14 January 2021


Keeping children safe in education - DfE consultation closes 4 March 2021

The Department for Education is consulting on extensive changes to KCSIE, the statutory safeguarding guidance, including the supplementary non-statutory advice about sexual violence and sexual harassment between pupils.

The consultation can be accessed here: Keeping children safe in education 

The main proposed changes include:

  • A new shorter version of Part one (Information for staff) at Annex A which schools could use for staff not working directly with pupils as an alternative to the fuller Part one in the body of the document
  • Clearer guidance about management and governance of safeguarding in Part two, including principles which ensure safeguarding and child protection are at the forefront of all aspects of policy development; additional guidance about GDPR and information sharing; new advice about online safety covering content, contact and conduct
  • Significant changes to the structure and advice in Part three (Safer Recruitment) including dividing the section into four sub-parts covering recruitment and selection; carrying out and recording vetting checks; other checks; ongoing safeguarding and legal reporting duties on employers. Extensive new guidance is proposed about areas such as job adverts, application forms, shortlisting, references, vetting checks for applicants who have worked overseas (certificates of professional competence), and vetting checks for contractors.
  • Significant changes to Part four (Allegations of abuse made against adults) such as clarity over safeguarding concerns which do not meet the ‘harm threshold’; new advice about the basic enquiries which can be made before contacting the LADO; more information about reporting restrictions and the use of settlement agreements; more detail about record keeping

Schools are encouraged to consider these significant proposals and respond.