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June 6, 2024

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The latest update to Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2024 was released on the GOV.UK website on 24 May 2024.

This guidance will come into effect on 1st September 2024. Until then, the previous KCSIE 2023 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.

It’s important to be aware of the changes to this year’s KCSIE and how they will impact education practice from September 2024. We’ve created this summary for you to help break down some of the major changes within the guidance.

The definition of ‘safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children’ has been amended to reflect ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023’, highlighting that ‘children’ refers to anyone under the age of 18.

The ‘early help’ list has been revised to reflect those referred to in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023’. This now recognises that children who have experienced multiple suspensions and are at risk of being permanently excluded might benefit from early help intervention.

The ‘Abuse and Neglect’ section has been amended to include exploitation. Additionally, the ‘indicators of abuse and neglect’ section now specifies that children are victims of abuse when they are witnesses of domestic abuse, including “where they see, hear or experience its effects”.

In relation to safeguarding issues that staff should be aware of, “deliberately missing education” has been changed to “unexplainable and or/persistent absences from education” to reflect that the child may not be at fault for the absences.

This section now refers to data protection guidance for schools, which supports staff, governors and trustees on compliance, policy development and processes, data storage and preventing personal data breaches.

It has been specified that schools remain responsible for the pupils they place in alternative provision.

Signposting to NSPCC advice on the safeguarding of children with SEND and deaf/disabled children and young people has been added. It emphasises that these children will require extra support and attention that may differ from children with other needs.

In relation to upcoming guidance on gender questioning children, further information has been added but is under review until the final gender questioning guidance documents have been published.

The ‘early help’ section has been amended to reflect ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023’, with the addition of “early help is support for children of all ages that improves a family’s resilience and outcomes or reduces the chance of a problem getting worse.”

The update to this section provides further guidance about how the designated safeguarding lead should keep detailed, accurate and secure written records of all concerns. This should include discussions and decisions made, as well as the rationale for those decisions, including when referrals were or were not made to another agency.

Two separate age-appropriate guides, for 5-11 year olds and 12–17 year olds, have been added to help schools support children involved in the court system.

It has been clarified that protecting children from being influenced to be involved in terrorism should be part of a school’s safeguarding approach, similar to protecting children from other forms of harms and abuse.

To stay up to date with all the new changes and additions before they come into effect in September, read KCSIE 2024 in full here.

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