Schools will be familiar with the DfE’s ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ documents. A recent update which will be published on 2nd September 2019 has further strengthened the requirements for schools and academies, and will bring about a new Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 document.
The document is currently still in draft form, but is unlikely to change before being published.
What are the Changes in the New Keeping Children Safe in Education Document?
Up-skirting became a criminal offence in February of this year, so it comes as no surprise that the education sector has seen incidences of up-skirting increase over the last academic year. In the new guidance (paragraph 27), up-skirting is referenced as a type of ‘peer-on-peer abuse’.
Additional paragraphs have also been added to the new document (paragraphs 28 and 29) — these refer to children being encouraged into criminal networks. The guidance states the type of behaviours that staff should look for and highlights the requirement of staff to look out for those indicators.
Paragraph 173 (‘Maintained School Governors’) confirms that governors of maintained schools must have a section 128 check. This checks the names of individuals who have been barred from taking part in the management of any independent school (including academies and free schools). Where existing or prospective governors appear on the list, they cannot be a school governor.
Paragraph 174 (‘associate members’) confirms that enhanced DBS checks do not need to be carried out on associate members of a maintained school governing body.
What do you need to do?
Make sure to review your policies to ensure the changes are referenced.
Also, it is important to advise your staff on the new responsibilities and ensure you retain a record that the update has been both provided and understood. An easy way to ensure this is done is as part of your Inset days and for new staff in your induction process.
You can also read the full Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 document on the government’s website.