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Safeguarding Children in Schools and Colleges: A Call for Evidence


A call for evidence has been launched to obtain and consider the views of schools, colleges, and other professionals on safeguarding practice, development and direction. The call for evidence seeks to reflect areas and issues that have been shared by school and college safeguarding professionals, or where wider systemic changes present an opportunity to better align school and college safeguarding policy. Lauranne Nolan, Associate and Safeguarding Lead in our Keoghs Specialist Abuse team, considers the remit of this exercise.

The Government is seeking views on:

  • The role of designated safeguarding leads;
  • Child safeguarding information;
  • Safer staff recruitment;
  • Filtering and monitoring;
  • Supporting children following reports of sexual violence and harassment;
  • Protecting children in boarding and residential special schools;
  • Quality assuring safeguarding;
  • Children bringing their own devices to schools; and
  • Artificial intelligence.

The survey is split into nine sections, set out below.

  • Section 1: Respondent’s information. This is simply requesting basic information regarding an individual’s role and the setting they work in which may then assist in understanding different responses and perspectives.
  • Section 2: The role of the designated safeguarding lead (DSL). Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) states that all schools and colleges should have a DSL and depending on the size of the setting, a team of deputies. This section is focused on understanding the size and scope of any wider support teams and gaining an understanding of the current landscape.
  • Section 3: Recording, retaining, and sharing child safeguarding information. All child protection incidents and concerns should be recorded with a comprehensive summary of the concern along with details of how the concern was followed up and how it was resolved, with a note of any action taken, decisions reached, and the outcome. DSLs are required to ensure child protection files are transferred to new schools or colleges as soon as possible when a child leaves to allow new schools or colleges to put support in place when the child arrives. The call for evidence is intended to discover how this is put into practice, what additional support can be implemented, and how the sharing of information can factor into early safeguarding interventions.
  • Section 4: Safer recruitment. This section is more specific in relation to the recording of information on the single central record/register (SCR). KCSIE sets out what information must be recorded, which has led to many schools or colleges requesting a standard template for the SCR. In order to consider this, further information is requested about the operational practices that schools and colleges have in place to maintain the SCR.
  • Section 5: Filtering and monitoring systems and safeguarding children online. Schools or colleges must have appropriate filtering and monitoring systems in place and regularly review their effectiveness.
  • Section 6: Child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment. KCSIE provides schools and colleges with robust advice on how they should respond to all signs, reports and concerns of child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment. The purpose of this section is to understand if the number of incidents in schools and colleges is rising and whether further guidance would be helpful, particularly for decisions relating to sharing classrooms and responding where there is a criminal investigation.
  • Section 7: Protecting children in boarding schools and residential special schools. KCSIE is statutory guidance for all schools, including boarding schools and residential special schools. In addition to KCSIE, boarding schools must follow and meet the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools and residential special schools must follow and meet the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools. Views are sought on how the two complement each other and identifying areas of improvement.
  • Section 8: Quality assuring safeguarding arrangements in schools and colleges. Views are sought on current audits of safeguarding practices and processes to inform the best approach on how to increase inspections but in a less intensive manner. In addition, to look at whether this should be done by local authorities or by a separate independent body and for the appropriate resource to be provided.
  • Section 9: Other safeguarding issues. This can cover any topic but makes some specific references to online activity and pupils bringing their own technology into school.


The call for evidence was launched on 28 March 2024 for a 12-week period and, therefore, closes on 20 June 2024. The Government has confirmed they will not be publishing the results and KCSIE 2024 will only involve technical changes before its final publication in September 2024. The Government will consult on any substantive changes to future versions of KCSIE, and school and college safeguarding policy in the normal way. However, feedback from the above will only be incorporated and delivered in the 2025 version of the document.


Lauranne Nolan

Lauranne Nolan


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