Keeping Children Safe in Education

With the release of a draft version of Keeping Children Safe in Education on the 25th February 2020, we look at the proposed changes and what this means for schools and Designated Safeguarding Leads.

The DfE have published their proposals for amendments to Keeping Children Safe in Education. You can access the draft guidance here together with the opportunity to feed your thoughts back to the department ahead of the closing date of the consultation (21st April 2020). The changes are listed in Annex G of the document, but you will need to read the document to get a sense of the changed emphasis that runs throughout.

Looking for information about the current version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) – find it here.

Key proposed changes:

  • Introduction of condensed Part 1 for staff who do not work directly with children due to concerns that the full version of Part 1 dilutes the key message of “see something, say something”.
  • Key themes have been made integral to the document, specifically:
      • Children’s mental health
      • Bullying and cyberbullying
      • Online safety and the impact of online violence / harassment / exploitation
      • Information sharing
      • Child criminal exploitation (CCE) including sexual exploitation (CSE) and county lines.
      • Abuse in intimate relationships
      • Contextual safeguarding
      • The scope of children and young people who may need early help
  • There is also a shift to ensure that staff are aware that it is not just about safeguarding children where problems are just emerging, but also those already known to social care on child in need or child protection plans.
  • For senior leaders and governors there is an emphasis on ensuring a whole school approach to safeguarding and this being integral in every aspect of school development (for example thinking about safeguarding needs when thinking about children’s mental health).
  • There is a significant addition around use of school premises for non-school activities, placing a responsibility on the school to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to keep children safe.
  • Part 4 (managing allegations against staff) has an additional criteria proposed in relation to staff behaviour which suggests that they may not be suitable to work with children – for example if they are a perpetrator of domestic abuse but there is no evidence of direct harm to children.
  • Part 5 (sexual violence and sexual harassment) has been updated to emphasise that disclosures of violence may not be immediately after the event and may not be direct.

Finally, the annex dealing with the role of Designated Safeguarding Leads has been substantially updated, with there being an increase in the expectations and responsibilities of DSLs.

Need more detail?


For an in-depth analysis of the changes in each chapter, with identification of themes and implications, read our Safeguarding Insight. Our Safeguarding Insight series aim to provide you with a broader understanding of a specific topic that contributes towards your professional development and ensures that you can support your school and staff accordingly.

What to do now…

  • Familiarise yourself with the changes – Safeguarding Network will be providing a detailed briefing on the new proposals in the coming days – register for our bulletin on the home page to ensure you receive this.
  • Prepare now for the changed emphasis – ensure your staff know what to look for and what to do. Safeguarding Network members have access to in-house training packs on each of the focus areas. If you’re not a member join now for instant access.
  • Think ahead – plan safeguarding training for your DSLs, deputies and staff for the implementation of the new guidance in September. Contact us to check availability for the end of the summer term or early September.


  • What works in education for children who have had social workers?

    Success in education is one of the best predictors of future success in life. For this reason, understanding what causes attainment gaps and how we can address them is one of the most important policy challenges of our time. While we know that young people who have had a social worker have, on average, lower attainment in school than their peers, we do not have a good sense of what works to improve educational outcomes for this group.