The Department for Education has issued a consultation on changes to the statutory guidance on Keeping Children Safe in Education proposed for September 2022. The changes suggested are aimed at giving greater clarity to the guidance and enable settings to better understand what they are required to do by law and what the Department strongly advise they should do to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities.
Specific changes in Part two and Part five have been added to support settings to take a whole school approach to the issue of child-on-child abuse. Furthermore, what is currently separate guidance on sexual violence and sexual harassment separate has been fully incorporated into the KCSIE guidance. These Parts include clearer guidance on the systems for reporting, the importance of recognising that if there are no reports it does not necessarily mean it isn’t happening and understanding how policies such as behaviour, inclusion and RSHE have important parts to play within a whole-school approach.
Unsurprisingly, given the situation of the pandemic, the online safety section was increased dramatically in 2021. This consultation will seek the views of settings on whether there are any further changes that would be necessary to keep children safe online in school and during remote learning.
Further guidance has also been provided on those children that are at greater risk of harm due to their increased vulnerability. As pupils with SEND can often experience greater levels of harm within education this is one area that schools should look at in more detail. If we are keeping those who are more vulnerable to harm and abuse safe, we are more likely to be keeping everyone safe.
The consultation closes on 8th March 2022.