Safeguarding Network has summarised the changes to KCSiE 2022 which came into force on 1st September 2022.
Sexual violence & sexual harassment
The DfE sexual violence and sexual harassment guidance has been incorporated into KCSiE 2022. It is helpful that the information is all in one place, and therefore easier for staff to access, although it does mean that there has been a substantial increase to the length of the KCSiE guidance. Terminology throughout KCSiE 2022 has changed from peer-on-peer abuse to child-on-child abuse. This is a welcome change as the term peer-on-peer abuse suggests the abuse is between children of a similar age which is not always the case.
There is a greater emphasis on risks for LGBT children and/or those that are perceived to be. Staff are reminded about that LGBT inclusion is part of the statutory relationships education/relationships and sex education curriculum. Senior leaders are reminded of the crucial part education settings play in preventative education within the context of a whole-school or college approach that creates a culture that does not tolerate any form of prejudice or discrimination, including sexism and misogyny/misandry. The expectation is that schools/colleges’ values and standards in this area will be underpinned by their behaviour policy, pastoral support system, as well as a planned programme of evidence based RSHE. The guidance spells out key areas to be included in the latter.
Staff are reminded that children are not always ready or able to talk about their experiences of abuse and/or may not always recognise that they are being abused.
New information has been added to explain the impact of domestic abuse. Information has been added to highlight the potential long term detrimental impact on children’s health, wellbeing and ability to learn of experiencing domestic abuse at home or within their own intimate relationships.
The importance that governors and proprietors properly support the DSL role has been given prominence by adding it to the main body of the guidance and includes an expectation that they should read the full DSL job description in Annex C.
There is a new emphasis on governor/proprietor safeguarding training to ensure their understanding of their important strategic role, as well as their legislative responsibilities, and those set out by their local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.
Relevant parts of Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty have been outlined and explicitly linked to safeguarding, particularly as regards to diversity inclusion, prejudicial and discriminatory bullying and sexual violence & harassment.
Regarding safer recruitment, the guidance clarifies that a curriculum vitae (CV) should only be accepted alongside a full application form. CVs on their own will not contain all the information required to support safer recruitment.
The guidance now states that education settings should consider conducting online searches (including publicly available social media searches) as part of their due diligence during the recruitment process.
Allegations and safeguarding concerns about staff
Learning from all allegations against staff investigations should be incorporated by schools and colleges, not just from those that are concluded and substantiated.
The guidance now makes clear that schools and colleges can choose to whom low level concerns about staff are reported to, so long as it is clear in their policies.