Update: DfE’s Call for Evidence on Safeguarding in Schools and Colleges and KCSiE 2024/2025

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

What is the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) Statutory Guidance?

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) is the name of a document that contains statutory guidance from the Department of Education (DfE). This statutory guidance outlines both the legal requirements (the ‘must’ actions) and the best practices (the ‘should’ actions) for safeguarding in schools and colleges in England.

The document sets out what schools and colleges must do to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18. This guidance covers various aspects, including procedures for reporting and dealing with child protection concerns, staff training and creating a safe environment for children to learn and thrive. It helps schools and colleges recognise and respond to the key topical safeguarding best practices and challenges, as well as provide the knowledge and tools to effectively address these challenges and establish a robust safeguarding framework and suitable processes to be put into place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

The DfE normally releases a new version of the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) statutory guidance on 1 September.

What was announced on 28 March 2024 and how is it relevant to future KCSiE releases?

The DfE has launched a 12 week call for evidence regarding child safeguarding practices in schools and colleges, to inform their future safeguarding policies.

Using a framework for feedback, this ‘call for evidence’ is a formal request inviting individuals and organisations to provide information and suggestions. Using these insights, collated from a wide range of stakeholders, will help policymakers make an informed decision regarding future safeguarding policies implemented in educational settings.

With this in mind, the DfE announced that this year’s release of KCSiE 2024 will receive only technical updates prior to its final release in September 2024. This approach is taken with the intention of offering a newly revised document in 2025 with more significant updates and broader changes, incorporating the feedback from the call for evidence consultation.

Why is this call for evidence announcement important?

The call for evidence announcement is important because it addresses the need to adapt to evolving threats to children’s safety and wellbeing. By actively involving safeguarding educational professionals, the resulting new practices will be based on practical real-life experience and suggestions and tailored to meet the specific needs of children in educational settings. It will also encourage safeguarding professionals to enthusiastically implement these measures to protect children and young people.

Regarding the DfE’s call for evidence documentation, input is welcomed, particularly from the following educational roles and groups of individuals:

  • Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads.
  • Governing bodies of maintained schools, including maintained nursery schools.
  • Proprietors of independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision academies) and non-maintained special schools.
  • Management committees of Pupil Referral Units (PRUs).
  • Post-16 providers as set per the Education Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021.
  • Local authority children’s services.
  • Professionals working in social care.
  • Teaching unions.
  • Safeguarding practitioners, including training providers.
  • Supply agencies.

Once the feedback has been collated, it will help shape long-term policies to support staff to keep children safe in education, as well as influence upcoming versions of the Keeping Children Safe in Education guidelines. In addition, the findings from Ofsted’s ‘Big Listen’ survey (running until 31 May) may also be incorporated.

Where can I get more information on this DfE call for evidence request?

You can read an overview here: Safeguarding Children in Schools and Colleges: A Call for Evidence.

Here are the key topics the DfE are seeking feedback on:

  • The role of Designated Safeguarding Leads.
  • Recording, retaining and sharing child safeguarding information.
  • Safer staff recruitment.
  • Filtering, monitoring and safeguarding children online.
  • Supporting children following reports of sexual violence and harassment.
  • Protecting children in boarding and residential special schools.
  • Quality assuring safeguarding processes in schools.
  • The future of artificial intelligence.

What is the closing date of the call for evidence consultation?

The consultation closes at 11.59 pm on 20 June 2024.

How do I complete the call for evidence survey?

You can complete the survey here.

If you are unable to use the online system, you can email or use a postal reply.  For ease of analysis, the DfE recommends you use the online process.

When will the results be announced?

While the specific results of the call for evidence will not be announced, any significant findings will be incorporated into future KCSiE versions.

More information

You can read the DfE guidance here: Safeguarding children in schools and colleges: a call for evidence.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2024 training

We offer a Keeping Children Safe in Education training course, with which you can ensure all your staff read the KCSiE document. You can email us at hello@smarthorizons.co.uk for a free trial!