Keystone's KCSIE 2022 digest
The new Keeping Children Safe In Education report was released earlier this year. Although there weren't any major changes to the report, there some important additions. Our experts have gone through the updates to bring you this digest.
Child-on-child sexual violence
Sadly, child-on-child sexual violence and harassment is still prevalent issues in schools around the country. Due to this, the Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Between Children in Schools and Colleges 2021 has now been integrated into the KCSIE in part five (page 103). Although this won't lead to a huge change in practice, it does reiterate that there should always be a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and violence in schools.
When children aren't ready to talk
In paragraph 19 on page 8, the KCSIE now contains advice to establish 'strong communications' with pupils to ensure they feel more able to talk to staff if they don't feel able to talk about abuse or neglect they may be suffering. There can be many reasons why children don't open discuss their experiences but staff should have "professional curiosity" and talk to the DSL if they have any concerns.
Abuse can take many forms, including physical, mental, sexual, or financial abuse. In paragraph 43, the KCSIE report now includes more information of domestic violence, stating that "children can be victims of domestic abuse". This abuse can have serious long-terms effects on children's mental and physical health, as well as their ability to learn and thrive.
Governor and Trustee safeguarding training
Part two of KCSIE covers the 'the management of safeguarding'. Safeguarding is vital to protect pupils. Page 23 paragraph 81 has added that all trustees and governors should receive 'appropriate' training at induction and at regular intervals after. This training will allow them to carry out their duties more effectively by questioning the processes and procedures within the school or trust.
Online searches for shortlisted candidates
In addition to the usual process of checking candidates, the updated KCSIE has added that schools should carry out an "online search" for all shortlisted candidates. Although the wording in paragraph 220 on 53 is vague, it most definitely means browsing their social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as using search engines to find any incidents they may have been involved in.
If you'd like some more advice on how to search for candidates online, click here for our blog.
Former Chair of the Institute of School Business Leadership Matthew Clements-Wheeler says, "The new online searches are the change that will potentially cause the greatest headache for school and trust leaders. By failing to provide more specific guidance, leaders have been left on their own to determine precisely what these checks should look like. My advice is that you should prepare a policy which formally sets out the online searches you intend to undertake. Letting applicants know what information will be checked as part of the process doesn't mean you are helping them to evade detection, rather it promotes the idea that you take safeguarding seriously as an employer. It sets the tone for keeping children safe. Sector bodies and advisors such as the team at Keystone Knowledge will continue to flag the potential difficulties with such vague guidance. In the meantime, contact me or my colleagues if you need further guidance to shape your policy in this regard"
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