This week, the government published the update of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ for September 2020. Due to the onset of Coronavirus, the consultation for this update was suspended in March. They have now published the full update with some key changes. We have highlighted 3 of the main changes you should be aware of and summarised below.
All organisations must ensure that their safeguarding and child protection policy, as well as other related policies are updated in line with the updated guidance. In some cases, you will need to create new procedures, such as what to do if there is an allegation made about a supply teacher.
This new update will be statutory from September 2020, which gives schools time to prepare and update their policies and procedures as needed.
1. Managing allegations againstsupply teachers
In the previous iteration of the guidance around managing allegations against staff, it was referred to as “Anyone working in the school or college including volunteers…” In the update, it now reads “Anyone working in the school or college including supply teachers or volunteers…”
The new guidance also states that the school or college will ‘take the lead’ in any investigations into allegations against a supply teacher, as the supply agency will not have access to children or staff, and the school is in a better position to liaise with the LADO. This change means that schools will now have to create new procedures for allegations against supply teachers.
2. The definition of Safeguarding has changed
In the definition of Safeguarding, there is a slight alteration to the second bullet point, “preventing impairment of children’s health or development.” This line has been changed to include an emphasis on Mental Health, in line with the new RSE guidance. The updated version now reads, “preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health.”
3. An increased emphasis on Mental Health
Aside from the change above, there is also a greater emphasis throughout the update on Mental Health. In the section called ‘What school and college staff should look out for’ they have added a new section on Mental Health. Paragraphs 34-38 cover in detail what staff need to be aware of in regards to Mental Health. Once again, it is important that this is reflected both in your RSE curriculum and in the updates to your policies/procedures.
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