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the four important changes to the 2019 Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance

17 July 2019

The 2019 version of Keeping Children Safe in Education is still in draft form, but it is highly likely it will come into force as currently drafted. Here are the four important changes you need to be aware of, and a brief summary of what you need to do about them. 

  1. Upskirting – upskirting is now a criminal offence and we know schools have had numerous incidences over the last 12 months or so.  Paragraph 27 now includes upskirting as a type of peer-on-peer abuse and references it in Annex A as well.  
  2. Serious violence – two new paragraphs have been added in Part One – 28 and 29.  They focus on children being pulled into criminal networks and gangs and the requirement for staff to look out for the indicators.  
  3. S128 checks for governors – a bit more clarity has been provided here.  A new sentence has been added to the existing advice about checks on maintained school governors that makes it clear that Section 128 checks must be carried out on governors. If a prospective candidate or an existing governor is on the list, they cannot be a school governor.
  4. Associate members – paragraph 174 confirms that you are not required to carry out enhanced DBS checks on associate members of a maintained school governing body.

The 2019 amends to the guidance are more tweaks than a wholesale review, so getting up to speed and acting on the changes shouldn’t be a big ask. Here’s what to do:

  1. Policy – as part of your usual Child Protection policy review, please make the necessary changes. The upskirting and serious violence changes will certainly deserve a mention.
  2. Update staff – include the new elements in your next updates and training sessions, which may well be your September inset day. Make sure you can evidence the outcomes of that update - not just the inputs.
  3. Online training – if you currently use an online training provider make sure the modules and topics are updated and new questions are included to reflect the changes.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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