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Summary

Caption: Contents list
   

Contents

What is the status of this guidance?
About this guidance
Who this guidance is for?


What is the status of this guidance?

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, the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015, and the Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021.

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.


About this guidance

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:

The guidance should be read alongside:

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 [1] and pupil referral units;
  • ‘College’ means further education colleges and sixth-form colleges as established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, institutions designated as being within the further education sector [2] and providers of post 16 Education as set out in the Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021 [3]: 16-19 Academies, Special Post-16 institutions and Independent Training Providers. For colleges, the guidance relates to their responsibilities towards children who are receiving education or training at these institutions.

[1] 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 19 for further detail on this requirement).
[2] Under section 28 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (‘designated institutions’).
[3] Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021


Who this guidance is for

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;
  • Management committees of pupil referral units (PRUs); and
  • Senior leadership teams.

Throughout the guidance, reference to “governing bodies and proprietors” includes management committees unless otherwise stated.

School and college staff

It is essential that everybody working in a school or college understands their safeguarding responsibilities. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that those staff who work directly with children read at least Part one of this guidance. Governing bodies and proprietors, working with their senior leadership teams and especially their designated safeguarding lead, should ensure that those staff who do not work directly with children read either Part one or Annex A (a condensed version of Part one) of this guidance. This is entirely a matter for the school or college and will be based on their assessment of which guidance will be most effective for their staff to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part one (or Annex A if appropriate) of this guidance.


What does this guidance replace?

This guidance replaces Keeping children safe in education 2020 updated January 2021. A table of substantive changes is included at Annex G.