This blog aims to get you up to speed with the latest changes to the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) guidelines for 2022. We share some of the key changes to KCSIE 2022, how they're measured and what you can do to keep your finger on the pulse of safeguarding in your schools. 

What is KCSIE 2022?

Keeping Children Safe in Education, also known as KCSIE (2022), is for trust leaders, headteachers, teachers, staff, governing bodies, proprietors and management committees. It affects all aspects of the school community. It sets out the legal duties schools and educational professionals must follow to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18 in an education setting.

This KCSIE 2022 document is the most recent up-to-date safeguarding and child protection guidance. The guidance came into action on 1st September 2022 and replaced the 2021 equivalent, highlighting some necessary changes for the education sector. They have compiled multiple influential documents in one central document that focuses specifically on the implementations within education.

🟢 Gain a deeper understanding of your pupils' safeguarding experience 🟢

KCSIE 2022 Changes: Why have they been implemented?

This infographic summarises four main suggestions put forward by the NSPCC about things that safeguarding leads should be aware of due to KCSIE 2022 changes. The suggestions include: 
(1) the safeguarding implications for schools of human rights and equality legislation;
(2) more reinforcement of the importance of talking to parents about children’s access to online sites when away from school;
(3) more information on managing low-level concerns;
(4) DfE’s advice on sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges.

After consulting the sector, the Department for Education updated KCSIE with the overall goal of improving the approach to safeguarding in schools. 

The most recent update included relevant parts of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010, and the Public Sector Equality Duty, explicitly linking them to safeguarding.

Within this blog, we will be looking at some of these changes and adaptations, how some organisations review safeguarding and how school leadership, in particular safeguarding leads, can learn more about the culture and safeguarding landscape from a pupil's perspective. Topics include: 

Summary of Some Key KCSIE 2022 Changes

Communal Clarity

This infographic includes a quote by the Bristol's Safeguarding in Education Team when addressing KCSIE 2022 changes. The quote reads: "The school’s or college’s safeguarding policies and procedures should be transparent, easy to understand, and clear for staff, pupils, students, parents, and carers."

One of the new additions to the KCSIE 2022 guidance, Highlighted by Bristol’s Safeguarding in Education Team, is the expectation placed on schools to ensure everyone within their trust/school community can understand their policies and access the documents. This was implied in KCSIE 2021 but is now an explicit expectation.

This change to KCSIE 2022 invites a review of your organisation's communal understanding of the trust's/schools' safeguarding policies. Schools must ensure that all members of their communities (staff, pupils, parents, governors/trust members) are aware of and have access to the schools' policies relating to pupil safety and wellbeing.

Specifically, as specialist safeguarding consultant Andrew Hall points out, governors now need mandatory safeguarding training at a strategic level to "assure themselves that policy and procedures are effective and support the delivery of a robust whole school approach". This approach encourages annual and termly reviews of staff knowledge and policies and procedures in schools and is best done by looking at it from every perspective, including the students’.

🟢 Gain a deeper understanding of your pupils' safeguarding experience 🟢

Curriculum Changes

Bristol Safeguarding in Education gives clear examples of the changes to the curriculum, highlighting that the 2022 guidance suggests relevant topics should be included within relationships education (for all primary pupils), relationships and sex education (for all secondary pupils) And health education (for all primary and secondary pupils).

The Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance 2022 also included the previous Harmful online challenges and online hoaxes guidance which was a separate document alongside KCSIE 2021. Adding this guidance into the main document shows the DfE's movement to a clearer RSE and PHSE curriculum to educate pupils as a preventative measure. This guidance also means that advice should be shared with parents and caregivers about where they can get further support and help should there be a problem.

Zero Tolerance Cultures

In addition, the guidance outlines preventative education measures such as zero-tolerance cultures for sexism, misogyny/misandry, homophobia, biphobia and sexual violence/harassment, underpinned by the settings' behaviour policy and pastoral support system. This is a development on KCSIE 2021 as it previously only mentioned “a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence and sexual harassment,” whereas the new guidance is much more extensive for a school environment. 

Among this year's developments to the KCSIE document, more information was provided on managing low-level concerns and safeguarding pupils within and outside of the school environment and at home. Zero tolerance policies within the school environment support the development of broader cultural and social understanding and will, in turn, impact out-of-school and home environments too. Zero tolerance cultures can also help staff and safeguarding leads by encouraging individuals to speak out when affected and supporting evidence collection. 

How the New Statutory Safeguarding Guidelines are Measured

As well as the teaching standards holding teachers to account for their responsibilities, Ofsted’s inspection framework outlines the ideals they will be looking for. SecEd summarises how Ofsted inspects safeguarding, especially the KCSIE 2022 changes and highlights what leadership teams and schools/trusts can do to improve their provision and ready themselves for inspections from 1st September 2022.

The Key have a wealth of information on their site for trust/school leaders and Safeguarding leads to support them in being ready for Ofsted inspections and policy changes. One suggested way that has been put forward to trust/school leaders to review safeguarding provisions is audits/surveys. Using surveys or audits to collect information from pupils and parents about their views on provisions can allow leaders to analyse their safeguarding policies and support pupils to self-assess whether they feel happy in the school/college. They can also highlight if pupils feel listened to and if and where they feel safe. Surveys and audits can also assess staff, parent and student understanding of fundamental school policies relating to safeguarding.

Derbyshire County Council developed a safeguarding (Ofsted Audit) for schools which combines Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance with Ofsted's inspection framework. This document has methods of reviewing provisions, staff personal development advice, and statutory requirements information. The audit also suggests collecting evidence of parent and student feedback on processes and procedures using surveys and audits for Ofsted Evidence.

🟢 Gain a deeper understanding of your pupils' safeguarding experience 🟢

Safeguarding Insights from our Pupil Learning Experience Survey

In October, we are launching the Pupil Safeguarding Review in partnership with The Key, which builds on our existing data gathered in our Pupil Learning Experience Survey. Over 45,000 pupils have completed the Pupil survey from 165 primary, secondary, and all-through schools, and it touches on safeguarding elements such as pupil safety, bullying and wellbeing. Our new Pupil Safeguarding Review aims to look at safeguarding in much more detail.

Based on our existing data, collected via our Pupil Learning Experience and Wellbeing Survey, we see that students feel slightly less safe outside of class than when in class. When broken down into specific school data following a survey, the information presented can be used to see if staff presence in corridors or on lunch duties needs increasing and can prompt conversations on safety in school.

This infographic includes a graph showcasing the trend of students feeling slightly less safe outside of class than when in class. During class, 69% of pupils feel safe. On their way to and from school - 68%. In school outside of class - 63%.

Our Pupil Learning Experience Survey also briefly touches on pupil perceptions of bullying. Data like this can act as a great indicator of whether students perceive interactions as bullying and whether there could be bullying problems within a student body.

This infographic includes a graph with responses to the following question: "In the past three months, have you been bullied in any way (physically, emotionally, online)?". 21% of pupils said "YES", whereas 79% - "NO".

The data shows that 21% of students surveyed felt they were bullied (physically, emotionally or online) in the past three months.

This infographic includes a graph with responses to the following question: "Do you know someone else in the school who has been bullied in the past three months?". 32% of pupils said "YES", whereas 68% - "NO".

This statistic shows the absolute need for preventative measures such as zero-tolerance cultures in schools, re-emphasised in KCSIE 2022, and further backed by the 32% of students who know someone else in their school who has been bullied in the past three months.

A Deep Dive into the State of Safeguarding in Schools

Main areas of the Edurio Safeguarding Review survey

Edurio's new safeguarding survey will explore the safeguarding topics touched on by the pupil learning experience and Wellbeing survey in more detail. It covers the following topics: 

  • Curriculum,
  • Treatment of others, 
  • Feelings of Safety, 
  • Access to help.

The survey also asks for pupils’ gender identity, year group, ethnicity and religious status, which helps school leadership teams analyse data and look for trends within specific groups.

Over the following blogs in this series, we will look more at the Pupil Safeguarding survey and how schools can analyse and use the data collected. 

Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Pupils' Safeguarding Experience

If you would like to better understand the impact of your school and trust’s safeguarding efforts, participating in Edurio's Safeguarding Survey can provide the feedback you need. Fill out the form below to learn more about how Edurio could work with your organisation's safeguarding journey.