The Department for Education has updated the ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ statutory guidance for schools and colleges following a consultation earlier this year. The guidance comes into force for schools from September 2018. I have highlighted some of the key changes to the guidance below.
Online safety – Although the online safety section has not changed, schools should reflect upon the use of portable devices in school and the increasing use of 4G.
Teaching safeguarding – Pupils need to be taught about safeguarding, including staying safe online, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. This information could be provided through personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education or sex and relationships education (SRE).
Children’s wishes – Schools should ensure that pupils’ wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take in response to a safeguarding concern.
Policies – Safeguarding policies should be publicly available, updated annually and reflect the local environment and circumstances.
SEND and disability – Child protection policies should reflect the fact that there can be additional barriers to recognising abuse and neglect in children with special educational needs.
Recruitment – The majority of school staff will require an enhanced DBS check with barred list information as they will be engaging in ‘regulated activity’. Schools must keep a single central record (SCR) to demonstrate they have carried out the mandatory pre-appointment checks.
Emergency contact numbers – The revisions recommend that schools and colleges hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil.