An updated version of KCSiE was published on the 22 July 2015 and this replaces the 2014 guidance. As there are changes to part one, it is essential that all staff read the updated document.
Set out below are some of the key changes to KCSiE:
What school staff should do if they have concerns about another staff member
The updated guidance provides that concerns about another staff member should be reported to the headteacher or principal. The 2014 guidance allowed for reports to be made to the designated safeguarding lead or the headteacher (or principal). Also updated is Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 which outlines how the handling of allegations against staff has altered, with the term ‘LADO’ being replaced now by ‘designated officer’. KCSiE now refers simply to ‘designated officers.’
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
The section dealing with FGM has been expanded. The Serious Crime Act 2015 came in to force in July 2015 and this amended the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. From October 2015 a new mandatory reporting duty comes into force and this requires teachers to report to the police any instance where they ‘discover’ that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Unless the teacher has ‘good reason’, any concerns of FGM should be passed to the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead. The guidance makes clear that teachers should not be examining pupils and therefore they are likely to become aware of an act of FGM by disclosure.
Much has been said recently about the Prevent Duty, and the July 2015 changes to KCSIE reflect provisions of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTSA) which places a duty on specified authorities, including independent schools ‘to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.’ New statutory guidance has been issued under section 29 of CTSA and is known as ‘the Prevent guidance.’
Key elements of the Prevent guidance relate to risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies and schools must have regard to this guidance. Schools will now be inspected on their compliance with the Prevent Duty and the ISI has updated its Regulatory Handbook to reflect this. Schools should now be able to demonstrate, as part of their risk assessment policy for safeguarding and promoting pupil welfare, that they have assessed the risk of radicalisation amongst pupils within the school.
School staff also need to understand the Channel programme (focusing on providing support at an early age to people identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism). It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that a pupil may be vulnerable to radicalisation and staff should understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel programme. Schools are listed in CTSA as partners required to co-operate with local Channel panels.
Children Missing from Education
Knowing where children are during school hours is a very important aspect of safeguarding. KCSiE provides that missing school may be an indicator of abuse and neglect, and in older children may raise concerns around child sexual exploitation. Additional provisions are now included in KCSiE setting out the obligations on schools and this section is linked with the risk of FGM and travelling to a conflict zone.