Keeping Children Safe in Education

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) 2020 has some changes which we set out below. Safeguarding Network is here to help your DSL implement the changes. We provide much of the framework to tailor to your school to ensure nothing is missed and save you time to focus on the business of keeping children safe in education.

KCSiE 2020

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 was published at 12:15am on 1st September. There are very few changes from the draft Keeping Children Safe in Education published in June 2020.

The changes from the draft are:

  • Explicit statement that the COVID-19 safeguarding guidance has been withdrawn as schools are expected to open in full.
  • A link has been added to departmental advice Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Between Children in Schools and Colleges (updated May 2018). This reinforces the emphasis on sexual violence and sexual harassment after Ofsted found this to be a common failing for schools last year. All staff should be able to identify this and know what to do. Safeguarding Network have a short elearning course on this area for 99p+VAT per person.
  • A tweak to wording: Relationships Education (for all primary pupils) and Relationships and Sex Education (for all secondary pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) which was made compulsory in September 2020. Schools have flexibility to decide how they discharge their duties effectively within the first year of compulsory teaching and are encouraged to take a phased approach (if needed) when introducing these subjects (para 94).
  • A new resource has been added on homelessness:  Homelessness: How local authorities should exercise their functions – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government guidance and the cyberbullying resource has been removed.

We hope you find this useful and would be happy to talk more about how we can support your setting with the implementation of the guidance. Please read on in respect of the changes the new guidance published in June has brought and how Safeguarding Network may be able to help your setting implement the changes.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020

The guidance is in force from 1st September 2020 – there aren’t huge changes but this does mean that all staff will need to be updated.

In Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 the DfE comment:

We have made changes in three circumstances. Firstly, where legislation has required it e.g. reflecting mandatory Relationship Education, Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education from September 2020. Secondly, where we have helpful additional information that will support schools and colleges protect their children e.g. mental health, domestic abuse, child criminal and sexual exploitation and county lines. Finally, important clarifications which will help the sector better understand and/or follow our guidance.

para 4

We have gone through the guidance and explained the changes below – please feel free to use this to support your work in early years settings, schools and colleges. We held some webinars in July and September on the new guidance – more information can be found here, along with a recording of the webinar. Members can download an audit tool/report to SLT & Governors. We also have training materials to support in-house delivery of the change.

All the changes are listed in Annex H, but we’ve been through and summarised these below. Members can access the full list of differences in the audit tools section.

Summary of key changes

Key changes in part 1:

  • The proposal in the draft for some staff to have a shortened read of the guidance has been dropped – the same requirements as 2019 apply (Part 1 and Annex A).
  • There is rewording of the guidance (para 21) around extra-familial harm, removing the links to contextual safeguarding but emphasising that “children may be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to) sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, and serious youth violence.” Para 28 goes on to add emphasis on Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation.
  • Children’s mental health is added to the guidance, ensuring that staff should consider when this might become a safeguarding concern.
  • Concerns about staff are widened to include supply staff, reflecting changes in Part 4 that schools hold a responsibility to fully explore concerns about supply staff.
  • Where a head teacher is also the sole proprietor of an independent school it is now mandatory to report to the LADO.

Part 2:

  • There is a link to the National Police Chief’s Council guidance on when to call the police to ensure calls are appropriate and timely.
  • The guidance refers to the Relationships Education, Relationships & Sex Education and Health education guidance and the safeguarding implications of this. We’ve a separate page on this important area.
  • The emphasis has shifted from simply “allegations” to thinking about “safeguarding concerns and allegations”. Settings should have an approach that recognises concerns tend to grow and may be apparent before someone makes an allegation.
  • The particular vulnerability of children who have a social worker is recognised. This relates to the research on “What Works in Education for Children who have social workers“.
  • Findings from the Children in Need review, ‘Improving the educational outcomes of Children in Need of help and protection’ contains further information; the conclusion of the review, ‘Help, protection, education’ sets out action Government is taking to support this.
  • The guidance notes (para 113) “Schools and colleges have an important role to play in supporting the mental health and well being of their pupils” and asks that settings have in place clear systems and processes to identify these needs, and to consider when they become a safeguarding concern. DSLs may wish to familiarise themselves with the guidance on Mental health & behaviour in schools, particularly Chapter 4 which talks about developing local partnerships and ensure they know how to access training for themselves and staff in their local area. The DfE highlight funding for a significant programme to train senior mental health leads and the roll out of the Link Programme.
  • Much was removed from the draft 2020 guidance as the DfE recognise the immense pressures on schools in the summer of 2020. The changes had been informed by the Review of children in need last summer and no doubt will be coming on the horizon once life settles down. It is worth referring to the original draft 2020 guidance (February 2020) to see what is coming. More information can be found in the mental health and behaviour in schools guidance.

Part 3

  • The only change in this section is the reference to statutory guidance on private fostering.

Part 4

  • The responsibility to manage allegations about supply teachers is made clear, so they still ensure allegations are dealt with appropriately when they are not the employer. Schools cannot simply cease to use this teacher.Processes should be developed to manage this akin to the disciplinary procedure and the school should advise supply agencies of its process for managing allegations.
  • A fourth bullet point has been added to the criteria for the LADO so schools must work with other agencies to investigate when who has worked at the school has “behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children“.

Annex A

  • The potential for children to be exploited when missing education is emphasised. Staff need to be aware of your unauthorised absence and children missing from education procedures.
  • Child criminal exploitation is defined and included, together with some of the indicators. Child sexual exploitation is very much seen through the lens of child criminal exploitation. A link is added to Child sexual exploitation: guide for practitioners.
  • The wording around County Lines has been revised and improved.
  • Wording around domestic abuse has been revised and improved. There is reference to Operation Encompass and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline with other references to the NSPCC, Refuge and SafeLives also added.
  • Honour-based violence is better termed Honour-based abuse.
  • A definition of terrorism has been added, a sentence amended to clarify radicalisation and a link made to the Channel guidance. There is a link to the Prevent elearning and additional guidance.
  • Peer on peer abuse is amended to Peer on peer / child on child abuse, recognising that sometimes this abuse is not between peers.
  • The Voyeurism (Offences) Act came into force on 12 April 2019 and so has now been referenced in the definition of ‘upskirting’.

Annex B

  • DSLs should work closely with senior mental health leads.
  • The order of wording around “Training should provide designated safeguarding leads with a good understanding of their own role, and the processes, procedures and responsibilities of other agencies, particularly children’s social care” has been corrected – it had slipped under a paragraph referring to ‘informal training’, so it is now clear your training needs to be up to the mark! We’ll be looking to run some skills sessions later in the year – join the Safeguarding Bulletin (below) for more information when these are ready.
  • DSLs should help promote educational outcomes by working closely with their teachers and sharing information about their welfare, safeguarding and child protection concerns. We will be writing more on this area soon – it is good news and long overdue.
  • The transfer of child protection files rules apply to in-year transfers.
  • One other crucial area dropped from the draft guidance is Safeguarding Supervision for DSLs. Supervision, however, is still a requirement in the inspection framework and in Working Together so schools should look to implement this. Read our page on Safeguarding Supervision for more.

Annex C

  • The section on online safety has been improved and links added.

There were no changes to the other sections.

briefing staff


have staff read KCSiE 2020?

You will need to compile evidence that staff have read, understood and can apply the new Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance. We’ve some suggestions about how to make this easier and more robust, including our Keeping Children Safe in Education quiz. Click EXPAND for more.

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 A. 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”.

It’s also not just about reading the document, as the guidance also says that there is a requirement 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.”

Who reads what…

  • Everyone– should read & understand their responsibilities as described in part 1
  • All staff with direct contact with children should read annex A and should also have read ‘Sexual Violence & Sexual Harm between children in schools & colleges’ (DfE May 2018 –  Our Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment elearning is useful here.
  • HTs / Principals and DSLs should read the whole thing (DSLs should ensure annex B is included in their job description)
  • HTs / SLT/ Des staff and behaviour leads should read part 5
  • Proprietors should read part 2, part 3 esp paras 192 – 195, part 4 & 5
  • Governors should read part 2 as a minimum, but be aware they’re responsible for compliance in Parts 3,4,5
  • Designated governor should read the whole of the guidance
  • Anyone involved in recruitment and / or SCR(including recruiters / managers of volunteers should read part 3 + annex F & G
  • Anyone involved in MFL / other school exchanges should read part 3 paras 207 – 210 and annex E
  • HR people should read it all but concentrate on parts 3 & 4 + annex F & G
  • WRL coordinators should read part 3 paras 202 – 206 and annex F
  • Anyone in classroom based roles, ICT, network staff should read annex C

With thanks to Carolyn Eyre, safeguarding consultant, for devising this section

Free staff, SLT & governor briefing

We’ve written a Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 staff briefing which you are welcome to download and adapt to your setting. There’s also a free webinar aimed at DSLs and senior leaders. We hope you find it useful and it saves you some time.



Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 knowledge check

Our quiz guides governors, staff and volunteers to the right sections of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 and checks their understanding of key questions in the document.

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 understand and can apply the 2020 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 2020 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 understand 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 (£9 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.

plan ahead


in-house training made easy

There are over 40 different areas that DSLs need to make sure their staff have read, understood and can apply. This doesn’t fit into a single safeguarding training session and the KCSiE makes clear that staff training should be regular.

Click EXPAND for link to a free article on the key requirements in arranging safeguarding training and details of our full support package to ensure every area in the new guidance is covered in staff training, meeting the requirements of the inspectorate, saving your DSL time and most importantly reducing risk to children and young people.

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

Inspectors will be looking to ensure:

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

para 13 Ofsted Inspecting Safeguarding guidance

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
  • A supportive school culture
  • 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 recent Safeguarding Insight.

Webinar & staff briefing powerpoint

We held a webinar on the 1st July 2020 covering the main changes and implications for schools and colleges and a tour of how Safeguarding Network’s resources might be useful in your setting. We recorded the webinar and you can access a copy of this and the materials used in the webinar for free here

Register for our free fortnightly safeguarding bulletin


  • 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.

  • KCSiE 2020 audit tool and report to SLT / Governors

    Safeguarding Network have taken the changes that were made in the latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Education and developed an audit tool to allow you to ensure that your practice from the beginning of September 2020 reflects the new requirements.

  • Detailed list of changes in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020

    A comparison between Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 and 2020 with all additions, amendments and deletions listed in full. Member only content.

  • Review of children in need

    Information on the government’s policy to support children in need and build the evidence base on how to improve their educational outcomes.

  • Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education and Safeguarding

    Chris Freestone has a look at the current situation around sex and relationships guidance.

  • Translations of Part 1 Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020

    London Grid for Learning have commissioned translations of KCSIE Part 1 into eleven key community languages: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Gujarati, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Urdu and Somali. Please click to visit their site.

Member only resources

Members have access to a Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 audit tool which can support a report to SLT and Governors. There is also a full list of all the text changes in the new guidance.

To access these please log in, or if your school does not subscribe you can find out more details of membership here.