Keeping Children Safe in Education - revised guidance

12 June 2018

The DfE published a revised version of the Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance on 17 May 2018.

This new guidance comes into force on 3 September 2018 and has been published early to enable schools and colleges to prepare. It follows a consultation in which ASCL collaborated closely with the DfE.

The changes include the following:

  • More detail has been added around the legal status of the guidance and the difference between the words must and should. The guidance says, “We use the terms “must” and “should” throughout the guidance. We use the term “must” when the person in question is legally required to do something and “should” when the advice set out should be followed unless there is good reason not to”.

  • Amending references to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), which has been replaced partly by the Teaching Regulation Agency.

  • New requirements under the Children and Social Work Act 2017 with regards to designated teachers and virtual headteachers, and those under care/care leavers.

  • Clarity that whilst MATs can have an overarching child protection policy, it should be built on locally to ensure local procedures and protocols can be reflected on.

  • A new Part 5 providing guidance on how schools and colleges should respond to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment between children.

The new Part 5 – ‘Child on Child Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment’ – sets out statutory duties for schools and colleges that come into force on 3 September. The guidance outlines effective safeguarding practice that covers recognising and recording a report, risk assessment following a report of sexual violence, and next steps considerations (including safeguarding and supporting the victim, safeguarding and supporting the alleged perpetrator, and the circumstances where the school or college will need to separate victims and alleged perpetrators). Schools and colleges will still need to make decisions on a case-by-case basis, supported by other agencies.

The government published more detailed advice on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Between Children in Schools and Colleges in December 2017. ASCL worked closely with the government to get this right. This advice sets out in greater detail, the approach schools and colleges should take, what their legal duties are and where they can obtain additional support.