Keeping Children Safe in Education

The Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance has been updated and came into force on 3 September 2018. The guidance is applicable to both schools and colleges.

One particular point to note is that these changes will require schools and colleges to make modifications to their policies. Multi-Academy Trusts are permitted to have an overarching policy relating to child welfare, but each individual school in the Trust should have their own child protection policy which is unique and tailored specifically to the individual school. Three crucial changes are as follows:

Volunteers and regulated activities

Relevant education institutions are permitted to obtain enhanced DPS checks (but not a barred list check) on supervised volunteers in particular circumstances. The guidance tries to shed some light on what a “supervised volunteer” is.

Use of reasonable force

The updated guidance provides educational institutions with information relating to the use of reasonable force in schools and colleges. The Department for Education is keen to press home the importance of the rights that schools and colleges have to use reasonable force in certain circumstances. Understandably, such educational institutions are slow to use the rights they have due to concerns relating to a child’s welfare. Particularly, the use of physical contact is of concern. 

Peer on peer abuse

This is a complex area, especially when authorities such as the police are involved. The modified guidance provides further detail on what constitutes peer on peer abuse. Child protection policies will need to be updated in light of the expanded guidance.

There are many more significant changes that should be noted and I recommend all relevant educational institutions should read the updated statutory guidance. After reading the guidance, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01245 453847 or alternatively you can email me at thomas.emmett@birkettlong.co.uk.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.