19 June 2020
By Rebecca Avery

Online Safety and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020: Summary Document for Designated Safeguarding Leads and Senior Leaders

On Wednesday 17 June 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) published updated ‘Keeping children safe in education’ (KCSIE) guidance ready for implementation from Tuesday 1 September 2020. KCSIE is statutory guidance from the DfE, which all schools and colleges must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The Education Safeguarding Service have created a document which focuses on online safety within KCSIE 2020 for Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) and Senior Leadership Teams in education settings.

The expanding role of technology to facilitate learning in a way many educational settings have not previously explored as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic means online safety is a key consideration for all educational settings. As the online safety agenda will continue to evolve and increase; it is essential that DSLs, governing bodies and proprietors are able to evidence that they recognise the importance of online safety within their statutory safeguarding responsibilities for all members of their community.

Summary of key online safety requirements and changes within KCSIE 2020

  • DSLs continue to have overall responsibility for online safety (Annex B) and this cannot be delegated. They can be supported by appropriately trained deputies and liaise with other staff on matters of online safety.
  • DSLs should continue to be able to evidence that they have accessed appropriate training and/or support to ensure they understand the unique risks associated with online safety, can recognise the additional risks learners with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, and have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe online.
  • All staff should continue to be provided with online safety training at induction and as part of regular child protection training and updates.
  • Part five continues to recognise that child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur on and offline.
  • Additions have been made to content relating to Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation to recognise the role technology can play.
  • An additional section has been added to part one to help staff make the link between mental health concerns and safeguarding issues. Whilst online safety is not specifically addressed, the section signposts to guidance and resources where online safety is explored.
  • Links to additional and updated resources have been included to support schools and colleges in teaching online safety to all learners as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • Additional information within Annex C is available on how to support the safety of children online, while they are learning at home in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Content relating to ‘Upskirting’ has been updated to reflect that anyone of any gender, can be a victim.
  • Additional links to new guidance and resources related to online safety have been added throughout the document and in particular in Annex C.

Kent education settings can contact the Education Safeguarding Service to discuss available support and training to enable them to fulfil their statutory safeguarding requirements in regards to online safety.

Additional information regarding online safety can be found on the Education Safeguarding Service area of our website.