DfE launch a consultation on proposed changes to statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a consultation to seek views on the changes it proposes to make to the statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) with a view to including them in the September 2020 updated guidance.

Key revisions include:

  • A shortened version of part one (Annex A), for governing bodies/proprietors to give to staff not regularly working directly with children.
  • Linking mental health and safeguarding. Extending the definition of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children so it includes the need to prevent the impairment of children's mental and physical health or development.
  • New content on criminal exploitation and serious violence so staff are able to identify children at risk of these types of harm.
  • Managing online safety within the broader safeguarding requirements and whole school safeguarding approach.
  • Promoting the welfare and educational outcomes of children on the edge of care. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will take a lead role in providing this support in addition to their existing safeguarding responsibilities.
  • New guidance on the use of school premises for non-school activities and the need to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to keep children safe.
  • Restructuring the content on safer recruitment to encourage schools to put specific processes in place to enable them to achieve a safer environment for children, deter unsuitable candidates and maintain an ongoing culture of vigilance.
  • Clarifying the procedures that should be used when dealing with allegations against supply staff and how to manage allegations that do not meet the LADO threshold.
  • Asking schools to consider transferrable risk to children and reflect on whether the behaviours of a staff member/volunteer and their involvement in incidents outside school provide an indication about their suitability to work with children.
  • Providing additional effective safeguarding practice on how to respond to initial reports of child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment, while emphasising the need for staff to act immediately if they have concerns (whether or not a report has been made). The proposed changes have been included in a new draft of the non-statutory guidance Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges.

What Should Schools Do in Readiness?

Schools may wish to respond to the consultation if they have concerns about any of the proposed changes, in particular the extension of the role of the DSL. There are consultation events for DSLs being held across the country.