You can download a copy of the document here.
The EYFS – requirement 3.7 – states:
All schools are required to have regard to the government’s ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ statutory guidance, and other childcare providers may also find it helpful to refer to this guidance.
As we are ‘other childcare providers’ we need to know what has changed - and how it might impact us in the early years.
We do not need to print the statutory guidance but we do need to know where we can find a copy if needed.
There is a focus on children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and children who were looked after and adopted in the revised version. There are also updates to the sections on peer on peer abuse, sexual violence and sexual harassment.
Safeguarding children with SEND - children with SEND may have additional safeguarding challenges. It is important to know children with SEND well so any changes to their behaviour, mood etc are investigated and the child receives the extra support they might need.
Online safety – providers must be aware of the risk of children using mobile phones and other devices which link to the internet and may contain information that is not suitable for their age or stage of development.
The Mobile Phone and Camera Policy (statutory in the EYFS) should be extended to cover the risk of children using other devices on the internet or the provider might want to write an E-Safety Policy.
Emergency contacts – how many do you have for each child? There have been some recent serious case reviews where it has been clear that 1 contact who may not be available in an emergency is not enough. Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 states that schools should have at least 2 emergency contacts for every child in case of emergency or welfare concerns at home.
Use of reasonable force – this links to EYFS requirement 3.52:
‘A person will not be taken to have used corporal punishment (and therefore will not have committed an offence), where physical intervention was taken for the purposes of averting immediate danger of personal injury to any person (including the child) or to manage a child’s behaviour if absolutely necessary. Providers, including childminders, must keep a record of any occasion where physical intervention is used, and parents and/or carers must be informed on the same day, or as soon as reasonably practicable.’
Keeping Children Safe in Education recognises there are some situations where reasonable force might be a possibility and each child should have an individual plan to minimise the likelihood of challenging behaviour and to highlight alternative ways of managing their needs without using physical restraint.
Risk assessments for volunteers: schools will be required to complete a risk assessment for any volunteers before applying for an enhance DBS check. If you have volunteers in your early years setting you might find it useful to follow the same process.
Peer on Peer Abuse – the guidance in this section of Keeping Children Safe in Education has been enhanced to include a focus on sexual violence and sexual harassment. Peer-on-peer abuse includes:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment including sexting
- Initiation ceremonies.
You will find further information on sexual violence and harassment here on the Safeguarding in Schools website.
Staff training - induction training must include:
- Behaviour Policy
- Procedures for managing children who are missing from education
- Staff code of conduct
- Safeguarding and child protection policy.
Keeping Children Safe in Education Part 1 has to be read by all members of the staff; and for everyone working directly with children, they also need to read Annex A. Annex A contains information about:
- Children appearing as witnesses in the court system *new*
- Children missing from education
- Children with family members in prison *new*
- Child sexual exploitation
- Domestic abuse
- Homelessness *new*
- Honour based violence
- Radicalisation and extremism
- Peer on peer abuse
- Sexual violence and harassment.
Next steps – you might need to:
- Update your Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Procedures to refer to the revised document
- Update staff training
- Ask all staff to read Part 1 and Annex A of the guidance and discuss it during training or at their next supervision
- Check children’s emergency contact forms to ensure you have more than 1 phone number
- If you have volunteers, complete a risk assessment for them.
Please note - I have read the revised statutory guidance and picked out what I think are the most important parts for early years providers. I am not an expert and advise all colleagues to attend local authority training where possible and read blogs and information online to ensure they stay fully updated.