The KCSiE 2023 draft was recently released. Please see below the minor changes that are proposed to be made. Please remember it is draft, so like in previous years, some additions or deletions may occur before final release.
Filtering and Monitoring
This mentions the importance of all staff having ‘an understanding of the expectations, applicable roles and responsibilities in relation to filtering and monitoring’. The school’s approach to online safety, including appropriate filtering and monitoring on school devices and school networks should be reflected in their Child Protection Policy which should include awareness of the ease of access to mobile phone networks. (Paragraph 138). Under this section it is reasserted that the DSL has the lead responsibility in this area. Also, in paragraph 141 it is stated that the ‘Governing bodies and proprietors should consider the number of and age range of their children, those who are potentially at greater risk of harm and how often they access the IT system along with the proportionality of costs versus safeguarding risks.’
There is also a new paragraph, paragraph 142, linked to the PREVENT duty that provides details about what is meant by the PREVENT duty and a link to the DfE filtering and monitoring standards which set out that schools and colleges should:
- Identify and assign roles and responsibilities to manage filtering and monitoring systems.
- Review filtering and monitoring provision annually, at the least.
- Block harmful and inappropriate content without unreasonably impacting teaching and learning.
- Have effective monitoring strategies in place that meet their safeguarding needs.
- Further, governing bodies and proprietors should review the standards and discuss with IT staff and service providers what more needs to be done to support schools in meeting this standard.
Retention of Documents
Paragraph 276 helps to clarify that copies of documents used to verify a successful candidate’s identity, right to work and required qualifications should be kept on their personnel file, but copies of DBS certificates and records of criminal information disclosed by a candidate are covered by UK GDPR/DPA 2018. To comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018, when schools choose to retain a copy, there should be a valid reason for doing so and it should not be kept for longer than six months. When the information is destroyed a school may keep a record of the fact that vetting was carried out, the result and the recruitment decision taken if they choose to. It goes on to emphasise that schools do not have to keep copies of DBS certificates, to fulfil the duty of maintaining the single central record.
Use of School Sites by Outside Organisations
There is a new heading, ‘Use of school sites by outside organisations’ in paragraph 377 on raising concerns and managing allegations. This confirms schools’ safeguarding responsibilities when they receive an allegation relating to an incident that happened when an individual or organisation was using their school premises for the purposes of running activities for children (for example community groups, sports associations, or service providers that run extra-curricular activities). As with any safeguarding allegation, schools should follow their safeguarding policies and procedures, including informing the LADO.
Other Minor Changes
There are a few other minor changes which have been listed below:
- The word ‘students’ has been added after the word pupils in various places. This is to be more inclusive for sixth form colleges and other further education providers that KCSIE applies to them as stated in the introduction. This aids in making it clear that all those under 18 are children and entitled to the rights and protections of a child.
- Where a child receiving elective home education has an EHCP, the Local Authority need to review the plan working with the parents and carers.
- Under the section on the additional safeguarding vulnerabilities of children with SEND, we are reminded that the SEND Code of Practice is a source of information and support is available from specialist organisations.
- Paragraph 89 clarifies that provision within the Equality Act includes reasonable adjustments for disabled children and young people.
- There is a language change from children ‘missing from education’ to children ‘who are absent from education’. There is an emphasis on the safeguarding risks for those missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions and/or for prolonged periods (paragraph 99 and 175). We are told that a robust response is needed towards persistently absent pupils as they are at risk of abuse and becoming a child missing education in the future. This is particularly for children known to social care.
- There is a section on the need for ongoing vigilance (paragraph 343) which is explicitly extended to include all staff and a culture which considers matters inside and outside the workplace, including online.
- In paragraph 542 there are links to guidance on suspensions and permanent exclusions and it is made explicit that teachers can sanction pupils.
- The section on PREVENT includes a language change. Referrals to Channel are for those who are susceptible rather than vulnerable to radicalisation and being at risk of being drawn into terrorism. We are also reminded that referrals to Channel require the individual’s consent.
- Finally, the section on forced marriage reflects the law change that came into force in February 2023. This made it a crime to carry out any conduct whose purpose is to cause a child to marry before their eighteenth birthday, even if violence, threats, or another form of coercion are not used. As with the existing forced marriage law, this applies to non-binding, unofficial ‘marriages’ as well as legal marriages.
One further point to note is that there is also no mention of further clarification for online checks. The guidance from KCSiE 2022 still stands the same for this.
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You may be interested in our webinar, Key Updates to KCSIE 2023, where you can ask our HR Advisors any questions you may have on the changes. Sign up here ready for September.