The latest ‘Keeping children safe in education’ (KCSIE) came into effect on 1 September 2018. The new document brought with it a number of changes to the way safeguarding is managed in schools – read on to get a quick summary of these changes.
Information for all staff
Part one of KCSIE covers the information that staff must be provided with at induction – this includes the following:
- The child protection policy
- The behaviour policy
- The staff behaviour policy
- The safeguarding response to children who go missing from education
- The role of the DSL, including the identity of the DSL and any deputies
A new system of multi-agency arrangements has been introduced involving three safeguarding partners – these replace local safeguarding children’s boards (LSCBs) and include:
- The LA
- A clinical commissioning group for an area within the LA
- The chief officer of police
Each of the three safeguarding partners shares an equal duty to work together to safeguard children. In their arrangements, the safeguarding partners must outline which agencies they will be working with and the expectations on each of these – it is expected that local schools will be some of these named agencies. If so, named schools must cooperate with these arrangements.
A greater emphasis has been placed on recognising peer-on-peer abuse and understanding that children have the capability to abuse their peers. Arrangements for peer-on-peer abuse must be included within schools’ child protection policies, including the following:
- Procedures to minimise the risk of peer-on-peer abuse
- How allegations are recorded, investigated and dealt with
- Processes for how victims, perpetrators and any other children affected are supported
- A clear statement explaining that abuse will not be tolerated
- Recognition of the gendered nature of peer-on-peer abuse, but that all cases are unacceptable and will be taken seriously
- The different forms peer-on-peer abuse can take, such as the following:
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment
- Physical abuse
- Initiation/hazing type violence and rituals
Part one of KCSIE now includes expectations for schools on responding to cases of sexual violence and harassment. Additional guidance from the DfE is available to support schools.
School staff must be aware of the new signs in KCSIE that may indicate a potential need for early help:
- The child is showing signs of being drawn into anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups.
- The child is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation.
- The child is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect.
- The child is at risk of being radicalised or exploited.
- The child is a privately fostered child.
Other key requirements
Assessments of children should consider the wider environmental factors affecting the child’s life that may pose a threat to their safety and/or welfare. As much contextual information should be provided during the referral processes.
The DSL should consider whether it is appropriate to share any information with a new school or college when a pupil will be leaving, in addition to the child protection file, e.g. to support a victim of abuse.
Online safety should be taught as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
LAC and previously LAC
Staff should be provided with the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep previously LAC safe. All agencies should work together to take prompt action to safeguard this vulnerable group.
The designated teacher and virtual school head
The designated teacher and virtual school head both have a new responsibility to promote the educational achievement of children who have left care through adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement orders, or who were adopted from state care outside England and Wales, in addition to LAC.
When a child leaves care, the LA still has an ongoing responsibility for them – this includes keeping in touch with them, preparing assessments of their needs and appointing a personal advisor to develop a pathway plan. DSLs should have the details of their LA personal advisor and liaise with them as necessary.
If a pupil is placed with an alternative provision provider, the school remains responsible for the safeguarding of that pupil and should be satisfied that the provider meets the pupil’s needs. Written confirmation should be provided to confirm that safeguarding checks have been carried out on those working in the establishment.
Specific safeguarding issues:
All staff should be aware of the following, additional safeguarding issues:
- CSE – including the contextual circumstances in which it can take place
- Child criminal exploitation
- Domestic abuse
Child protection policy
Schools should all have their own individual child protection policy. MATs, for example, may have an overarching child protection policy, but the academies within the MAT should build on this policy to ensure local procedures and protocols are reflected.
For a full breakdown of the changes to KCSIE 2018, read our article. You can also read our 3-Minute Read for further guidance on the newest safeguarding requirements.
Make sure your Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is up-to-date and reflects the latest changes. All downloads are available from the related content section of this article.
DfE (2018) ‘Keeping children safe in education’