The government has now published the September 2016 version of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. The latest edition became available on 5th September and replaces the one published at the end of May.
All staff must ensure that they have read ‘Keeping children safe’ Part One (and Annex A). This has been published as a standalone document for ease of printing.
Changes to the final version of Keeping Children Safe in Education – September 2016
In essence, the final version of Keeping Children Safe 2016, has just been tidied up and sentences polished up for clarity. However, there are two significant areas of additional guidance about agency staff and the Single Central Record; and Children Missing Education (CME).
Single Central Record (SCR)
Paragraph 112 now says, “For supply staff, schools should also include [in the SCR] whether written confirmation has been received that the employment business supplying the member of supply staff has carried out the relevant checks and obtained the appropriate certificates, and the date that confirmation was received and whether any enhanced DBS check certificate has been provided in respect of the member of staff.”
I think it would therefore be helpful to include Agency Staff onto a separate tab in the SCR (if it is being kept in spreadsheet as many schools do) and add for them the following specific columns:
- Has written confirmation of checks been received? Yes/No
- Date the confirmation was received: dd/mm/yyyy
- Whether a DBS certificate has been provided? Yes/No
Although not part of the guidance, it would be useful to add:
- Name of the agency who supplied the person
Independent Schools and Special Schools
Interestingly, a footnote to this section says:
“Independent schools and non-maintained special schools should also include the date on which any certificate was obtained.”
In such schools therefore, the SCR should also have a further column:
- Date the DBS certificate was obtained
Children Missing Education (Appendix A)
In the previous iteration of ‘Keeping Children Safe’, guidance was given about what schools should do when pupils leave, and this has been update. In the final version, new guidance has been issued about registering pupils when they are admitted.
Adding pupils to the admission register
When schools add a pupil to their admission register, they must also add the expected start date. If the pupil subsequently does not arrive as expected “the school should consider notifying the local authority at the earliest opportunity to prevent the child from going missing from education”.
Apart from pupils who join the school at the “start of the school’s youngest year”, schools are required to notify the local authority “within five days when a pupil’s name is added to the admission register and provide all the information held within the admission register about the pupil”.
Informing the local authority when a pupil leaves
(Further advice can be found in the latest version of ‘Children missing education: statutory guidance for local authorities – September 2016’ (Note that although the title refers to local authorities, the school’s responsibilities is also included.)
When a pupil’s name is deleted from the admission register (under one of the 15 reasons), the school must inform the local authority and supply the following information:
- the full name of the pupil;
- the full name and address of any parent with whom the pupil lives;
- at least one telephone number of the parent with whom the pupil lives;
- if applicable, the full name and address of the parent with whom the pupil is going to live, and the date the pupil is expected to start living there;
- the name of pupil’s destination school and the pupil’s expected start date there, if applicable; and
- the grounds under which the pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register
When a pupil leaves the school, the admission register must also record:
- the name of the pupil’s new school; and
- the expected start date at the new school
Where information is missing
Schools should highlight to the local authority where they have been unable to obtain the necessary information from the parent, for example in cases where the child’s destination school or address is unknown.
When a vulnerable pupil is missing education
Schools should also consider whether it is appropriate to highlight any contextual information a vulnerable child who is missing education, such as any safeguarding concerns.