Keeping Children Safe In Education 2022 – what was new back in September and how do we really check we are adhering to it in our setting?
We’re back in schools for another new term and new calendar year and we are hoping routines amongst staff and students will be well re-established. In some ways, term by term, things in schools continue much as they always have.
We have our policies and procedures and hopefully they serve to guide and support us. The safeguarding aspect of school life is no different and much of our policy is guided by our key statutory guidance document Keeping Children Safe in Education.
This guidance was last updated on 1st September 2022 when some key points were reworded or newly introduced. After a term of it being in force, it is a good time to reflect upon whether you and your staff are aware of and have acted upon those changes.
I’ve been through and picked out some of the key changes from the previous (2021) document – it is worth going through as SLT and DSL teams and with your Safeguarding Governor and checking the learning has been shared fully across your organisation and that associated policies have been updated.
For each of the changes I’ve picked, I have posed a question or two that you can take back to your setting to really evidence whether you are currently acting upon the statutory guidance in the fullest way possible. I hope it is helpful.
General points to note:
- The 2022 version of KCSIE is now a longer document than the previous version as the previous standalone “Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in schools and colleges” document has now been fully incorporated and is no longer a separate document.
- There are some links to new resources and gov.uk webpages added – mainly in Annex B
Specific paragraphs or pages to note:
What it says
Questions to ask yourself in your setting
|19||This talks about why children might not feel ready or might not be able to make verbal disclosures, saying they might not be ready to tell, might not know how to tell or might not recognize their experiences as harmful||Have you talked with staff about how important “professional curiosity” and building trusted relationships is and ensured RSHE lessons give children strategies of how to ask for help?|
|23||Clarifies that extra-familial harms can be abusive, including teenage relationship abuse. Talks about the impact Domestic Abuse has on children||How often do you talk with staff about what we need them to be good at noticing in cases where there is no verbal disclosure and do you train staff about contextual safeguarding concerns?|
|43||Details the impact on victims of domestic Abuse and for children talks of the “detrimental and long-term impact on their health, well-being, development and ability to learn”||Are your staff aware of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (the fact children are seen as victims in law) and do you ensure staff understand the impacts and how we may adjust our expectations of children’s capacity for academic outcomes whilst still retaining high expectations?|
|59||Part of the old para 62 has been deleted which used to say concerns about a child’s welfare should be referred to LA children’s social care. This might mean thresholds could become more rigid. Early Help is now referred to as Early Help Assessment which might mean EHA’s are more formalized||How do you ensure all staff are clear on the intricacies of the threshold document (RHRT)? When do you train staff on what good record keeping for Early Help referrals would look like?|
|81||It is now clear that all governors and trustees must receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training on induction and that it is to be strategic, not operational||Do all governors receive regular training, including on induction? How do you make sure this training is about leadership of safeguarding and not just a repeat of what you give to those in child-facing roles? SFE can offer this session.|
|82-93||Other legal obligations are referenced including the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty that schools are bound by||When do you reference these in your training and encourage staff to see how the rights and duties enshrined in these mirror the aspects of safeguarding about basic rights that should be respected?|
|119||This clarifies that it would be legitimate to share information without consent where it is not possible to gain consent||Have you considered how you publicise this to parents/carers? (For example if they haven’t provided you with an up to date phone number).|
|122-123||This clarifies time limits for transferring files when a pupil with a CP file moves schools is 5 days and by secure transit. It also says schools should consider whether to share information in advance of the child leaving||Think about KS4 to KS5 transfer – do you know where all students are going post GCSE results to keep to the 5 day time limit in September?|
|131 and various other points||The section on Safeguarding in the Curriculum is extended and strengthened, including talking specifically of the planned RSHE curriculum and a school’s role in preventative education||Is your R(S)HE curriculum planned as discrete, regularly timetabled lessons?|
|133 and 140||This talks about harmful online challenges and hoaxes and talks of how you communicate with parents about children’s access to websites when off site||Where and how do you cover this in your curriculum and in newsletters etc. to parents? Is it informative not instructional?|
|141||This talks of having appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place which are regularly reviewed for effectiveness||Do governors take a lead on this and how is effectiveness monitored in your setting?|
|167||This is about the use of your setting for non-school activities and what SG policies etc. are in place||Consider the reputational damage if something happened on your site. Who checks the company running the activity has adequate policies and procedures which are enacted in practice?|
|Page 50||This talks about LGBTQ+ children and perceived LGBTQ+ children and the need for children to have an explicit trusted adult to talk to in your setting||How do you share who trusted adults are – rather than using vague “staff are available” language?|
|221||When recruiting new staff it says schools should consider carrying out online searches of shortlisted candidates||Are you doing this? Is it feasible? How are you ensuring consistency for fairness?|
|423||Clarification is given about how schools need their own processes for recording so-called “low-level” concerns about professionals||Are all staff clear of what to report and to whom? How do you know they would act?|
|Part 5 (and throughout)||Language change talks of Child on Child Abuse not Peer on Peer abuse||Have you updated your documents and do discussions demonstrate staff understand this can be children of different ages not just the same age?|
|Page 113||Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment has a new section about confidentiality and anonymity||How do you ensure staff understand that if a child asks staff not to tell they might have to override this request?|
|Page 163||The role of an appropriate adult is clarified as an active role and may, on occasion, be a member of school staff||Have you shared learning with staff from the Child Q Child Safeguarding Practice Review? Have you discussed with staff about appropriate challenge to other professionals?|
If you need any support with staff training on specific safeguarding issues or any of the points raised above, Services For Education’s experienced Safeguarding Advisers can help.
We provide statutory training, training covering specific topics as well as bespoke training and school improvement tailored to the needs of your school.
About the Author
Jo Perrin - Adviser, Services For Education
Jo Perrin taught PSHE in schools for over a decade and held the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead and pastoral lead. She currently works as an Education Adviser for Services For Education which allows her to combine her experience in schools with a personal knowledge of childhood trauma as a former foster carer.
In addition, Jo worked as a West Midlands’ Adviser for a national PSHE resource, has delivered a presentation to the Sex Education Forum National Members’ Event and has created a variety of RSE resources as part of her role for Services For Education.
Jo’s advisory experience is not limited to training school staff as she works with non-education based organisations to support them in safeguarding and emotional health and well-being aims and is an affiliated trainer for Mental Health At Work.
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