KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IN EDUCATION: SUMMARY
The government published ' Keeping children safe in education 2021' on 2nd September 2021.
Keeping Children Safe in Education is organised into 5 main parts:
- Safeguarding information for all staff (all staff in all schools must read at least this part)
- The management of safeguarding
- Safer recruitment
- Allegations of abuse made against teachers and other staff
- Child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment
- Part 1 - Role of school and college staff
All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn. They should also:
- Be aware of systems within your school which support safeguarding and have these explained to them during induction. This includes the:
- Child protection, pupil behaviour and staff behaviour policies
- Safeguarding response to children who go missing from education
- Role and identity of the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and any deputies
- Be aware of the early help process and their role in it, and be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help
- Be aware of the process for making referrals to children's social care and for statutory assessments that may follow a referral, and of their role in these assessments
- Receive appropriate child protection training which is regularly updated, and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings)
- Be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect, and of what to do if a child makes a disclosure
- Know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality (i.e. only involving those who need to be involved)
- Never promise a child that they won't tell anyone about a report of abuse
- Always act in the best interests of the child
Actions to take where staff have concerns about a child
If staff have concerns about a child, they should act immediately. They should follow your school's child protection policy and speak to your DSL (or deputy) about what action to take, including whether a referral needs to be made. Page 13 has a diagram illustrating this process.
If the DSL or deputy is not available, they should:
- Not delay taking action
- Consider speaking to a member of your school's senior leadership team and/or take advice from local children's social care
- Share any action taken with the DSL or deputy as soon as is practically possible
If they believe a child is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, they should make a referral to children's social care (and the police if appropriate) immediately.
All concerns, discussions and decisions made, and the reasons for those decisions, should be recorded in writing. Staff should discuss any uncertainties about recording requirements with the DSL or deputy.
All staff should speak to the DSL or deputy regarding concerns about female genital mutilation (FGM), and there is a specific legal duty on teachers – where a t
Concerns about staff members posing a risk of harm to children
If a staff member has safeguarding concerns, or an allegation is made about another member of staff (including volunteers) posing a risk of harm to children, they should refer this to your school's headteacher or principal.
If their concerns/the allegations relate to the headteacher or principal, they should refer this to your chair of governors.
Where the headteacher is also the sole of proprietor of an independent school, staff should report allegations directly to the designated officer at your local authority.
Concerns about safeguarding practices within your school or college
Your school or college should have appropriate whistleblowing procedures in place for your staff to raise any concerns about poor or unsafe practice with the senior leadership team.
If staff members feel unable to raise an issue, or they feel that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, they can contact the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline.
Types of abuse and neglect
Page 14 defines:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
Specific safeguarding issues
All staff are expected to be aware of safeguarding issues such as drug use, child sexual exploitation and radicalisation.
Staff should also know that safeguarding issues can manifest via peer-on-peer abuse, including bullying and sexual assault.