Bursar’s Review

Autumn 2021 www.theisba.org.uk 12 Feature Part one – Safeguarding information for all staff There has been a national conversation around sexual violence and it is no surprise that this latest version of KCSIE was published after the recent Ofsted Review. Part one provides further clarification that child protection policies should include procedures for dealing with peer on peer abuse. There is more detail on dealing with any such allegations, emphasising that school staff must support the victim when they raise a concern. Specifically, all staff should be able to reassure victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe in relation to reports made. The updated Part one also makes clear that victims should never be made to feel ashamed for making a report of abuse, sexual violence, or sexual harassment, nor should they be given the impression that they are creating a problem by making the report. Part one makes reference to the new UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) guidance on the sharing of nudes and semi-nude images, which replaces the previous sexting advice. Record keeping is key. The existing section on record keeping has been updated to clarify that records should always include a clear and comprehensive summary of the concern; details of how the concern was followed up and resolved; and a note of any action taken, decisions reached and the outcome. Part two – The management of safeguarding This is the section for governors and proprietors and it is key that they understand the changes which have been made. Where a school has charitable status, Part two now recognises that due regard must also be given to the Charity Commission guidance on safeguarding. KCSIE includes a new section, ‘Whole school and college approach to safeguarding’ to emphasise the importance of facilitating a whole school approach to safeguarding. This means ensuring safeguarding and child protection are at the forefront and underpin all relevant aspects of process and policy development. Examples provided refer to a child centric approach to handling concerns, strengthened to require schools to have systems in place that are well promoted, easily understood and easily accessible for children to confidently report abuse. With the growth in online issues and concerns, there is a recognition by way of new paragraphs on the importance of online safety training for staff and the requirement to ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety. Specifically, there is the requirement to extend safeguarding training for staff to include online safety training. Schools should ensure that this safeguarding training is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the whole school safeguarding approach, including in the curriculum. Part two now includes substantial guidance covering remote learning, filters and monitoring, information security, cybercrime, reviewing online safety provision and information and support. This includes reference to the fact that schools may wish to restrict access to mobile devices in school, acknowledgement of the fact that children have ‘unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet’, which may facilitate abuse in school. It is also now clear that the school’s policy on mobile and smart technology should be reflected in its child protection policy. Helpfully, a new section has also been included headed ‘Non-school activities on school premises’ to clarify who is responsible for safeguarding in relation to non-school activities on site. KCSIE 2021 confirms that if it is an activity under the supervision of the school, the school’s safeguarding policy will apply. If it is organised by a third party, however, the school must instead seek an assurance that the organiser has child protection procedures in place. KCSIE also goes further to say that the safeguarding arrangements should be included in any lease or hire agreement as a condition of use and occupation of the premises; with the stipulation that a failure to comply with this would lead to termination of the agreement. Part three – Safer recruitment The whole of Part three has been substantively restructured to align it with a typical recruitment process and to emphasise an overarching culture of vigilance rather than sole reliance on pre-employment checks. The legal duties for schools contained within it have not changed, but some aspects of the recruitment process have been suitably clarified with practical details and examples of points to note. It is our view that those who deal with recruitment in schools should read the entirety of the restructured Part three. Importantly, Part three has clarified that it would be best practice for schools to check the name on a candidate’s birth certificate, where this is available, as part of pre-employment screening. This would assist in identifying where there has been a name change and allow for more thorough vetting. Staff who work directly with children should continue to be provided with, read, and understand at least Part One of KCSIE.

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