three of the Guidance
Paragraph 220 of the Guidance outlines the ability to conduct online searches on applicants as part of their due diligence for recruitment. We would strongly advise schools and colleges to exercise caution when conducting these checks. Online searches of applicants is a sensitive legal area.
Part four of the Guidance
Additions to part four of the guidance bring clarity to:
- The process for sharing low-level concerns, dealing specifically with whom concerns should be shared and raised with
Part five of the Guidance
Standalone guidance on sexual violence and sexual harassment has been withdrawn and is now reflected in the Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance. Additions to part five of the guidance highlight and emphasise the importance of:
- Understanding protocol and reasoning
- The need for communication with other bodies
- In cases of child-on-child abuse, the requirement for the child protection file to be passed on to new educational institutions where the child moves from one institution to another
The Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance is important statutory guidance for all schools and colleges to be familiar with.