Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022

On 1 September, the changes and updates for keeping children safe in education 2022 went live.

This guidance replaces KCSIE 2021 and sets out what schools and colleges must do to safeguard children and young people in England.

It’s important that ALL STAFF are up to date with this guidance.

The following information provides a summary of the changes made:

1.      Sexual violence and sexual harassment has now been included within the guidance and is no longer separate guidance. This of course means that it has been shortened (and KCSIE lengthened) but provides more efficient support as all guidance can be found in one place. An additional change to note is that the terminology has now changed from ‘peer-to-peer’ to ‘child-to-child’.

2.     Disclosure: there is a new paragraph highlighting the fact that children may not feel ready or know how to tell someone they are being abused – encouraging all staff to maintain a professional curiosity and to speak to the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) if they have concerns about a child. (Paragraph 19)

3.     Domestic Abuse: has been added to the list of safeguarding issues and given a clear definition. Abuse can be, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional. Children can also be victims of domestic abuse. (Paragraph 43)

4.     Governor and Trustee Training: Previously this was only essential for the safeguarding governor, but this has now been extended to all governors and trustees within a setting and should be received at induction and at regular intervals. (Paragraph 81)

5.     Human Rights Act: The updated guidance makes it clear that being subjected to harassment, violence and or abuse, may breach children’s rights, as set out in the Human Rights Act 1998. (Paragraph 83)

6.     Equality Legislation: The guidance highlights the significance of the Equality Act 2010 with clear statements of definition. “…schools and colleges must not unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, or sexual orientation (protected characteristics).” Paragraph 86-87)

7.     Online Safety: was removed as separate guidance in 2021, however 2022’s inclusions highlight:

a.    Harmful online challenges and online hoaxes: the link has been added to the guidance which includes advice on preparing for any online challenges and hoaxes, sharing information with parents and carers and where to get help and support.
(Paragraph 133)

b.    Schools and colleges should communicate with parents and reinforce the importance of keeping children safe online when at home. Including how they are being filtered and monitored, whom they are interacting with and where e.g. which sites they are visiting. (Paragraph 140)

c.   Governing Bodies and Proprietors should be doing all that they reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to the above risks from the school’s or college’s IT system. As part of this process, governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their school or college has appropriate filtering and monitoring systems in place and regularly review their effectiveness. Ensuring that leadership is aware of and understands the systems in place, knows how to manage them effectively and how to escalate an issue should one be found. (Section 141)

8.     New Section on LGBTQ+ Pupils: raising awareness and providing safe spaces for LGBTQ+ children to speak and share their concerns with school staff. (Paragraph 203-205)

9.     Recruitment Applications: A CV should only be accepted alongside a full application form and is not sufficient on its own to support safer recruitment. (Paragraph 215)

10. Online Searches for Recruitment: Highlighting that schools should consider online searches as part of their due diligence checks on shortlisted candidates. It also reiterated the need to comply with the law on data protection and UK GDPR. (Paragraph 221)

11. Sharing low-level concerns – a new insert in 2021 but more information has been provided in 2022. Creating a clear procedure for confidentiality and whether concerns are initially shared with the DSL or directly with the Headteacher/Principal.  (Paragraph 432 – 434).

12.   In Annex B:

a.    there is increased emphasis on staff being able to identify the indicators of serious youth violence including reducing attendance, changes in friendship groups and performance concerns. 

b.    Education settings are encouraged to reach out to their local violence reduction unit. 

c.    A link has also been added on the ‘Right to Choose’ – government guidance on forced marriage. 

13.   In Annex C:

a.    a statement has been added which requires the DSL to be aware of the role of the appropriate adult.  For more information about the appropriate adult role can be found in PACE Code C 2019. 

b.    The role of the DSL has been moved entirely into Annex C to provide clarity and reinforce the responsibility of the role. It is expected that Governors read this in full.

c.    The guidance also states that sole proprietors cannot be the DSL in their setting. 

We hope you have found this summary helpful in getting up to speed with changes in the new guidance. 

To support you even further and for a better understanding of these updates, our colleagues at Smoothwall are inviting all Dataspire schools to join a webinar next Tuesday 27 September focusing on the vital importance of digital safeguarding.

Register for the Webinar


Don’t forget! You can also access our FREE Online Safety Resource Guide. This collection of online safety resources will help you to teach pupils and students, parents and carers how to stay safe online.

FREE Online Safety Resources