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.
|What is the status of this guidance?|
|About this guidance|
|Who this guidance is for|
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 This guidance has now been withdrawn as the government expects all settings across the nation to reopen for the new academic year in September, with full availability to all learners.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.
We use the terms “must” and “should” throughout the guidance. We use the term “must” when the person in question is legally required to do something and “should” when the advice set out should be followed unless there is good reason not to.
The guidance should be read alongside:
- Statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children;
- Departmental advice What to do if you are Worried a Child is Being Abused - Advice for Practitioner; and
- Departmental advice Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Between Children in Schools and Colleges.
Unless otherwise specified:
- ‘School’ means: all schools whether maintained, non-maintained or independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision academies), maintained nursery schools  and pupil referral units;
- ‘College’ means further education colleges and sixth-form colleges as established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and institutions designated as being within the further education sector.  It relates to their responsibilities towards children who are receiving education or training at the college. It excludes 16-19 academies and free schools (which are required to comply with relevant safeguarding legislation by virtue of their funding agreement).
 The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) is mandatory for all early years’ providers. It applies to all schools, including maintained nursery schools that have early years provision. Maintained nursery schools, like the other schools listed under ‘About this guidance’, must have regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education when carrying out duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (by virtue of section 175(2) of the Education Act 2002 – see footnote 18 for further detail on this requirement).
 Under section 28 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (‘designated institutions’).
This statutory guidance should be read and followed by:
- Governing bodies of maintained schools (including maintained nursery schools) and colleges;
- Proprietors of independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision academies) and non-maintained special schools. In the case of academies, free schools and alternative provision academies, the proprietor will be the academy trust; and
- Management committees of pupil referral units (PRUs).
The above persons should ensure that all staff in their school or college read at least Part one of this guidance. The above persons 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.
This guidance replaces Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2019.
A table of changes is included at Annex H. 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.