Keeping children safe in Education (KCSIE) 2019: Are you compliant?

From Monday 2 September, schools must refer to the latest version of keeping children safe in education.

The new guidance is released just one year after the 2018 update so there are not a large number of changes, but as there are references to specific safeguarding issues such as upskirting and serious violence, knowledge of these key issues will be vital.

Tes Marketing


How will KCSIE 2019 affect schools?

Policies and procedures will need to reflect 2019 changes ready for September and from 2 September onwards, staff will need to read and understand part one of the new version.

Changes to part one

Part one of KCSIE is the section which all staff working within an education setting must read to be compliant.

To improve the flow of information and ensure that this is clear and well laid out, a number of paragraphs have been moved in part one.

Specific safeguarding references


Since 12 April 2019, upskirting has been a criminal offence in England and Wales.

Due to upskirting now being classified as a crime, KCSIE 2019 has been updated to include it as an example of peer on peer abuse.

Upskirting is described in the following way by KCSIE: “Upskirting typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm”.

Under the Voyeurism Act, upskirting offenders can now be arrested, face up to 2 years in prison and have their name placed on the sex offenders register if caught upskirting. This includes instances where culprits say the images were taken just for a laugh.

Discussing this, Dawn Jotham, EduCare’s development lead for education and pastoral adviser said: “In KCSIE 2018 we saw a need for schools to adapt and extend their child protection policies to refer to peer on peer abuse. Now there is an additional requirement to include reference specifically to upskirting. What may seem like harmless fun can have deeper consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator and everyone should be made aware of this.”

Serious violence

Serious violence has now been added to KCSIE as a specific safeguarding issue.

The addition of serious violence to KCSIE comes after the Serious Violence Strategy was introduced by the government in 2018.

The Serious Violence Strategy identifies offences such as homicides and knife and gun crime as key factors which account for around one percent of all recorded crime and the impact these crimes have on communities.

KCSIE recognises that tackling serious crime is not just a law enforcement issue and requires intervention from a range of other areas, education being one of these.

The main areas that the Serious Violence Strategy focuses on are:

  • Tackling county lines
  • Early intervention and prevention
  • Supporting communities and local partnerships
  • Effective law enforcement and the criminal justice response

The new KCSIE guidance states:

 “All staff should be aware of indicators, which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime. These may include increased absence from school, a change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups, a significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm or a significant change in wellbeing, or signs of assault or unexplained injuries. Unexplained gifts or new possessions could also indicate that children have been approached by, or are involved with, individuals associated with criminal networks or gangs. All staff should be aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to manage these.”

Dawn also commented: “Early intervention is about recognising and responding to the indicators of potential vulnerability, providing early support that is effective. When a young person begins to show the signs of exploitation or vulnerability to exploitation, and therefore are at increased risk from Serious Violence, we should be able to intervene as early as possible to help reduce the risk factors and increase the protective factors.”

Wondering how keeping children safe in education 2019 will affect your school? Read EduCare’s report on how it may affect maintained schools, nursery schools, colleges, independent schools, academy trusts, special schools and pupil referral units.

Request a copy of the report today