ASCL is keen to strengthen safeguarding and fully supports measures to enhance safeguarding of pupils in schools. However, in our response to this consultation we contend it is unclear what problem this is trying to, or will, resolve for schools already implementing KCSIE and Safeguarding/Child Protection. The risks of putting children and young people at risk by overwhelming the system as a result of schools cautiously reporting everything is significant. ASCL is particularly uncomfortable with the ambiguity of the 13-16 exemption, which places schools and especially DSLs / leaders in an invidious position and it is not a professional judgement schools should be making. ASCL believes that implementing this policy also risks exacerbating the recruitment and retention crisis, especially for DSL/leaders, as well as teachers and support staff.
ASCL’s recommendation to the Home Office would be to exempt schools from the blanket changes on the basis that KCSIE should be the statutory framework through which any further expectations of education are made.
Full response to consultation