So, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 has been released. The number of changes has been dramatically reduced due to Covid. I anticipate KCSIE 2021 will have a considerable number of changes and the draft consultation document will give us a good guess of what that may be.
One of the biggest changes (which is not a surprise) is teaching Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) to all primary and secondary aged children in now compulsory. This is music to my ears. I cannot emphasise the importance of open and honest discussions with children about all aspects of relationships, respect and consent. Our children rely on us giving them the right guidance and information so they can make healthy choices and acknowledge when something is wrong or uncomfortable and who they can seek support from. Teaching RSE is not without its challenges. It must be taught by someone who is confident and knowledgeable. Having a good knowledge of child development, what children of different age groups need to know about and what questions you can expect will make the lessons feel natural.
Children’s mental health has been added to the guidance. Schools should be identifying children in need of mental health support and providing this support. Teachers should also be promoting positive health, wellbeing and resilience. This is very much linked to good quality HSE teaching and should not be considered in isolation.
The term ‘contextual safeguarding’ has been changed to ‘extra-familial’. Essentially this is a change in term, not in meaning. Perhaps the term contextual was unhelpful or confusing. What matters is that extra-familial abuse or contextual safeguarding must carefully considered and included in safeguarding policies and staff should have a good understanding of the specific safeguarding risks to their pupils from their family, the school, their peers and the neighbourhood.
There are a few other changes which you can view at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education–2
So how can Keys to Safeguarding help you?
I have created bespoke online CPD accredited training packages to help your staff fully understand the subtle nuances of safeguarding.
Train the trainer – HSR for primary school aged children
Train the trainer – HSE for secondary school aged children
CSE, gangs and county lines
Understanding and responding to emotional distress and self-harm in children
Safeguarding children with SEND
A full list of my courses can be viewed at www.keystosafeguarding.co.uk