The DfE launched a consultation in December into the proposed changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020. The proposed changes are due to come into effect from September 2021.
The main proposed areas of consultation include:
- Introducing a shortened version of Part 1 (forming a new Annex A of KCSIE) for those staff who do not work directly with children on a regular basis.
- Additional content on child criminal exploitation, child sexual exploitation and serious violence in Part 1 and Annex B of KCSIE 2020, to better help schools and colleges understand how to identify children at risk from these harms.
- Moving online safety information from Annex C to the main body of Part 2 to emphasise that the management of online safety sits alongside, and should be considered with, the broader safeguarding requirements and approach of the school.
- Proposed change/s to the role of Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) in relation to supporting children with social workers. The DfE seeks to understand to what extent DSLs are already providing support to children who need/have needed a social worker, and what additional resources, training or support would help DSLs to provide support successfully.
- Proposed restructure of guidance in Part 3 to better emphasise the process of safer recruitment. No additional measures are being proposed, just a change in emphasis from DBS to an overarching culture of vigilance.
- Improvements to Part 4 to ensure that schools are better informed of LADO processes and of how to handle allegations that do not meet the harm threshold.
- Change of emphasis in Part 5 to acknowledge that sexual violence and harassment may not always be by one individual. Also to strengthen the advice to reiterate that staff should act immediately if they have concerns and that staff should not be frightened of asking a child outright whether they have been harmed and what the nature of that harm was, and how to respond to an initial report.
- Seeking views on whether mandated safeguarding training would be useful.
- Considering including advice in KCSIE about managing low level concerns about staff.
- Specific guidance on keeping international students safe, and on race and racial abuse.
We would encourage schools to submit their views in the consultation.
Some of the proposed changes are those that were considered in the abandoned consultation last winter; however, some are new. The consultation form does give the option for this submission to be linked to any response submitted to the previous consultation which is helpful.
The consultation closes on 4 March 2021 and can be accessed here.