What are the key changes made to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016?

What are the key changes made to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016?

Posted on Sep 10, 2016

What are the key changes made to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016?



Changes have been made to the statutory guidance Keeping children safe in education. The revised publication, which replaces the 2015 guidance, came into force on 5 September 2016 – just in time for the new school year.


Are you aware of the key changes?

The Department for Education has now published the updated guidance, and there are some important changes that you should be aware of if you work in education.

Many of the changes reflect current issues and challenges faced by the education sector, such as FGM and online safety, whilst other changes seek to place emphasis on the responsibility of everyone to ensure that children are safeguarded from harm.

We feel It’s important to stay on top of these developments, and so we keep our resources regularly updated in line with new guidance and changes to legislation. Our Child Protection course resources include both the full Keeping children safe in education guidance and easy-to-read summary of the key changes.

Let’s look at what’s affected by the updates.


What are the key changes to Keeping children safe in education?

In the interest of making sure you know about the most important points, we have not included detail about every change made to the guidance. If you’d like to read in further detail, the NSPCC have published a detailed briefing on the changes.


Part 1. Safeguarding information for all staff


Early help. There are a number of changes made to emphasise that all staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help, and should be aware of the process. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life.

Staff training. The new guidance stresses the importance of keeping up-to-date with new safeguarding developments. It is recommended that staff receive updates through email, e-bulletins and staff meetings.

Reporting concerns. The update provides clarification on how and when to take action should you have concerns about a child. If you fear a child is in immediate danger, contact children’s social care or the police immediately. If the child is not in immediate danger, you should make a referral to the designated safeguarding lead.

FGM. In 2015, the law was updated to make it mandatory that you report any cases of Female Genital Mutilation that you become aware of in the course of your work. The guidance has been updated to reflect this.

Whistleblowing. The guidance now includes sources of help should you feel you cannot report a concern you have inside your organisation; say, for example, if you feel that your concerns are not being addressed.

The complexity of abuse. Updates are made to stress that abuse is complex, and that safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events. In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.

Peer-on-peer abuse. Changes are made to the guidance to highlight that children may suffer abuse at the hands of other children. This may include: bullying, cyberbullying, sexual assault and sexting. You should be aware of your setting’s policy and procedures with regards to these issues.


Part 2. The management of safeguarding



The importance of policies and procedures. The updated guidance emphasises the importance of policies and procedures in ensuring action is taken when concerns arise.

The designated safeguarding lead. Updates to the guidance now clarify the role and responsibilities of the designated safeguarding lead, and how this position should be appointed. The safeguarding lead should be a senior member of staff from the setting’s leadership team. The ultimate lead responsibility lies with the safeguarding lead, although they may delegate.

Inter-agency working. There are a number of changes made to stress how important it is that schools and colleges work with the police, social care and health services in a coordinated way. It is important that data protection fears do not stand in the way of promoting the welfare of children.

Online safety. Online now has its own section in the updated guidance to emphasise its importance. The guidance now includes specific reference to the need for filtering and monitoring to protect children from online threats at the setting. It is stressed, however, that filters should not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught.

Looked-after children. The guidance now states that all staff should be aware of specific safeguarding issues that concern looked-after children. The most common reason for children becoming looked-after is as a result of abuse and neglect. The new guidance now stresses the requirement for there to be a designated teacher who is responsible for promoting the education achievement of looked-after children.

Children with special educational needs and disabilities. Changes have been made to the guidance to highlight the importance that of additional vulnerabilities of children with special education needs and disabilities.


Part 3. Safer recruitment


Management. The new guidance states that those in management and teaching roles will need additional checks as well as DBS.


Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016


Stay up-to-date

It’s critical that everybody working with children receives regular safeguarding training and stays up-to-date with new developments. When you subscribe with flick you get access to all flick courses and resources. You will also receive regular update emails and articles on new developments.


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