Last reviewed 24 January 2022

The Department for Education (DfE) has invited comments on proposed amendments to the statutory guidance Keeping children safe in education (2021), with a view to making changes for September 2022.

This statutory guidance, which advocates a child-centred and coordinated approach to safeguarding, sets out what schools and colleges should do and the legal duties with which they must comply to keep children safe. For the purposes of this guidance, children includes everyone under the age of 18.

Full details of the consultation can be found here and the deadline for responding is 8 March.

β€œIt is important to note in proposing the changes, our aim is to help schools and colleges better understand what they are required to do by law and what we strongly advise they should do to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities,” the DfE explained.

It is essential, the consultation document states, 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.

The DfE emphasises the importance of schools and colleges recognising that not everyone who has been subjected to abuse considers themselves a victim or would want to be described in this way.

Ultimately, schools and colleges should be conscious of this when managing any incident and be prepared to use any term with which the individual child is most comfortable.