KCSIE 2023-24: Important Changes in Securing School Guidance

The latest update to the Keeping Children Safe in Education guidelines has been released by the Department of Education and details a number of new changes and requirements for schools as part of their duty to protect.

While not as comprehensive as last year’s update, there are some new recommendations and expectations for schools to consider before the guidance goes into effect in September.

Protection: Updates to KCSIE guidelines

1. Educate applicants about online searches

A notable update from the KCSIE over the past year recommended that schools conduct online searches of applicants to “identify any incidents or issues that have occurred and are publicly available online that the school or college may be dealing with with the applicant.” an interview.” “.

For this year’s update, the guidance now specifically states in paragraph 221 on page 55 that “Schools and colleges should inform shortlisted candidates that online searches will be conducted as part of due diligence can”.

Luke Ramsden, chief safety officer at an independent school, says this should help give schools clarity that they can and should look for candidates and that this should be transparent to avoid candidates feeling to be sniffed at

“This confirms to pretty much all schools that they need to do online searches for shortlisted candidates,” he says.

“I know some schools’ recruiters have gotten a bit lost on this issue because they’re a little scared of how to do this, but now they can and should just get on with it.”

2. Filtering and Monitoring

Three notable changes come in the form of new guidance and recommendations about online filtering and monitoring software schools use to monitor which websites students visit or attempt to visit.

Paragraph 103 on page 28 includes new text clarifying that the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is responsible for “understanding the filtering and monitoring systems and processes in place” as part of their job role.

Paragraph 124 on page 32 specifically states that “an understanding of expectations, applicable roles and responsibilities related to filtering and monitoring” should be incorporated into safety and child safeguarding training during onboarding for all employees.

Paragraph 138 on page 36 states that a school’s child safeguarding policy should include how appropriate filtering and monitoring technology on school devices and school networks is part of its work in this area.

These changes are in part a response to work by Judy and Andy Thomas to raise awareness of the importance of this technology in schools after their daughter, Frankie, died by suicide after accessing inappropriate material because of the filtering and School monitoring software stopped working and no one noticed this was happening.

Ramsden says that while it’s “good that schools are keeping this in mind” and that most schools will have systems in place, DSLs should “revisit their security policies this summer” in response to these changes. Additions.

3. Clarification of allegations against authorities and individuals

Another new element of the Guidelines is paragraph 377 on page 91, which details how schools should deal with allegations made against outside organizations or individuals using school premises.

According to the guide, this could be related to the school premises being used by community groups, sports clubs or service providers running extracurricular activities.

The advice simply states: “As with all allegations of protection, schools and colleges should follow their protection guidelines and procedures and also inform the LADO.” [local authority designated officer].”

4. Confirmation on DBS documents

A small change, which appears to have been introduced to avoid confusion among schools, is in paragraph 276, which states: “Schools and colleges are not required to keep copies of DBS certificates in order to comply with the obligation to keep the single central record to comply.”

This is not new wording, but the bolding of these three words is new and suggests schools were previously unclear as to whether or not this was required.

5. References to new standards

Finally, some sections have been updated with links to new guidance that the DfE has published since the last KCSIE update to support schools in specific areas.

For example, paragraph 144 on page 38, which focuses on cybersecurity standards, recommends that schools should work to meet cybersecurity standards for schools and colleges

Then on page 167 there is a new link to Guidance on protecting children in out-of-school settings, which can help schools ensure providers using their facilities comply with the necessary protection requirements.

The full KCSIE document with all changes and additions listed in Appendix F on page 177 can be accessed here.