Updated: Jul 9
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 has just been published (6th June 2023).
For our Schools clients, it’s worth noting that for 2023, ‘student’ has now been added rather than just pupils being referred to in order to make it clearer that all individuals under the age of eighteen are entitled to be regarded and protected under this guidance.
We may have all been hoping for further guidance on conducting online searches as part of the recruitment process, but any further information is sadly notable only by it’s absence in this 2023 update. There is a reminder that candidates should be informed ahead of time that online searches may be conducted as part of the recruitment process, and we suggest that if conducting such searches, this is made clear in your application form and in any invitation to interview correspondence.
Under Safer Recruitment, the new guidance does refer to ongoing vigilance, to include all staff as well as fostering a culture that considers matters both inside the workplace and outside of work, including online matters.
Retention of documents is updated to make clear that whilst copies of documents used to verify a successful candidate’s identity, right to work and required qualifications should be kept on their personnel file. Copies of DBS certificates and records of criminal information disclosed by a candidate should not be retained in individual files under GDPR legislation. If there is a valid reason for retaining the DBS certificate, it must be removed from the individual file after 6 months. A school must of course keep a record of the checks that have been made on their Single Central Record.
Suspensions and Exclusions
There is further guidance on suspensions and permanent exclusions in ‘Discipline and the Alleged Perpetrators’, making clear that teachers can put sanctions in place with students.
Outside Organisations Using School Sites
This new section outlines a school’s safeguarding responsibilities when outside organisations are using school premises and a safeguarding allegation is made about an incident that has occurred during the time when sports clubs, community groups, extra curricular providers etc. are using school premises. Schools should follow their usual safeguarding protocols including referral to the LADO.
Filtering and Monitoring
New text has been added to raise awareness of the existing expectation for relevant staff to understand filtering and monitoring of school devices and networks relating to online safety, including the ease of access to online phone networks.
Schools and Colleges are advised to:
Review filtering and monitoring annually as a minimum.
Identify and assign roles and responsibilities to manage filtering and monitoring systems.
Have effective monitoring strategies in place that meet safeguarding needs, alongside the suggestion that Governing Bodies are included in reviewing standards of filtering and monitoring to ensure standards are being met.
Block harmful and inappropriate content.
Meet cyber security standards for schools.
An overview of changes introduced in KCSiE 2023 can be found here Keeping children safe in education 2023 (publishing.service.gov.uk)