Earlier this month final versions of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) and Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between children in schools (SVSH guidance) were published and came into effect.
In July we published articles highlighting the key changes to both the KCSIE guidance and the SVSH guidance. Further, mainly minor, amendments have been made to the final versions of KCSIE and the SVSH guidance and this note will summarise these changes.
- Online safety: Further definitions for content, contact and conduct have been added.
- Suspension of staff member: Extra wording has been added to the considerations that should be given before suspending a member of staff due to an allegation that has been made against them. For example, providing an assistant to be present, redeploying the member of staff to alternative work that does not involve unsupervised work with children, moving the child to another class and redeploying the member of staff to another role in a different location.
- Allegation outcomes: Definitions for malicious, false, unsubstantiated, and unfounded allegations have been added to this section.
- Reporting to the police: Extra wording has been added to confirm that schools should consult with the police and agree what information can be disclosed to other parties. Schools should also approach the police if they have any questions about the police investigation.
- Sharing low level concerns: Such concerns about a member of staff, supply staff, volunteer or contractor should be reported to the Head (as per paragraph 74) rather than to the DSL or deputy as stated in the previous version.
SVSH guidance 2021
- Responding to the report: Wording has been added which emphasises that reports should be managed by two members of staff, if possible, with one of member of staff being the Designated Safeguard Lead or deputy.
- Safeguarding and supporting the victim: Further considerations have been added and include the age and development stage of the victim. Schools should also be aware of, and consider, the likely power imbalance between a victim and alleged perpetrator(s).
For independent schools that are members of the ISBA, the ISBA template Child Protection/Safeguarding Policy and the guidance notes have been updated by us to reflect these further changes. A tracked change version is available from the ISBA Reference Library if you wish to update your own school or college Child Protection Policy/Safeguarding Policy at this time. We would be happy to assist schools update their policies accordingly including for maintained schools and academies.