DfE launch call for evidence: safeguarding children in schools and colleges

22nd April 2024

Kids in a classroom

On the 28 March 2024 the Department for Education (DfE) launched a 12-week safeguarding call for evidence seeking views on child safeguarding practice in schools and colleges in advance of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2025.

What is Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE)?

KCSIE is statutory guidance, produced by the DfE, and sets out the legal duties that all schools in England must follow when performing their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under the age of eighteen.

The guidance was first introduced in 2014 and is usually updated annually to reflect any changes in legislation. It has been confirmed that KCSIE 2024 will undergo technical changes only before final publication in September 2024, with a more substantively updated document encompassing wider changes being delivered in September 2025.

KCSIE is designed to help schools and colleges identify concerns early, develop the right relationships with other professionals, and support them to put appropriate processes and procedures in place. Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility, and it is critical that help and support to meet the needs of a child is provided as soon as problems emerge. This duty applies not only whilst children are in school but also extends to protecting them from maltreatment outside of school, whether that be from harm within the family home or online.

DfE call for evidence

Ahead of the substantive review of KCSIE planned for 2025 the DfE are seeking views on a range of topics including:

  • The role of designated safeguarding leads
  • Child safeguarding information
  • Safer staff recruitment
  • Filtering and monitoring
  • Supporting children following reports of sexual violence and harassment
  • Protecting children in boarding and residential special schools
  • Quality assuring safeguarding
  • Children bringing their own devices to schools
  • Artificial intelligence (AI).

These topics include many new and emerging safeguarding threats, such as the use of technology and AI. The DfE will use the responses received on these issues to form statutory guidance on how schools can best respond to these growing concerns and what measures can be put in place to address them.

Whilst the DfE have confirmed that they will not be publishing the results of this call for evidence, they will consult on any substantive changes made to KCSIE, and school and college safeguarding policy, in the normal way.

The call for evidence closes on 20 June 2024 and more details including how you can respond to it can be found here. We will provide further updates in due course.

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