Safeguarding: KCSIE 2021 - What can we expect?

Safeguarding: KCSIE 2021 - What can we expect?

Posted  30th June 2021

Safeguarding: KCSIE 2021 - What can we expect?

This is a summary taken from Judicium’s Safeguarding ‘Sofa Session’ from the 30th of June, with our Safeguarding expert Hannah Glossop. The session was centred on the expected updates to KCSIE 2021, suggested changes for child protection policies and suggestions for September safeguarding training for staff.

Tip 1: Review the consultation document for KCSIE 2021.

 Key takeaways:

  • Following the review of Children in Need (2019), this group have poorer outcomes at every stage of education than their peers, widening the attainment gap as they go through school.
  • Staff should strive to “Promote educational outcomes by knowing the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues that children in need are experiencing.”
  • Ensure that the school knows who the cohort of children who currently need a social worker are, understanding their academic progress and attainment, and maintaining a culture of high aspirations for this cohort.
  • Support teaching staff to feel confident to provide additional academic support or reasonable adjustments to help children who need, or have needed a social worker, reach their potential.
  • Safer recruitment: there is an over focus on DBS checks and not enough emphasis placed on creating an ongoing culture of vigilance.
  • Allegations of abuse made against staff: emphasises the need for schools to understand their local authority arrangements and how to manage allegations that do not meet the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) threshold.

Tip 2: Familiarise yourself with Ofsted’s review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges.

Key takeaways:

  • “92% of girls, and 74% of boys, said sexist name-calling happens a lot or sometimes to them or their peers”.
  • Young people also told inspectors that they did not want to talk about sexual abuse for many reasons, for example the risk of being ostracized by their peers.
  • Some students told inspectors that, “incidents are so commonplace that they see no point in reporting them.”
  • “In the schools and colleges we visited, some teachers and leaders underestimated the scale of the problem.” In 93 inspections between September 2019 and March 2020:
    • 6% gave evidence of sexual violence and harassment.
    • 46% of schools gave a “nil return.”
    • 48% of schools did not provide information.
    • In most of the inspections where no information was provided, inspectors did not record how they followed up with leaders to determine whether a nil return was an accurate picture.

Recommendations for schools from the review:

  • A carefully sequenced RSHE curriculum.
  • High-quality training for teachers delivering RSHE.
  • Routine record-keeping and analysis of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including online, to identify patterns and intervene early to prevent abuse.
  • Behavioural approach, including sanctions when appropriate, to reinforce a culture where sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are not tolerated.
  • Working closely with Learning Support Practitioners.
  • Support for Designated Safeguarding Leads such as protected time in timetables to engage with Learning Support Practitioners.
  • Training to ensure that all staff (and governors, where relevant) identify early signs of peer-on-peer sexual abuse and consistently uphold standards in their responses to sexual harassment and online sexual abuse.

Tip 3: What to expect from Inspectors when regularly scheduled inspections begin again in September.

  • Inspectors will expect schools and college leaders to assume that sexual harassment, online sexual abuse, and sexual violence are happening in and around their school, even when there are no specific reports, and to have put in place a whole-school approach to address them.
  • Inspectors will also consider how schools and colleges handle allegations and incidents of sexual abuse between children and young people when they do occur.
  • Inspectors will look at the preventative measures schools and colleges have put in place to guard against sexual harassment and abuse, including behaviour policies, pastoral support and the relationships, sex, and health education (RSHE) curriculum.
  • Ofsted will also expect schools and colleges to be alert to factors that increase children’s potential vulnerability to sexual abuse, including mental health, domestic abuse, and LGBT children.
  • Ofsted will expect schools to understand and address the barriers that could prevent a child or young person from reporting an incident.
  • Inspectors will not investigate individual allegations of harmful sexual behaviour but will ensure that they are reported to the appropriate authority if this has not already happened.
  • Where schools and colleges do have not adequate processes in place, it is likely that safeguarding will be considered ineffective.

Tip 4: Start thinking about what changes are needed for September.

Sexual violence and harassment:

  • Are your policies and procedures up to date?
  • Have your staff had in depth training on this?
  • Does your curriculum need updating, particularly around RSE and ensuring all pupils are supported to report concerns about sexual behaviour freely, and feel confident this is the case?
  • Do your staff need any training in how to deliver RSHE?
  • Do you keep comprehensive records of sexual harassment and violence? If you use an electronic reporting system, are these categories set up? If you were to report a nil return, would you be confident in justifying this?
  • Consider using this time to collect pupil voice - what do your pupils think about your school’s response to sexual abuse and violence?

General guidance:

  • Online safety: consider if your safeguarding team have awareness of this.
  • Which staff may need a condensed part one of KCSIE in September?
  • Review what support those with a social worker receive. What additional academic support is available? Is the progress of this group tracked currently?
  • Be prepared to update policies and procedures on Safer Recruitment and Managing Allegations Made Against Staff.
  • Be prepared to add child abduction and community safety incidents into your safeguarding policy and September training.
  • Consider more in-depth safeguarding training for your safeguarding governor.
  • DSL role and wider safeguarding team: what capacity is there? Do further staff need to join this team? Is any further support needed?


Useful Links

Further resources can be found via Judicium’s library of Safeguarding eLearning  which will be available from September 2021.  Judicium also offers a full Safeguarding Service.



  • Is there any guidance on what is deemed to be regular contact?
    Not yet-we hope this will be explained in the released KCSIE 2021, if the condensed Part One goes ahead.
  • Is the condensed version beneficial for governors too?
    We would recommend that governors still read all the full Part One of KCSIE, at the very least.
  • How would schools get the information about a child’s history of having a social worker, especially if they are new to an area/ school?
    This is going to a complex logistical problem and there is the added issue that not all parents will want to share this information throughout the admission process. We will have to see what the DfE proposes and guides us to do to gain this information.
  • Is there a model policy for Sexual Violence and Harassment?
    This is part of Judicium’s model child protection and safeguarding policy, which is shared with all schools who sign up for our safeguarding service.
  • Do care leavers come under the LAC/social worker category?
    These children are known as PLAC - previously looked after children. Further guidance can be found here.

  • Do you know if that has been put in the handbook for inspection of independent schools as well?
    The ISI have not yet shared their updated framework. However, Ofsted’s review of sexual abuse says, “As a result of this review, both Ofsted and ISI will update training, inspection handbooks and inspection practices where necessary to strengthen inspectors’ ability to inspect how schools and colleges are tackling sexual harassment and sexual violence, including online. Ofsted will follow up the publication of this report with a series of webinars and events for schools and colleges to discuss the findings of this review. ISI will also provide a series of webinars and events for schools about the findings of this review.”
  • I recently received conflicting advice on whether teachers are allowed to know if a child is adopted. For example, I believed that the child deserves the right for not all teachers to know that they were previously adopted, however, a member of the council said that all teachers do have the right to know who has been previously adopted (as all PLACs will have had at one stage a social worker). What is your view?
    Our view is always to put in place what is best for the child-each case should be considered separately. If the knowledge is shared, there should be clear information on how teachers and school staff should address this with the child e.g., how does the child want their carers to be addressed?
  • Could I ask for a quick definition of what Supervision means?
    Supervision can take many forms. It mostly is used to define time with a professional with relevant training to discuss key safeguarding issues. Social workers often have supervision, where they can discuss challenging cases and if necessary, the impact these cases are having on the social worker themselves. Supervision can be helpful in helping safeguarding leads to make tough decisions and to look after their own wellbeing.
  • Any suggestions for collecting pupil voice from primary children?
    We would suggest using some of the language and main points from the Relationships Education curriculum. Consider making the language accessible to children e.g. what would you do if another student touched your leg without permission? Who would you talk to if you were worried about the behaviour of another child?
  • The guidance on peer-on-peer abuse is largely schools relevant, as a college with 16–18-year-olds is there any guidance that would be more relevant to this age group?
    KCSIE and ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children’ apply to both schools and colleges, so this is the main guidance to follow. However, they both define a child as being under the age of 18. We would say that the overarching principles of these two documents (that sexual violence and harassment is not acceptable and will not be tolerated) is also relevant to students over the age of 18. It is important that you are clear, as a college, when concerns will be passed on to the police.

If you require support in any of these steps or would like to talk to someone regarding support for your school, please do not hesitate to call us on 020 7336 8403 or email