Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020

UPDATE The new Keeping Children Safe in Education for September 2020 has now been published

This video will help school understand the changes that have been made and what they need to do in response.

Members of Safeguarding.Pro are able to download the slides used in the video and a pdf handout here:

Download the guidance here: Keeping Childen Safe in Education (2020)

What's new?

  • definition of safeguarding
  • mental health
  • whole school safeguarding culture
  • emphasising the important role of governors in robust
  • safeguarding
  • children who have a social worker
  • safer recruitment (including supply teachers)
  • role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead

NEW Definition of Safeguarding  

The definition of safeguarding has been expanded to specifically mention ‘mental and physical' health.

4. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children’s [highlight]mental and physical health[/highlight] or development;
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

When schools should call the police

One document that is available now, and is referenced in this version of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020, is ‘When to call the police' produced by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

(This NPCC advice does not cover safeguarding incidents. Where a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer from harm, it is important that a referral to children’s social care (and if appropriate the police) is made immediately. Referrals should follow the local referral process.)

When to call the police (NPCC) can be downloaded here: When to call the police (NPCC)

Safer recruitment and managing allegations against staff

The harm test in Part Four, allegations made against staff, has had a fourth bullet point added:  [where a staff member has] ‘behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children'. This is to take account of situations where a person's behaviour outside school may suggest ‘transferable risk'. For example, where a member of staff or volunteer is involved in an incident outside of school which did not involve children but could have an impact on their suitability to work with children' (see paragraph 211).

Supply Teachers

The safer recruitment section, and the managing allegations section, refers to the particular risks that may arise when employing supply teachers.

Where there is an allegation about a supply teacher (see paragraphs 213 – 217), the KCSIE guidance says, ‘Whilst schools and colleges are not the employer of supply teachers, they should ensure allegations are dealt with properly. ‘In no circumstances should a school or college decide to cease to use a supply teacher due to safeguarding concerns, without finding out the facts and liaising with the local authority designated officer (LADO) to determine a suitable outcome' (paragraph 215).

‘The school or college will usually take the lead [in any investigation] because agencies do not have direct access to children or other school staff, so they will not be able to collect the facts when an allegation is made, nor do they have all the relevant information required by the LADO as part of the referral process.' (paragraph 216)

The role of the DSL

Sadly, the proposed changes to the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to include being offered ‘appropriate supervision' has been dropped. This is a real shame as I think it is so necessary; not least as we cope with the coronavirus and its continued impact.

DSLs need to take into account the learning from the following review: Help, protection, education: concluding the Children in Need review June 2019 (see especially page 38)

The relevant paragraph about the new DSL role is below (see Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020, page 100):

  • help promote educational outcomes by sharing the information about the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues that children, including children with a social worker, are experiencing, or have experienced, with teachers and school and college leadership staff. Their role could include ensuring that the school or college, and their staff, know who these children are, understand their academic progress and attainment and maintain a culture of high aspirations for this cohort; supporting teaching staff to identify the challenges that children in this group might face and the additional academic support and adjustments that they could make to best support these children.

Other changes

The impact of coronavirus has led to a reduced capacity for the DfE to to update Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020. This has meant that they have only updated the guidance in three situations:

  1. Where legislation requires it
  2. To add helpful information
  3. To provide important clarification

As a result, further detail has been added to a number of safeguarding topics. This additional detail will need to be shared with staff in appropriate CPD sessions.

Update policy and procedures

As a result of these changes the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy will need to be updated, and these changes communicated to staff.

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