Statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ comes into force on 3 rd September. This means staff should be trained, and safeguarding and child protection policies updated, specifically in the following areas:
- The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) is now expected to have ‘a complete safeguarding picture’, with their deputies trained to the same standard. Staff need to be aware of the referral process. If there is an issue, they should speak to the DSL or their deputies if they are unavailable, so there is no delay in the appropriate action being taken.
- All staff should be aware of their role in any multi-agency assessment, particularly when children who may benefit from early help are involved.
- The use of reasonable force should be minimised by having a proactive behaviour policy, especially for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
- The new Part 5 is about managing reports of child sexual violence and harassment. It also considers contextual safeguarding.
- As children are harmed by child criminal exploitation or involvement in ‘county lines’ — carrying drugs or money from urban to rural areas – staff should be aware of identifying factors and the need for a multi-agency response.
- Continuing Professional Development is required to keep children safe online at school by giving staff the knowledge and capability to recognise and respond to the additional risks SEND children face online from cyberbullying, grooming and radicalisation, for example.
- When reasonably possible, there should be more than one emergency contact for parents.
- Information sharing has been brought in line with the new General Data Protection Regulations. This emphasises the need for the DSL to transfer child protection files to the new school.