The Department for Education (DfE) has published an updated version of its statutory safeguarding guidance for Schools, Keeping Children Safe in Education. However, Schools must continue to use the July 2015 previous version until the updated guidance comes into force in September 2016.
The updated guidance applies to all Schools and is for headteachers, teachers and all education staff as well as governing bodies of maintained Schools, proprietors of Independent Schools (including Academies and Free Schools) and management committees of Pupil Referral Units (PRU). It must be ensured that all staff should read at least Part One of this guidance.
It sets out what schools and colleges must do to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18. It should be read alongside statutory guidance "Working together to safeguard children" and departmental advice "What to do if you are worried a child is being abused- Advice for practitioners."
The main changes to the guidance, which will commence 5 September 2016, are:
A greater emphasis on the role all staff play in safeguarding;
A requirement for staff to receive regular safeguarding updates at least annually;
Updates to requirements for safer recruitment checks;
A requirement to teach pupils about safeguarding, including online safety;
Clarification of the role of the designated safeguarding lead, including on cover for the role and updating knowledge and skills;
Information on the difference between a 'concern' about a child and a child in 'immediate danger or at risk of harm', and the actions to be taken in each situation;
A requirement to ensure appropriate internet filters and monitoring systems are in place;
Information on 'honour-based' violence.
If you are interested in the consultation responses and outcomes in relation to this guidance, which took place between December 2015 and February 2016, it can be read here.