Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020

KCSIE 2020 has arrived! The new version of the DfE’s statutory safeguarding guidance will become statutory in September, so here’s a quick post to help DSLs with their preparations.

There’s no alternative to reading it cover to cover, but we have made you a tracked changes document comparing 2019 and 2020, with substantive changes highlighted in yellow. That means you can quickly scroll through page by page to see at a glance the changes which are most likely to affect you.

Download our new document here to see these changes at a glance.

Remember that KCSIE itself always has the final appendix at the back to show where changes have been made, so check that when you read the original on (you will need scroll down the page as the new version doesn’t come into force until September).

The DfE has stressed that changes have only been made where legislation requires it, or to provide needed clarifications or extra information.

You must look at all the changes, but a few that stood out to us were:

  • Covid and mental health form the bulk of the new information/ clarification sections.
  • Lots of new mentions of supply teachers throughout the document. Make sure your obligations are met when it comes to supply staff (e.g. allegations / SCR).
  • Addition of a ‘terrorism’ definition in a slightly expanded Prevent section.
    • Don’t forget to help you with this area, we recently released a Counter-Extremism staff CPD resource focusing on the far right, and we also have face-to-face (currently online) Prevent training LGfL schools can attend. Event more self-service materials are at
  • Do your DSLs understand how social care functions? There is now specific mention of this in the training section.
  • The online safety paragraph 92 has an addition about keeping children safe online “including when they are online at home”.
    • Lots of that will be about education and support for parents and families (see for some resources there).
    • In this context you may also want to think about technologoy, especially for vulnerable students, e.g. monitoring on devices (coming soon from LGfL; available now from many other providers), and now why not check out at LGfL’s new Bridge the Divide project for low-cost devices in the home and HomeProtect for 4G devices and filtering for vulnerable pupils at home.

If you want to watch a video summary of the changes, Andrew Hall has made this 20 minute video overview of the new guidance. And if you would like to focus on the online safety aspects, Rebecca Avery from the Education People (formerly Kent CC) has made a document doing just that which you can get to via her blog here.

Letter to parents about being a good friend and staying safe online

In response to requests from schools, here is a letter template you can use or adapt to send to parents, outlining a few principles that teachers and parents can remind children about while they are spending more time online, including friendship and bullying, sharing scary things and getting undressed.

Download the letter in word format from this link; alternatively, the text of the letter is pasted below.

Dear parents,

Staying safe and being a good friend on apps, sites and games

Children and young people have spent much more time on devices than ever before during lockdown, so as we approach the summer holidays, here is some information about staying safe online and principles you can help us remind your children about.

There is a handy fridge flyer to help parents at which you may want to print out and keep.

Please do not worry too much about screen time – think instead about screen quality, balance and mental health. The Children’s Commissioner has provided a framework called the ‘Digital Five a Day’ with five things to think about each day to help put that into practice. [ the downloadable word file includes an image of this ]

It is really important children get the opportunity to chat to friends, so it’s great to hear that many of them have been chatting online during lockdown. We are sure that this will continue over the summer, so please help us reinforce some key messages about appropriate behaviour to keep everyone safe and happy.

[ edit as appropriate whether your school / local area or not ]­­

There have been reports of children being upset by bullying on chat apps, as well as  some very distressing images being shared between friendship groups. This can usually be avoided if we remind children and young people to look out for their friends, not say anything that they wouldn’t like to hear themselves, and always stop or stand up for others if someone gets upset.

Please remind your children never to share scary or rude images, even to complain about them. If they do see something that worries them or that might be wrong, all they need to do is ask for help from a trusted adult. They could talk to you or to us, or they may feel more comfortable talking anonymously to Childline. If you or they are concerned about an adult’s behaviour towards a child online, report them to CEOP. And as a parent, you can also contact the NSPCC – O2 advice line on 0808 800 5002.

One more thing – this may sound like more relevant to older children, but the very youngest children need reminding not to get undressed or changed online. There’s a fun song to get this message across at (plus background information for you).

Thank you for your support – do let us know if you have any questions.