On 1 September 2022, the final version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) was published and came into effect. In June 2022, we published an article highlighting the key changes to the KCSIE guidance. Further (mainly minor and clarificatory) amendments have been made to the final version of KCSIE and this note will summarise the changes below.
- The SVSH guidance: reference has been removed to the DfE’s advice ‘sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges’ as this advice has now been merged into KCSIE 2022.
- Annex B: a reference to this particular annex has been added to clarify that Annex B should be read by school and college leaders and those staff who work directly with children.
- Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR: a new section has been added to ensure that governing bodies and proprietors are aware of their obligations to process personal information fairly and lawfully and to keep information they hold safe and secure. Reference is made to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidance in this regard.
- Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and DBS Guidance: a description has been added regarding the MoJ guidance on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Exceptions Order 1975 which provides information about which convictions must be declared during job applications and related exceptions. Further information about filtering can be found in the DBS filtering guide.
- References: clarification throughout the relevant sections provides that any repeated concerns or allegations which do not meet the harm threshold which have all been found to be false, unfounded, unsubstantiated, or malicious should not be included in any reference.
- Selection: clarification has been made that any information about past disciplinary action or substantiated allegations should be considered in the circumstances of the individual case.
- DBS checks: there is now added clarity that where an individual will be or is engaging in regulated activity, schools and colleges will need to ensure that they confirm on the DBS application that they have the right to barred list information.
- Agency and supply staff confirmation of checks: clarification has been made in relation to obtaining from an agency or third-party organisation written confirmation that the same checks the school or college would otherwise perform on any individual working at the school or college (or who will be providing education on the school or college’s behalf, including through online delivery) has been carried out.
- Domestic abuse: details have been provided about the service of Operation Encompass as well as the helpline contact number for all staff members from educational settings who may be concerned about children who have experienced domestic abuse.
- The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act: new wording has been added to explain a new duty on a range of specified authorities as a result of the Act which is expected in early 2023 and aims to enhance collaboratively working and data sharing to prevent and reduce serious violence.
- Allegations: reference to ‘allegations’ has been amended to cover ‘concerns or allegations’ in relation to the guidance on concerns or allegations that may meet the harm threshold, i.e. section 1 of part 4.
- Safeguarding concerns: steps for staff to take if they have a safeguarding concern about another member of staff has been amended to include if staff have a concern about another member of staff harming children (as well as concerns that they pose a risk of harm to children).
- Advice and support: reference to ‘Net Aware’ and ‘Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support Service (SWGfL)’ has been removed from Annex B.
Schools should ensure they have read, and understood the new KCSIE guidance which can be found here.
For independent schools that are members of the ISBA, the ISBA template Child Protection and 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 and Safeguarding Policy at this time. We would be happy to assist schools update their policies accordingly including for maintained schools and academies.