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Keeping Children Safe in Education

on Thursday, 29 June 2023.

The Department for Education (DfE) published the revised version of the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE 2023) in June.

This year's amendments are relatively light touch and the majority reflect changes we've seen to the law and guidance since KCSIE 2022 came into force last September.

Key changes in KCSIE 2023 relate to:

  • Online safety, filtering and monitoring - placing more emphasis on the requirement for governing bodies to ensure that their schools have appropriate and effective filtering and monitoring systems in place. This reflects the DfE's new filtering and monitoring standards published in March 2023.
  • Safeguarding risks faced by children being absent from education for prolonged periods and/or on repeat occasions and the difference between this and children missing from education - this reflects the government's drive to tackle absenteeism and is consistent with Working together to improve school attendance which came into force in September 2022.
  • Online recruitment checks for shortlisted candidates - and clarification that it is good practice for schools to inform shortlisted candidates that online searches will be carried out if you do so. There is however no requirement to carry out online searches.
  • Use of school premises by third parties - for the third year in a row we have seen clarification of the guidance around third party use of school premises, indicating that is still some uncertainty about the requirements. If schools receive safeguarding allegations relating to an incident that happened when a separate organisation/individual was using their premises for the purpose of running activities with children, the school should manage this in line with their own safeguarding policies and procedures and inform the LADO where required.
  • Forced marriage - since February 2023 it has been a crime to carry out any conduct whose purpose is to cause a child to marry before their 18th birthday, even if threats or another form of coercion are not used. The guidance applies to non-binding, unofficial marriages, as well as legal marriages where they are forced.

As always, we have:

  • prepared a tracked change version
  • produced a detailed summary of the changes and recommended actions which flow from them in a compliance toolkit update and we will also be providing subscribers with a regulatory update for Inset
  • updated our safeguarding policy template and we are ready to share this or to review school's own policies from now on
  • are updating both our Part 1 and Part 2 KCSIE modules on our VWV Plus eLearning Solutions platform so they are ready for Inset.

For more information regarding these changes, please contact Victoria Guest in our Independent Schools team on 07393 148 782, or complete the form below.

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