Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
As happens every 1-2 years, the Government has released a draft consultation of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) document for 2022. In this article, we’ll discuss the proposed changes, section by section, including terminology changes and safeguarding focus areas. Hopefully, this will help you digest the new proposals and inform your response.
This consultation closes 11:59pm on 11 March 2022. Full details of the consultation and where to respond can be found here.
What is the Keeping Children Safe in Education Document?
KCSiE is statutory guidance from the Department of Education. Specifically, it details the legal requirements (the ‘must’ actions) and the best practices (the ‘should’ actions) for safeguarding in schools and colleges in England.
To this end, the document is all-encompassing covering everything from safer recruitment, types of abuse, what staff need to know to how to report concerns and allegations.
Moreover, the guidance maintains that all staff who work directly with children must read both Part One and Annex B of the document. Additionally, staff who do not work directly with children can either read Part One or Annex A, which is a condensed version of Part One with the school management deciding which suits its staff best. However, they must ensure that all staff understand their roles and responsibilities.
What are the notable proposed changes in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022?
There are a number of proposed changes in the consultation; Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022. We’ve condensed these points and listed them below for your convenience, separated by each section of the document.
Part One – Safeguarding Information for All Staff
- The term ‘Peer-on-Peer’ Abuse within the document has changed to ‘Child-on-Child’ Abuse. The reasons for this are twofold:
- Primarily, it outlines that this document focuses on the welfare and protection of children and not adult peers in an Education environment.
- Secondly, the document Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges is is merging into KCSiE 2022. Formerly a document for governors, senior leadership teams and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSLs), this has now become part of the statutory guidance for all staff in Education. Accordingly, ‘Child-on-Child’ Abuse keeps the terminology consistent between the two documents.
- New information added on Domestic Abuse.
- Highlighting that some children may not know how or feel ready to talk about abuse.
Part Two – Management of Safeguarding
- Governors and trustees are to receive an appropriate level of safeguarding and child protection training.
- New guidance regarding the legal duties set out by the 1998 Human Rights Act, the 2010 Equality Act and the Public Sector Equality Duty.
- The importance of DSLs and how the senior leadership team should support them.
- Details of the DSL role are condensed and collated in Annex C, to encourage thorough reading by all relevant parties.
- Staff should refer to Clinical Commissioning Groups as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).
- Information carried over from the ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment…’ document referring to the importance of preventive education in reducing sexual violence and harassment in context of a whole school or college approach..
- LGBTQ+ information has also been incorporated from this document.
Part Three – Safer Recruitment
- More emphasis on CVs alone will not provide all the information necessary for safe recruitmentand should only be accepted alongside a full application form.
- Schools should consider online searches as part of their due diligence process in recruitment.
Part Four – Allegations made against/Concerns raised in relation to teachers, including supply teachers, other staff, volunteers and contractors.
- Management should consider all cases whether substantiated or not as a learning opportunity. For example, if an individual is suspended due to an allegation which is unfounded and they return, how can the process be improved for next time?
- The school/college should implement clear processes for ‘low level’ concerns; the school/college can decide on how and to whom reports are made.
Part Five – Child-on-Child sexual violence and sexual harassment
- The information in this section comes from the ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment…’ document.
Annex A – Safeguarding Information for School and College Staff
- This section has been updated to reflect child-on-child abuse as in Part One.
Annex B – Further Information
- Much of the content on Child-on-Child Abuse has been moved into Parts One, Two and Five of the document, in order to give it more prominence.
- There is more information on possible indicators of radicalisation.
Annex C – Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
- Details on the role of the DSL are now here, rather than in Part Two, to encourage thorough understanding of the job description.
Consultation – Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022
This consultation is seeking views on revisions to Keeping children safe in education, the statutory guidance that sets out what schools and colleges should do, and the legal duties with which they must comply, to keep children safe.
To respond to the consultation before 11:59pm on 11 March 2022 click here.
We also offer a Keeping Children Safe in Education training course, with which you can ensure all your staff read the KCSiE document. Buy the course now and save your credits until the final version of KCSiE 2022 comes out in September. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free trial!
N.B. The free trial is for the 2021 version of the document and, were you to use your credits now, your staff would be reading through the 2021 document.