Exploring Updates to KCSIE 2023: Insights from Luke Ramsden

In a recent episode of The Safeguarding Podcast, we sat down with Luke Ramsden, deputy head of Saint Benedict School and chair of the Safeguarding Advisory Panel. Together, we discussed the minor updates in the "Keeping Children Safe in Education" guidelines for the academic year 2023-2024. These updates offer valuable insights for designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) and provide an opportunity to enhance child safety practices. Let's dive into the key points raised by Luke Ramsden during the interview.

1. Absent from Education

Luke Ramsden highlights an important change in wording regarding students with low attendance. The guidelines now refer to these students as "absent from education" rather than "missing for education." This modification creates a distinct category for students who are completely disconnected from the educational system.

Luke advises DSLs to update their policies accordingly by replacing "missing" with "absent" and including a reference to the government legislation on working together to improve school attendance.


2. Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Children and Young People

In paragraph 89, Luke draws attention to the addition of a crucial sentence emphasizing the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled children and young people. DSLs should ensure that their policies incorporate this requirement and engage in discussions with SENCOs and senior teams to fully understand the implications and determine suitable adjustments aligned with safeguarding principles.


3. Consensual Image Sharing

Paragraph 157 addresses the issue of consensual image sharing, particularly among older children. While such sharing may not be abusive, it is important to educate children about its illegality. Luke emphasises the significance of clear policies that explicitly state the legal implications of this behaviour.

It is essential to differentiate consensual sharing from non-consensual sharing and engage in discussions with pastoral teams to raise awareness and establish appropriate guidelines.


4. Other People on Site

When external organisations use school premises, DSLs should reference paragraph 167, which highlights the importance of keeping children safe in out-of-school settings. Additionally, paragraph 377 raises questions regarding safeguarding allegations involving external organisations.

Luke suggests the need for clarification in cases where the organisation has its own procedures but is still required to follow the school's policies. Further updates may be expected to provide more clarity on this matter.


5. Online Searches for Shortlisted Candidates

Paragraph 221 brings attention to the need for schools and colleges to inform shortlisted candidates about the possibility of online searches as part of due diligence checks. Luke emphasises the importance of conducting these searches to ensure candidates' suitability for positions.

An incident is discussed where an online search revealed an applicant's involvement in producing graphic novels with explicit content, highlighting the significance of such checks to safeguard the school community.


KEY CHANGE IN GUIDANCE - Filtering and Monitoring

Recognising the growing reliance on technology for education, Luke focuses on the vital role of filtering and monitoring systems. While most schools already have these systems in place, it is important to understand the guidelines provided. DSLs should ensure that all staff receive training on filtering and monitoring, even if their role does not involve directly handling concerns.

This knowledge empowers teachers to guide students appropriately and understand the process for reporting issues. It is highlighted that these systems can alert DSLs to potential risks, such as self-harm searches, highlighting the critical importance of their implementation.


Listen to the full podcast episode: S2 Episode 6: KCSIE Updates 2023 - 2024

Further reading: Luke's 5 tips for online filtering and monitoring article in Tes Magazine

Posted Date

27th June 2023

Stuart Williams
Digital Marketing Manager

Related resources