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Published: June 13, 2024

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The latest update to Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2023 was released on the GOV.UK website on 6th June 2023.

This guidance will come into effect on 1st September 2023. Until then, the previous KCSIE 2022 is still being enforced. 

This applies to all schools and colleges in England. It sets out the legal duties that must be followed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18.

While changes to this year’s KCSIE were minimal, it is still important to be aware of what those changes are and how they will impact education practice from September 2023. We’ve created this summary for you to help break down some of the major changes within the guidance.

Safeguarding and child protection training must now include an “understanding of the expectations, applicable roles and responsibilities in relation to filtering and monitoring”. As specified last year, this training must also be regularly updated, and all staff “should receive safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) updates as required…to continue to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.”

Filtering and monitoring technology is also highlighted as a vital part of ensuring pupils are not accessing harmful or illegal content on school owned devices.

In relation to the emphasis on filtering and monitoring systems and standards, there is added clarification that the Designated Safeguarding Lead has chief responsibility for this within their school/college.

Governing bodies and proprietors have also been specified as responsible members for ensuring “all staff undergo safeguarding and child protection training” which includes the new outlines of filtering and monitoring systems. This training should be regularly updated, as in line with KCSIE 2023.

After suggesting in last year’s update that schools and colleges perform online searches on potential new employees, this year’s update specifies that schools and colleges should “inform shortlisted candidates” that online searches may be carried out in the recruitment process.

This update to the existing section now clarifies that schools should follow their safeguarding policies and procedures, in the event of an allegation regarding an “incident that happened when an individual or an organisation was using their school premises for the purposes of running activities for children.” This includes events such as community groups, sports associations, and more.

It also specifies that records should be “retained at least until the accused has reached normal pension age or for a period of 10 years from the date of the allegation if that is longer.”

With some name changes to contact titles (such as change from ‘Child Exploitation and Online Protection’ – or CEOP – to ‘National Crime Agency’s CEOP Safety Centre’), changes were made to policies to align them with the Department for Education’s ‘behaviour in schools’ guidance and statutory guidance titled ‘School suspensions and permanent exclusions’. There are also additions for relevant new guidance that has been published throughout the year, such as guidance on digital and technology standards and keeping children safe in out-of-school settings.
To stay up to date with all of the new changes and additions before they come into effect in September, read KCSIE 2023 here.
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