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Consultations on Changes to KCSIE, Behaviour, Exclusions and Admission Appeals Guidance are Underway

on Thursday, 17 February 2022.

The DfE is currently conducting a number of consultations, with the aim of providing clearer and more consistent guidance, and to propose changes, on safeguarding, behaviour, exclusions and admission appeals.

We have provided the links to each consultation and a brief summary of key changes below.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE)

This consultation seeks views on proposed new statutory guidance on KCSIE. Annex F (pages 168 to 171) contains a table which sets out the substantive changes being proposed, and we encourage you to read this in full. Access the main consultation page and online survey response form here.

Some key points to note:

  • The term 'peer on peer abuse' has been renamed 'child on child abuse'.
  • An explicit requirement that all governing board members receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety) at induction which is regularly updated has been included.
  • There is now heightened responsibility on governing board members to ensure online safety is an integral part of the whole school approach to safeguarding.
  • It is clarified that schools are responsible for checking safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures of other bodies using school premises, regardless of whether they deliver services to the school's pupils.
  • The job description for the DSL has been moved to Annex C to encourage governing board members to read it in full.
  • The DfE has also asked additional questions on the sharing of nudes/semi-nudes and the use of filtering and monitoring systems.

The consultation closes on 11 March 2022.


VWV Plus - KCSIE eLearning


Behaviour and Exclusions

Following on from the Timpson review of school exclusion, and an earlier consultation on behaviour management strategies and managed moves, the DfE are now simultaneously seeking views on proposed new non-statutory advice on behaviour in schools and proposed new statutory guidance on exclusions.  Access the main consultation page and online survey response form here.

Below are some key points to take from the proposed new behaviour advice:

  • National minimum expectations of behaviour - These have been set out, and schools are told they should develop and implement a 'behaviour curriculum' that teaches pupils what successful behaviour looks like, rather than just listing prohibited behaviour. Schools must have designated trained staff to deliver strategies to support pupils after a sanction has been imposed, to help them understand how to improve their behaviour.
  • Pupils with SEN and/or disabilities (SEND) - There is a section on how schools should differentiate/adjust behaviour rules for these pupils, taking into account their equality duties, and duties under the SEN regime. Unfortunately, we consider this section does not yet adequately reflect the legal requirements schools must meet, in particular in respect of pupils with behavioural disabilities (eg ASD, ADHD). Failure to do so can lead to discrimination claims.
  • Removal from classrooms - This covers situations often referred to as isolation, seclusion or internal exclusion, and the guidance makes it clear this will be a serious sanction only to be used where necessary. It is not to be confused with the use of nurture/sensory rooms as a strategy to meet specific needs. Guidance is included on setting this out in the school's Behaviour Policy, and when and how it should be used, reviewed and monitored by the school/governing board.
  • In-school behaviour units - This is described as a planned intervention taking place in small groups outside of normal lessons with the underlying ambition to improve behaviour, maintain learning and successfully integrate pupils into mainstream classes. Guidance is given on its use, and there should be a visible presence from school leaders to make the unit an integral part of the school.
  • Preventing recurrence of misbehaviour - There is a more comprehensive section on what schools strategies/interventions schools should adopt to help pupils manage their behaviour and reduce the risk of suspensions and permanent exclusions going forwards.

Key points to take from the proposed new exclusion guidance (proposed to be called 'Suspension and Permanent Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England, including pupil movement') are:


The proposed changes are comprehensive, and the above is not an exhaustive list of key points. We encourage you to read the consultation and both proposed new advice/guidance documents in full, and to consider submitting a response.

The consultations close on 31 March 2022.

Changes to the School Admission Appeals Code

The DfE are currently seeking review on a proposed new School Admission Appeals Code. Access the main consultation page and online survey response form here.

The proposed changes are simply to allow admission appeal hearings to be held remotely (by telephone or video conference) as well as in person, and to allow admission appeal hearings to continue with just two panel members where the third panel member needs to withdraw, thereby retaining some of the flexibility brought in temporarily during the pandemic, with less restrictive requirements.

The consultation closes on 3 April 2022.

If you have any queries, or would like to discuss any of the information provided above, please contact Joanna Goddard in our Regulatory Compliance team on 020 7665 0805, or complete the form below.

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