Keeping Children Safe in Education

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) is a key document for those working with children and young people. Safeguarding Network is here to help your DSL understand and implement the requirements of this document. We provide much of the framework to tailor to your setting to ensure nothing is missed and save you time to focus on the business of keeping children safe.

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We’ve summarised all the changes in Keeping Children Safe in Education, but you should read the document to be sure you are confident and competent in your role. At the bottom of the page Safeguarding Network members also have a full list of the changes in an implementation tool which breaks them down into easily manageable tasks, with a timetabled plan and suggested actions to report to SLT and support the rolling out of the guidance in your setting. If you’re not currently a member you can find out more here.


Summary of key changes

Below is our section by section summary of the changes. But before that, what is interesting is what is missing. There is no mention of the consultation questions from 2021, leadership support or supervision, despite very positive responses to these questions last year (over 80% in favour). There is limited ambition in KCSiE 2022, perhaps unsurprisingly given the huge pressures schools, colleges and the DfE itself have been under in the last two years and the concerns about government spending in the wake of the pandemic thus far.

However, these same pressures mean that these areas are still much needed – our supervision services have grown dramatically this academic year and DSLs hugely value the support they receive. Supervision is one area which featured heavily in our consultation response. Our full response can be accessed here. We do note that in the government’s response to the consultation on KCSiE 2022 it states, “We have been testing DSL Supervision since Sep 2020 to develop the evidence of its impact and we expect the evaluation to be published in early 2023.” We therefore remain optimistic about all settings being able to access this valuable resource.

Relevant parts of Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty have been outlined and explicitly linked to safeguarding, particularly as regards to diversity inclusion, prejudicial and discriminatory bullying and sexual violence & harassment.

Throughout the document there has been a widening of focus from specific safeguarding issues e.g. criminal exploitation, forced marriage, etc., with this being replaced with “all forms of abuse”.


Staff are reminded that children are not always ready or able to talk about their experiences of abuse and/or may not always recognise that they are being abused.

Domestic Abuse

New information has been added to explain the impact of domestic abuse. Information has been added to highlight the potential short and long term detrimental impact on children’s health, wellbeing and ability to learn of experiencing domestic abuse at home or within their own intimate relationships.

Safeguarding Network has free domestic abuse training materials to use with your staff. They’re a sample of our wider members’ programme that cover every area in Keeping Children Safe in Education. Feel free to try them out and if you like them,  join here to get instant access to the rest of our materials.

The importance that governors and proprietors properly support the DSL role has been given prominence by adding it to the main body of the guidance and includes an expectation that they should read the full DSL job description in Annex C.

There is a new requirement for governors and trustees to receive safeguarding training at the point of induction to ensure their understanding of their important strategic role, as well as their legislative responsibilities, and those set out by their local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, and that this is regularly updated. We now offer governor membership and comprehensive governor training to support you with this.

In relation to online safety there is an expectation that the governors hold this as a central theme in their whole setting approach to safeguarding.

A focus on preventative education has been added, with a new paragraph about the importance of the setting’s role in delivering an effective safeguarding curriculum.

Regarding safer recruitment, the guidance clarifies that a curriculum vitae (CV) should only be accepted alongside a full application form. CVs on their own will not contain all the information required to support safer recruitment.

The guidance now states that education settings should consider conducting online searches as part of their due diligence during the recruitment process. The stated aim of this is that it “may help identify any incidents or issues that have happened, and are publicly available online, which the school or college might want to explore with the applicant at interview.”

Learning from all allegations against staff investigations should be incorporated by schools and colleges, not just from those that are concluded and substantiated.

The guidance now makes clear that schools and colleges can choose to whom low level concerns about staff are reported to, so long as it is clear in their policies. All staff should be aware of how to handle low level concerns, allegations against staff and whistleblowing, with KCSiE 2022 being clear that this information should be contained in the staff behaviour policy (also known as the code of conduct).

The full guidance document can be found here. Safeguarding Network provides members with lots of materials to support the implementation of the guidance.

The DfE Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between children in schools and colleges guidance has been incorporated into KCSiE 2022. It is helpful that the information is all in one place, and therefore easier for staff to access, although it does mean that there has been a substantial increase to the length of the KCSiE guidance.  This also means that what was non-statutory advice is now statutory guidance.

Terminology throughout KCSiE 2022 has changed from peer-on-peer abuse to child-on-child abuse. This is a welcome change as the term peer-on-peer abuse suggests the abuse is between children of a similar age which is not always the case.

There is a greater emphasis on risks for LGBTQ+ children and/or those that are perceived to be. Staff are reminded about that LGBTQ+ inclusion is part of the statutory relationships education/relationships and sex education curriculum. Senior leaders are reminded of the crucial part education settings play in preventative education within the context of a whole-school or college approach that creates a culture that does not tolerate any form of prejudice or discrimination, including sexism and misogyny/misandry. The expectation is that schools/colleges’ values and standards in this area will be underpinned by their behaviour policy, pastoral support system, and a planned programme of evidence based RSHE. The guidance spells out key areas to be included in the latter.

A key change is in Annex C, where 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 and PACE Code C requirements, see our safeguarding insight.

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

In annex B 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.  Education settings are encouraged to reach out to their local violence reduction unit.  Safeguarding Network members can access our training materials for staff in relation to Serious Youth Violence and Gangs.

You can find a full list of the changes from Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) 2021 to KCSiE 2022 further down the page. The following are the changes from KCSiE draft published in June to the final version of KCSiE published on 1st September:

  • The Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment guidance has been formally retired and fully integrated into the KCSiE 2022
  • The majority of the changes are grammatical, adding an ‘a’ or ‘or’ here and there
  • Para 72 about when to report a safeguarding concern or allegation has been extended from people posing a risk of harm, to including when someone has harmed a child. While perhaps obvious, it reflects findings in the IICSA report on organised exploitation that professionals still talk about young people being ‘at risk of’ being sexually exploited when, in fact, they actually know they are currently being exploited. This is echoed in the condensed version of Part 1 in paragraph 20 of Annex A
  • Para 94 has been added about fair processing of information with a link to the Information Commissioner’s Office guidance. As a result the subsequent paragraph numbers differ from the draft.
  • Para 108 corrects the reference to Integrated Care Systems to Integrated Care Boards, the new name for Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Para 132 corrects the plan for further guidance on teaching relationships education specifically to prevent sexual violence & sexual harassment from Spring 2022 to sometime during the 2022/23 academic year
  • There are corrections to the titles and links to guidance on remote education in para 139
  • The new LGfL online safety audit has been added to para 145
  • Para 221 on shortlisting now links to the new para 94 and the links to the guidance on data protection and GDPR
  • Para 224 (cross referencing with similar amendments in paragraph 419) has important wording added (in bold italics here) which requires a change in your reference policies: “Any repeated concerns or allegations which do not meet the harm threshold which have all been found to be false, unfounded, unsubstantiated, or malicious should not be included in any reference”. Para 419 states (as previously) false, unfounded, unsubstantiated or malicious allegations should not be included in references. The guidance though now suggests (again with new text in bold italics) substantiated allegations which do not meet the harm threshold should also be omitted: “Substantiated safeguarding allegations that meet the harm threshold should be included in references, provided the information is factual and does not include opinions”. Para 441 builds on this guidance so that a group of low level concerns which meet the harm threshold should be included in references, but removes the sentence about low level concerns that are referred to LADO and substantiated being included.
  • Para 227 narrows the focus of interviews from considering any information about allegations to only considering information about substantiated allegations
  • The checks on agency and supply staff are now extended in para 286 beyond individuals who will be working at schools and colleges to include individuals who will be providing education on the school or college’s behalf, including through online delivery
  • Para 354 in Part 4 provides more consistent language around concerns and allegations. In the draft concerns were not included above the harm threshold, but the final guidance ensures both allegations (i.e. something has been stated) and concerns (a worry has arisen) are both relevant. Rather than reference safeguarding concerns and allegations throughout, the first section then refers to both as allegations.
  • In para 425 the assertion that promoting an open and transparent culture should result in an open and transparent culture (!) has been removed
  • In para 433 the concept of a values champion for low level concerns is amended to a values guardian or safeguarding champion
  • Para 439 now includes patterns of concern which can be identified in records of low level concerns
  • In Annex A the numbering is restarted (in the draft version it continued from paragraph 558)

Remember, Safeguarding Network can support you with implementation tools, a knowledge check, staff and SLT presentations, training and support throughout the year for our member DSLs. More information at

What do members get?

The following resources are available for free or discounted prices for all Safeguarding Network members. To become a member and get instant access to all these additional resources click here or the link below.

We’ve a Keeping Children Safe in Education Knowledge Check to easily manage the process of ensuring people are familiar with KCSiE and the relevant school policies. This online tool is sent direct to all your staff and volunteers and includes:

  • A link to the guidance
  • All staff confirm they have understood and can apply the guidance
  • All staff confirm they have read your child protection, behaviour, code of conduct and whistleblowing policies
  • A quiz on staff knowledge of the guidance
  • A scenario to test applied knowledge
  • A Keeping Children Safe in Education certificate if they attain a sufficient mark
  • Live completion tracking data, reminders and an easy process to add new users through the year
  • Reports for the DSL to evidence staff have understood and can apply the guidance.

No more signing a sheet to say it has been read!

The Knowledge Check is only 99p+VAT per person for members (£27+VAT for non-members). Membership is £99+VAT a term with no tie in and gives you access to all our materials to support the new guidance and create a structured, robust and evidenced approach to in-house safeguarding training and awareness in your school. Read more about membership, or contact us if you’ve any questions.

Members can access a full list of all the changes indexed by page and paragraph number with some notes about the rationale for the change.

We’ve taken all the changes and produced a plan with timescales and suggested actions for you to complete as a report to SLT. Add the evidence of the changes you have made, and this becomes your October report to governors on the implementation of the new guidance.

Autumn 2022 will see our inaugural annual safeguarding conference launched, free for members! We know how important it is for settings to have access to up to date, high quality CPD and we’re excited to be able to offer this as an additional benefit in our basic membership package.

To ensure as many of our members can attend as possible we’ll be hosting the event online. We will circulate more details to our members in due course.

Not signed up? Join us now for access to this event and our many other membership benefits!

Ofsted guidance on inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings set out that.

Inspectors will be looking to ensure that:

There are clear and effective arrangements for staff development and training in respect of the protection and care of children and learners.

Plan your year ahead ensuring there are regular slots in staff meetings to cover safeguarding and build your staff team knowledge throughout the year. McElearney et al. (2019) highlight seven characteristics of effective safeguarding CPD for teachers.

We have built these into our safeguarding training approach:

  • A focus on student outcomes
  • Collaboration
  • Reflection
  • Specialist expertise
  • Sustained over time
  • Promoting a supportive culture within the setting
  • Incorporating models of effective practice

We suggest schools take 15-20 minutes a month for this reflective space out of their staff meetings and develop a cohesive curriculum for staff safeguarding training, rather than simply a responsive slot. We’ve a 2-year programme that covers every area required by Keeping Children Safe in Education and have created expertly designed and quality assured presentations, quizzes, handouts and true-to-life scenarios to build a strong safeguarding culture together across the school so that staff recognise potential issues and have a calm, balanced and confident approach to looking after your children and young people. Join now for immediate access.

Free article on safeguarding training

You’re welcome to read more about the requirements around safeguarding training for educational settings in our Safeguarding Insight.

It has never been more important to have outstanding governance and leadership across all education settings. Individually and collectively governors  and their equivalent should be working in partnership with senior leaders of early years’ settings, schools, colleges and trusts to create and implement strategy at the same time as holding the leaders to account.

As a safeguarding governor or equivalent you will need to be acutely aware of what is going on in your setting. At Safeguarding Network, we know how easy it can be to read policies but how hard it can be to put these into practice. We will keep you abreast of what you need to know and when.

Membership is £99+vat per annum. For existing member settings, Governance membership will be included in a free trial for Autumn term 2022. If your setting is not a member, contact us for details.

We have a rapidly growing community of early years settings, schools and colleges.  We support the huge demands on DSLs by producing core content that all settings can use to develop their staff team’s confidence, understanding and response to safeguarding issues.

Basic membership is just £99 a term – there’s no formal tie-in but you won’t want to leave! This includes the full two-year staff safeguarding curriculum, free initial safeguarding advice and access to events such as our live webinars covering a range of topics relevant to all education settings from early years upwards. We also have discounted online learning, free audit tools and a series of Safeguarding Insight articles that include in-depth guidance on writing effective referrals, awareness of sibling sexual abuse, rising challenge of the INCEL ideology and much more.

For immediate access join here.

We’ve got great news for DSLs and settings wanting to be confident in taking their practice to the next level.

Our enhanced membership offer includes access to your own named safeguarding consultant who will support you through our structured review process meaning you will benefit from increased confidence and direction in developing your setting’s safeguarding culture.

Ideal for settings wanting to take their safeguarding to a threshold above compliance. Priced at only £199 per term, with the value added to your setting being priceless!

After more information on membership options? Get in touch to talk to us about how we can help.

Member only resources

  • Summary of changes in KCSiE 22

    Every significant change in Keeping Children Safe in Education is set out in the document with page and paragraph number. In addition to the basic information in Annex F the document explains some of the rationale for the change and ensures you miss nothing in implementation.

  • KCSiE 2022 Implementation tool and report to SLT/Governors

    All the changes in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 organised by theme with links to our relevant Safeguarding Network resources, suggested text and time scaled actions. The tool forms a template of an action plan to submit to SLT, then with the evidence added a report for governors in October. A huge time-saver.

  • KCSiE 2022 Presenter Notes

    Presenter notes used during the KCSiE 2022 Draft webinar hosted on the 14th June, 2022.

  • KCSiE Draft webinar slides

    Presentation slides used in our 2022 KCSiE Draft webinar.

  • Webinar recording from 14th June 2022

    Recording of the June 14th Webinar for the 2022 KCSiE Draft.

Safeguarding Update Training for INSET Days

  • Safeguarding Update Training 2022 – Case Study

    Needed for exercise on slide 9

  • Safeguarding Update Training 2022 – Scenarios – What Would You Do?

    Needed for exercise on slide 16

  • Safeguarding Update Training 2022 – Presentation

  • Safeguarding Update Training 2022 – Presenter notes

  • Whole Setting Safeguarding Update – Presenter information

How to brief staff:

Start with our briefing presentation…

A copy of the presentation that we used in the webinar is available to members by clicking the “Webinar Resources” link in the member only resources section above. You will need to be a member organisation and logged in to see this.

Do staff have to read Part 1 (again!)?

It’s crucial that you ensure all staff are familiar with the contents of Part 1 and, where appropriate, Annex B. How you do this is a matter for your discretion. The guidance is clear that you must “ensure that all staff in [your] school or college read at least Part one of this guidance”.

You may assess whether it is most efficient for some staff to read the condensed version of Part 1 in Annex A instead.

It’s not just about reading the document, as the guidance also says that there is a requirement that leaders “should ensure that mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part one of this guidance.”

If you have staff whose first language is not English, the London Grid for Learning translate KCSiE Part 1 and Annex A into various different languages. This year, they will be adding Ukrainian. Find out more here.

Have staff read and understood KCSiE 2022?

The guidance now requires you demonstrate understanding, not just a list of people who’ve signed to say they read the document.  Our Keeping Children Safe in Education Knowledge Check will help – it points people to the right part of the guidance, asks when they read it, quizzes them on their knowledge and on the application of their knowledge with scenario based questions. Over 8,000 people completed it last year.

The guidance has been bolstered to ensure staff know what to look for and know what to do. Our knowledge check is just 99p per person including a certificate for those achieving the 75% passmark and a report for your Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Find out more here….

KCSiE Poster

Download our Keeping Children Safe in Education poster or sign-up to our monthly posters by post service.