Safeguarding and KCSIE 2016
The demands of keeping children and young people safe in education have grown significantly in the last decade and the Keeping Children Safe in Education guideline (KCSIE), which has been in place since 2014, has been recently amended to reflect recent trends.
Coming into statutory force on 5th September 2016, the new KCSIE guideline puts further emphasis on the need for all education professionals to understand that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Each school will need to consider and review their safeguarding policies and procedures, particularly with respect to how they protect and maintain duty-of-care amidst the growing online threats to each student’s wellbeing.
Blocking & Filtering is Not Enough
Schools and other education establishments have been predominantly focused on filtering website content and blocking website categories in an attempt to satisfy duty of care requirements around online safety and cyber bullying. However the KCSIE guidance actually warns of the risk of over-blocking leading to “unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding.”
With the enhanced auditing requirements needed to meet KCSIE schools now have to look much deeper into internet and social media traffic to identify potential children at risk.
Appropriate Filtering, Monitoring and Restrictions
Appropriate filtering should control access to inappropriate and harmful content as defined above. In addition, it should be flexible enough to meet the individual needs of each School for College setting and risk assessment. KCSIE defines a minimum requirement for filtering solutions. To comply, providers of content filtering tools/services need to be an IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) member which provides access to the child abuse image content (CAIC) list, as well integrating the home office police assessed list Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) which keeps track of unlawful terrorist content.