The Department for Education (DfE) has updated its statutory guidance for schools and colleges on ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. The new guidance replaces the March 2015 edition and is dated July 2015.
This guidance is statutory for maintained schools, independent schools, academies & free schools and further education colleges. Its aim is to support front-line staff to take more direct responsibility for sensible safeguarding arrangements. This is when carrying out their duties to safeguard arrangements and to promote the welfare of children.
The new keeping children safe in education guidance provides a minimum set of requirements and recommendations. This makes it easier for schools and colleges to focus on the essentials and their key responsibilities. It also sets out the safeguarding arrangements that schools need, in addition to pre-employment vetting requirements. These include:
- Instruction for schools to organise appropriate safeguarding responses to children that go missing from education;
- A safeguarding policy and procedure in line with locally agreed inter-agency procedures
- A designated senior person to take lead responsibility for safeguarding;
- A single central record of checks;
- Actions/procedures in place which are to be taken when a child has suffered or is likely to suffer harm;
- Legal duties to refer to the DBS (Disclosuer and Barring Service) when certain criteria are met.
If your school or college has any concerns about an existing staff member’s suitability to work with children, it is advisable to speak to a specialist legal adviser who has experience within the education sector.
The guidance for Keeping Children Safe in Education has been updated since this post was published. You can view the new guidance in our other blog: “Keeping Children Safe in Education: New Guidance“