Keeping Children Safe in Education – Major changes are on the way!

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE); is the statutory guidance created by the Department for Education (DfE), and from September 1st 2022, this guidance will receive a new update.

At the time that this blog post is published, children are currently enjoying their 6 weeks holidays, and up until the 6 weeks holidays, schools and colleges continued to use the current 2021 legislation; but from September they must follow the new guidance that has been set.

Each year, the Department of Education consults with the education sector to determine if any updates are needed to the KCSIE legislation, with aim to improve safeguarding in schools and colleges. The new guidance that has been set out applies to all schools and colleges in England, and it must be followed by all school and college staff, including governing bodies, proprietors and management committees.

These legislative changes do not currently impact Schools and Colleges in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

What is the new guidance?

The key changes to legislation that will be in place from September 2022 are:

1. Time constraints added to the transferring of old pupil data
2. The need for pupils to have an appropriate adult during police investigations
3. Online checks for new staff members
4. All school governors will need to receive safeguarding training
5. Highlighting more details on the effects of domestic abuse to children affected
6. The wording peer-on-peer in documentation will be changed to child-on-child
7. The focus on early intervention with low level staff concerns
8. Changes to preventative education that is taught
9. New human right and equality act reminders
10. Also, there are new resources added to the legislation

If you would like to learn more and read the updates to this legislation, the NSPCC have created a useful condensed guide.

So why are we discussing this today?

Something that has always been a part of the KCSIE legislation is the need to background screen and regularly check those who work around children for safeguarding purposes.

With all the updates that have been put forward, the one that has caught the attention of us, and other background screening providers is the suggested online and social media checks of potential job applicants.

This suggestion within the updated legislation states that:

“As part of the shortlisting process, schools and colleges should consider carrying out an online search (including social media) as part of their due diligence on the shortlisted candidates. This 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.”

The issue with this addition to the legislation is that it’s open to interpretation. In short, schools and colleges have been asked to ‘consider carrying out an online search (including social media)’, but it doesn’t specify how they should be conducted, at what time during the recruitment stage and how far back should the checks go?

Social media checks are not a new concept as it has been estimated that 80% of employers are likely to perform social media checks as part of their pre-employment screening. However, when these checks are performed, the information found must not be used unlawfully to discriminate against a potential candidate.

How can we help?

As part of our services, we offer employment screening, enhanced DBS checks and also a DBS update service to ensure anyone who is hired to work in education and in regular contact with children is vetted to the highest standard.

Social media is now a staple is most people’s lives, which means the issues of discovering a potential employee’s suitability for a role via social media is something that continues to grow. However, social media screening can provide an accurate and in-depth character analysis for organisations seeking to make the best hire.

Here at CBS, we carry out this service as it has now become an important part of the screening process and helps to determine a candidate’s suitability.

If you would like to know more about our employment screening services, one of our experts would be happy to speak with you. Give us a call today on 01443 799900 or email us on info@cbscreening.co.uk 

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