Schools which subscribe to our Compliance Toolkit have received regular updates over the summer. In this article we summarise the headlines.
Keeping Children Safe in Education - New Guidance Published
Although a draft version of the September 2016 KCSIE was published in May, final revisions were always anticipated in view of a number of areas highlighted in the May version as being subject to finalisation.
The final version was published on 5 September and came into immediate effect. Areas of difference to the May version include:
If your school updated its child protection and safeguarding policy based on the May version, only minor changes are likely to be required now. If your school's policy is still based on the July 2015 version, quite extensive updates are required to bring it into line with the current version.
Amended Pupil Registration Regulations
Following the publication of the DfE's response to the consultation Improving information in identifying children missing education which took place earlier in the year, the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 were amended with effect from 1 September 2016 and DfE issued guidance on the operation of the new regime.
DfE has expanded the range of circumstances in which schools must notify the local authority of deletions and additions to the school roll, and increased the amount of information recorded. The changes affect all non-standard transitions, ie. whenever a child of compulsory school age leaves a school before completing the school’s final year or joins the school after the start of the first year.
The changes impose a further duty on schools to work collaboratively with local authorities when making 'reasonable enquiries' to locate a pupil if he/she has not returned after ten days' authorised leave or 20 days without authorisation.
Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills - Guidance Updated
This guidance forms part of Ofsted's common inspection framework and will be relevant to non-association independent schools and registered early years settings. The guidance explains what Ofsted inspectors consider when inspecting safeguarding, including evidence that they look out for and the judgements they make.
It has been updated to reflect the requirements of the new KCSIE and to clarify various safeguarding issues that will be considered by Ofsted inspectors prior to and during an inspection.
Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 - New Resource Pack
Following the introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 in May 2016, the Home Office published a New Psychoactive Substances resource pack for educators and practitioners. Aimed primarily at frontline and health service practitioners, the resource pack may be helpful to those who shape the school's drugs education programme and PSHE schemes of work, safeguarding and drugs policies and procedures.
Consultation on Mandatory reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect
Finally, no summer holiday would be complete without a consultation. Opening on 21 July and closing on 13 October 2016, the government has opened a public consultation to seek views on whether it is necessary to introduce one of two new legal duties: the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect, or an alternative duty to act in relation to child abuse or neglect.