A Summary of "Keeping Children Safe in Education"

In the UK, schools have a legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under their care.

The government has published ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE)’ to provide guidance and support to schools and colleges in fulfilling this responsibility. This document outlines the governor’s role in ensuring children's safety in educational settings.

An updated version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) will come into force on 1 September.

A Summary Of "Keeping Children Safe in Education"

Governors have a crucial role to play in ensuring that their school or college is a safe place for children to learn and develop. The KCSIE guidance sets out specific responsibilities that governors must carry out to achieve this objective.

Firstly, governors are expected to ensure that their school or college has an effective safeguarding policy and that this policy is reviewed annually. The policy should set out the school's commitment to safeguarding, the procedures for reporting concerns and the roles and responsibilities of staff members.

Some children are at greater risk of harm than others, both online and offline. The policy should also outline the measures that the school has put in place to prevent abuse and neglect, including any training or support provided to staff.

Secondly, governors must ensure that their school or college has a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) who is responsible for promoting children's welfare and responding to any safeguarding concerns. The DSL should be trained to carry out their role effectively and should have the necessary authority to take appropriate action where necessary. This now includes taking the lead on understanding the filtering and monitoring systems and processes in place in schools.

Where there is a lack of experience, training and development are available and should be undertaken to ensure skills are continuously updated. There are various resources for achieving the right knowledge and competence surrounding safeguarding such as Safeguarding: How to fulfil the governance role

Thirdly, governors must ensure that their school or college has a culture of vigilance and awareness around safeguarding. This means that staff should be trained to recognise and respond to signs of abuse or neglect and that children feel comfortable reporting any concerns that they may have. Matters of safeguarding should also be discussed in and outside of work.

They should monitor the school's safeguarding arrangements regularly, including the quality of safeguarding training and the effectiveness of safeguarding policies and procedures. Options such as enrolling to gain a certificate in safeguarding for school governors will ensure compliance and the right measures are in place for now and future governors as well as children.

Finally, governors must ensure that their school or college complies with statutory safeguarding requirements. This includes ensuring that all staff members undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and that the school has appropriate measures in place to prevent and respond to allegations of abuse or neglect.

To Sum Up:

• Review your child protection policy to determine if any of these changes need to be incorporated. Our policy is currently being updated, so select 'save for later' at the top of the policy page to receive a notification when it's ready.

• Ensure that your school's child protection policy (and online safety policy, if applicable) covers the approach to filtering and monitoring.

• Verify that your attendance policy reflects support for absent children and acknowledges the potential impact of mental health on attendance. Our policy is currently being updated, so select 'save for later' at the top of the policy page to receive a notification when it's ready.

• If other organisations or individuals use your school premises, review your procedures for responding to allegations and ensure these providers have appropriate safeguarding arrangements in place.

• Confirm compliance with the DfE's digital and technology standards, particularly regarding filtering and monitoring.

• Ensure that your behaviour policy aligns with the latest guidance. If your staff are unfamiliar with the new language used, utilise our staff briefing to provide support.

• When recruiting, inform shortlisted candidates that an online search may be conducted. Refer to our guidance on how to carry out an online search of shortlisted candidates if you are unsure.

In conclusion, the governor's role in ensuring children's safety in educational settings is vital.

They must work with their school or college to ensure that effective safeguarding policies and procedures are in place, that the designated safeguarding lead is trained and competent and that staff members are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities.

They must also ensure that their school or college is compliant with statutory safeguarding requirements and that regular monitoring takes place to evaluate the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements.

By carrying out these responsibilities, they can help to create a safe and nurturing environment for children to learn and develop.

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