Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 Updates


On 17 June 2020, the Department for Education published a draft version of the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2020 statutory guidance, which will come into force on 1 September 2020. Until this date, Schools should continue to have regard for the current guidance. Due to the recent impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the guidance is not as extensive as would usually be expected, having had the consultation withdrawn in March 2020. Following the premature withdrawal of the consultation, it is expected that KCSIE will go out to consultation again sometime next year (2021).

The guidance sets out the legal duties that you must follow to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, under the age of 18 in your School. 

All School employees should read at least Part 1 of the guidance, which is accessible through the ‘Useful Links’ of this document.

The guidance document is applicable to, but not limited to, the following: senior leaders, governing body or Trust board members, proprietors of Independent Schools, business managers/bursars and individuals involved in the management of and recruitment in Schools. 

The key changes include the definition of safeguarding, managing allegations against supply teachers, and the explicit inclusion of mental health. 

You will need to ensure that your relevant policies, including safeguarding and child protection policies, are updated promptly. We will be updating the relevant EPM model policies for our customers and making them available at 

Who does this apply to?

This statutory guidance is applicable to all Schools, Academies and Free Schools (including Maintained Nursery Schools). It should be read and followed by:

  • Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools (including Nursery Schools and Colleges)
  • Proprietors of Independent Schools (including Academies, Free Schools and Alternative Provision Academies)
  • Non-maintained Special Schools
  • Management committees of Pupil Referral Units (PRUs)

All bodies listed must also ensure that all employees read at least Part 1 of the guidance and ensure that mechanisms are in place to assist employees in understanding and discharging their role in accordance with the document.

What has changed?

The key changes that you need to be aware of, in relation to HR and Employment matters, are:

Part 1 – Safeguarding information for all employees

Now includes information on mental and physical health in relation to safeguarding and the welfare of children. There is further guidance signposted to support this. It also provides employees with further information about child criminal exploitation and child sexual exploitation.

Part 1 – paragraph 56

Reference has been added to make it explicitly clear what School and College employees should do if they have safeguarding concerns about another employee who may pose as a risk or harm to children. This also applies to supply staff and volunteers who work at the School or College.

Part 2 – The management of safeguarding

Paragraph 70 now includes an additional link to ‘When to call the police guidance’ from the NPCC and paragraphs 74-81 confirm the new multi-agency working arrangements that are now in place.

Paragraph 86 includes a link to the DfE Data Protection tool kit for Schools.

Paragraphs 93-95 make it mandatory for Schools to provide a broad and balanced curriculum about safeguarding, including online safety. This may include covering relevant issues for Schools through Relationships Education (for all Primary pupils) Relationships and Sex Education (for all Secondary pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded Schools), which will be compulsory from September 2020. Schools have the flexibility to decide how they discharge their duties effectively within the first year of compulsory teaching and are encouraged to take a phased approach (if needed) when introducing these subjects. The attached letter has also been communicated to Schools on the implementation of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex and Health Education and states that those Schools who assess they have been unable to adequately meet the requirements, because of the lost time and competing priorities, should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and to commence teaching the new content no later than the start of the Summer Term 2021.

Part 3 – Safer recruitment

No change

Part 4 – Allegations of abuse made against teachers, including supply teachers, other staff, volunteers and contractors

Now includes guidance on how Schools and Colleges should ensure allegations against supply teachers are handled.

Part 5 – Child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment

No change

 These changes are highlighted in dark blue in the table below.

The majority of the changes are of a largely factual and technical nature, including, amongst other things, new paragraphs on child exploitation, mental health support and a link to the departmental advice on safeguarding in Schools during the Coronavirus.

There is also further advice to support you in understanding, preventing and responding to allegations of abuse.

A breakdown of the substantive changes in each section are displayed below and in Annex H (page 115) of the KCSIE 2020 guidance:




What is the status of this guidance?

A new paragraph was added about Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and supplementary guidance

About this guidance

Link added to –

Who is the guidance for?

Added an explanatory paragraph about the revisions for 2020 and the rationale behind them

Part one

Paragraph 4

Text added to make it clear that both mental and physical health are relevant to safeguarding and the welfare of children

Paragraph 21

Updates and moves contextual safeguarding paragraph (paragraph 32 KCSIE 2019)

Paragraphs 28

New paragraph to provide employees with information about child criminal exploitation and child sexual exploitation 

Paragraphs 34-38

New paragraphs on mental health to help employees make the link between mental health concerns and safeguarding issues and signpost guidance

Paragraph 56

Added reference to make it explicitly clear that this also applies to supply staff

Part two

Paragraphs 70

Added link to recently published “when to call the police guidance” from the NPCC

Multi-agency working (74-78)

Changes to reflect that the new safeguarding partner arrangements should now be in place

Paragraph 84

Updated to provide further clarification about GDPR and withholding information

Paragraph 86

A new data protection tool kit added

Paragraph 92

Updated to make clear that additional information is available in Annex C on how to support keeping children safe online when they are learning from home

Paragraph 94

Updated to reflect mandatory RSHE from September 2020, and added additional links to further advice and guidance

Paragraphs 96-98

Updated to reflect changes to Ofsted guidance

Paragraphs 101-102

Revised to make clear that Schools and Colleges should have processes in place to manage all concerns about employees, and in addition follow the guidance in Part four where a concern includes an allegation that might meet the harm threshold

Children are potentially at greater risk of harm 109-112

Updated to reflect the needs of children with a social worker and supporting DSLs and Schools to be able to best support these children to do well, in line with the evidence from the children in need review

Children requiring mental health support 113-116

New section to raise the profile and encourage Schools and Colleges to make the link between mental health and safeguarding

Part three

Part three

No change

Part four

Paragraph 211

Added a fourth bullet point under the behaviours which cover where an individual has behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children. The reason is a transferrable risk. Where an employee or volunteer is involved in an incident outside of School/College which did not involve children but could have an impact on their suitability to work with children. For example, an employee is involved in domestic violence at home, no children were involved, but Schools/College need to consider what triggered these actions and could a child in the School trigger the same reaction, therefore being put at risk

Supply teachers (214-217)

Added further guidance as to how Schools and Colleges should ensure allegations against supply teachers are handled

Part five

Part five

No change

Annex A

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Updated and additional information provided

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Updated and additional information provided

County Lines

Updated and additional information provided

Domestic abuse

Made clear domestic abuse can impact children when they witness it at home and/or suffer it in an intimate personal relationship and signposted additional information and support

Honour-based abuse

Wording changed from ‘violence’ to ‘abuse’ to recognise non-violent forms of abuse

Preventing radicalisation

Additional information was provided on what terrorism looks like and more information on Channel


Updated and additional information provided

Annex B

Annex B

Added helpful advice for designated safeguarding leads on the needs of children with a social worker and suggestions for actions that could be taken to promote these children’s educational outcomes

Annex C

Information and support

Reformatted to improve accessibility and added additional links

Education at home

New paragraph added

Annex D-G

No change

What does this mean?