Keeping children safe in education: consultation

Source: Department for Education
Date: 10 December 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) is consulting on proposed changes to Keeping children safe in education 2020, the statutory guidance that sets out what schools and colleges in England should do and the legal duties with which they must comply to keep children safe. The DfE is also consulting on proposed updates to advice on Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges. The advice sets out what sexual violence and sexual harassment is, how to minimise the risk of it occurring and what to do when it does occur or is alleged to have occurred. The deadline for responses is 4 March 2021.

Read the news story: Keeping children safe in education – schools and colleges – proposed revisions 2021
Read the consultation document: Keeping children safe in education 2021: Government consultation (PDF)
Read the proposed guidance:Keeping children safe in education 2021: proposed statutory guidance for schools and colleges (PDF)
Read the proposed advice:Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges: proposed advice (PDF)

Coronavirus: guidance for the safe running of organised activities

Source: Scottish Government
Date: 07 December 2020

The Scottish Government has published guidance for the safe running of organised activities for children and young people. The guidance is for organised unregulated activities and services provided indoors and outdoors for children and young people that are voluntary, third sector, parent or peer led or for unregulated providers delivering a service or activity directly to children under 18. 

Read the guidance:Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children

Coronavirus: children’s social care

Source: Department for Education
Date: 09 December 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) has updated its report covering data from waves 1 to 14 of the local authority survey in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on children’s social care. Figures show that the total number of referrals during Wave 14 (2 – 8 November) was 12% lower than the usual number at that time of year.

Read the news story:Vulnerable children and young people survey
Read the report:Vulnerable children and young people survey: summary of returns waves 1 to 14 (PDF)

Voluntary code of safeguarding practice for out-of-school settings (OOSS)

The Department for Education (DfE) has now published the first ever voluntary code of safeguarding practice for out-of-school settings (OOSS), Keeping children safe during community activities, after-school clubs and tuition: Non-statutory guidance for providers running out-of-school settings October 2020  including sports, creative arts, supplementary school, out of school clubs, tuition and community activities.

Church of England ‘failed to protect children from sexual abusers’

The Church of England failed to protect children from sexual abuse, and created a culture where abusers “could hide”, a report has concluded.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA)’s report says the Church’s failure to respond consistently to victims and survivors of abuse often added to their trauma.

It added that alleged perpetrators were often given more support than victims.

The Church of England is expected to publish a response later.

The report, which is the latest in a series of publications from the IICSA, says 390 clergy members and other church leaders were convicted of abuse between the 1940s and 2018.

In 2018 there were 2,504 safeguarding concerns reported to dioceses about either children or vulnerable adults, and 449 allegations of recent child sexual abuse.

Source: BBC News

Definite jump’ as hotline sees 50% increase in public reports of online child sexual abuse during lockdown

There has been a 50% increase in reports of child sexual abuse material from members of the public to the Internet Watch Foundation during lockdown.

New data shows the IWF, which is the UK charity responsible for finding and removing images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet, received 44,809 reports from members of the public between March 23 and July 9 this year.

In the same period in 2019, the IWF received, 29,698 reports – meaning there has been an increase of about 50% while the UK was under lockdown.  

Of the public reports, 5,367 reported URLs were found to contain images or videos of children suffering sexual abuse and were actioned by the IWF. During the same period in 2019, the IWF actioned 3,252 reports. This is an increase of 65%. 

The increase over this period was noticed predominantly in March with 11,689 public reports. This was coupled with the start of the UK lockdown on March 23. A heightened level of public reporting has been noted in each subsequent month. In May, the IWF received 41% more public reports, and in June they received 80% more public reports than in June 2019. 

In March, members of the public were advised by the UK government to stay at home to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Full Report:‘definite-jump’-as-hotline-sees-50-increase-public-reports-of-online-child-sexual-abuse-during

Policing and Young People (Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC))

The IOPC in collaboration with its Youth Panel has published a new guide for police officers which highlights tips for when they come into contact with children and young adults. 

The poster can be downloaded in English here:

Poster in Welsh here:

Learning Lessons Magazine – Young People (IOPC)

The Independent Office for Police Conduct publishes an occasional magazine called ‘Learning the Lessons’ to help improve police policy and practice. 

Issue 37 focussed on young people and includes an interesting case where a safer schools police officer was called in to help calm a 13-year old girl who had had a disagreement with another pupil. 

“The police officer told the girl he was going to put handcuffs on her until she calmed down. The assistant headteacher recalled the police officer saying “I’m not arresting you…” However, the officer had in fact arrested her and then later dearrested her without informing her of the arrest.

When to call the police (National Police Chiefs’ Council)

The NPCC has produced guidance for school and college staff in England where students have potentially committed a crime. It sets out guidance on what schools and colleges should bear in mind when considering contacting the police. This advice covers the following situations:

  • Assault
  • Criminal damage
  • Cyber crime
  • Drugs
  • Harassment
  • Sexual offences
  • Theft
  • Weapons

Download the document here:

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 Published

The Government has now published the new version of Keeping Children Safe in Education. Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.

This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education (the department) issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015. Schools and colleges in England must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. For the purposes of this guidance children includes everyone under the age of 18.


The department issued non-statutory interim guidance on safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers during the coronavirus outbreak. This guidance has now been withdrawn as the government expects all settings across the nation to reopen for the new academic year in September, with full availability to all learners. Requirements for local interventions in educational settings will continue to be reviewed.–2

Coronavirus: children returning to school in Wales

Source: Welsh Government
Date: 13, 14 July 2020

The Welsh Government has published operational guidance and learning guidance to support all pupils to return to school in September.

Read the written statement:Publication of guidance to support educational settings increase their operations from September 2020
Read the guidance: Operational guidance on learning in schools and settings from the autumn term: Keep Education Safe (COVID-19)
Back to school plans from September: coronavirus

See also on NSPCC Learning 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing: safeguarding guidance and information for schools

Coronavirus: children returning to school in Scotland

Source: Scottish Government
Date: 16 July 2020

The Scottish Government has published advice on physical distancing in schools. The advice indicates that no physical distancing is required between children and young people in primary and secondary schools.

Read the news story: Planning for re-opening schools safely
Read the advice: Coronavirus (COVID 19): advisory sub-group on education and children’s issues: advisory note on physical distancing in schools

See also on NSPCC Learning 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing: safeguarding guidance and information for schools