Keeping Children Safe in Education
Ann-Marie Christian talks about the importance of understanding the Keeping Children Safe in Education legislation introduced in September 2016.
Keeping Children Safe in Education is a document issued under section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015, which outlines that schools and colleges must have regard to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
The Department for Education states that it is essential for children to be safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material, such as abuse, substance misuse, bullying and radicalisation.
Governing bodies and proprietors must therefore now not only ensure they have the most appropriate ‘web filtering’ in place but also the appropriate ‘monitoring’ in place.
For now, we’ll refer to this legislation as KCSIE (Pronounced: kick-see) as it is easier to refer to, both verbally and in writing.
I have been using the term since June 2016 when I delivered a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) session in Essex and the school referred to the legislation in this shorthand. I liked it and it has stuck with me ever since.
I waited patiently over summer for the KCSIE document which was released on the gov.uk website on the evening of the 5th of September. The revised document had changed a lot since the information edition which was released back in May 2016.
Something which some schools, unfortunately failed to pick up on and were not prepared to ensure that they had the necessary tools in place to effectively safeguard their staff and pupils.
The first section of this document is designed to be read and understood by all staff working in schools and colleges and puts the emphasis on the parts that all staff must play within the wider safeguarding system.
I have always been a strong believer in the inclusion of all staff when it comes to safeguarding and ensuring that everyone has the appropriate level of training, knowledge and ability to know what to do if they believe that a child is at risk.
I am glad to see that over the past five years, many schools have concentrated on the implementation of a specialist DSL who are ultimately able to manage concerns and child protection cases within the school.
The welfare of the child is ‘paramount’ as highlighted in this section, something which also provided the basis and main principle of The Children Act 1989.
The word ‘everyone’ is used in relation to the variety of adults who come into contact with children and their families and carers, each one of those having a role to play in keeping children safe.
This can include Caretakers, Office staff, Contractors, School Governors, Mid-day Supervisors, Support Staff, Teachers and the SLT.
As an expert in Safeguarding, I can’t stress enough how important it is for schools and colleges to ensure that they have fully read and understood the new legislation, to be able to take the appropriate actions and next steps to fulfilling their duty of care and safeguarding obligations.