A new section on multi-agency working has been added to emphasise and be consistent with the changes to Working Together 2018 (WT 2018).
- Schools (especially the DSL and DDSL) should be aware of:
- local arrangements (until new arrangements are in place, schools should continue to work with LSCBs and follow relevant local arrangements)
- timeline for transition to the new safeguarding partner arrangements
- Schools will still need to contribute to multi-agency working and to understand their role in the new local safeguarding partnerships (LSPs).
- Safeguarding policies and procedures should include procedures referring to LSP arrangements once they have been finalised and ensure that induction and other training for staff is in line with advice from LSPs.
- DSL and DDSLs should liaise and act as point of contact with LSPs and other agencies.
- The DSL should link with safeguarding partner arrangements to ensure staff are aware of LSPs arrangements and aware of training opportunities they offer.
- If schools are named as a relevant agency by LSPs (as expected), they are under a statutory duty to co-operate with published arrangements and provide information requested.
Schools should ensure that arrangements are in place, setting out process and principles for sharing information (in school, with LSPs, with other organisations, agencies and practitioners) as required.
Schools should also ensure staff:
- understand their role in taking action and sharing information that might be critical in keeping children safe
- be proactive in sharing information as early as possible to help identify, assess and respond to risks or concerns about safety and welfare of children (at any stage of problems occurring - early, or when they already known to social care)
- not let fears about sharing information stand in the way of the need to promote welfare and protect the safety of children
- have due regard to the data protection principles and the DPA 2018 and GDPR but understand that they do not prevent or limit the sharing of information for purposes of keeping children safe
Retention of Data Relating to Allegations of Sexual Abuse
- Records which contain information about allegations of sexual abuse should be preserved by schools for IICSA for the duration of the inquiry.
- All other records of allegations against staff should be retained until the accused has reached normal pensionable age or a period of 10 years from the date of the allegation if that is longer.
The list of signs of potential need for early help has been amended to match the list in WT 2018. The category 'is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect' has been deleted.
Children in Need and Children Suffering or Likely to Suffer Significant Harm
The updated guidance clarifies a local authority's obligations on a referral in to children's social care:
- the LA social worker should acknowledge receipt to referrer and make a decision about next steps (including type of response that is required) within one working day. If the referral requires further assessment the child should be seen as soon as possible
- do everything they can to support social workers
- keep child's circumstances under review, involving DSL and DDSL as required
The table of actions now clearly differentiates between actions to be taken by schools, staff and other agencies where there are concerns about a child.
- KCSIE is now clear that being subject to a section 128 direction prohibits a person from taking part in the management of an independent school. This can be checked for within a DBS check if 'children's workforce independent schools' is specified in the application for the check.
- New wording about positions that may be considered 'management' has been included (this replicates what was set out in the letter sent to all independent schools by the DfE in May 2018).
- The category of interim prohibitions has been added to KCSIE, which also prevent a person from carrying out teaching work in schools.
Childcare Disqualification Checks
- A reminder that schools need to ensure that appropriate checks are carried out to ensure that staff who work in childcare provision or who are directly concerned with the management of such provision are carried out.
(Schools should however note that the 'by association' element of the disqualification criteria no longer applies to schools from 31 August 2018. A link to the 2018 Childcare Disqualification Regulations is now contained in KCSIE 2018).
Single Central Register
- The SCR must now include 'agency and third party supply staff'.
Referrals to the DBS
- KCSIE is now clear that referrals to the DBS should be made as soon as possible, ordinarily on conclusion of an investigation, when an individual is removed from working in regulated activity, which could include being suspended.
For further information please contact Tabitha Cave in our Regulatory Compliance team on 0117 314 5381.