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Safeguarding in Education Guidance and Policy

This page highlights national and local guidance to assist professionals working in the education sector to safeguard learners. This list is not exhaustive.

If there is any other guidance you are seeking and it is not on this page, or for bespoke advice - please visit the Safeguarding in Education webpage or contact

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020)  - Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018; Updated 2019)  - Statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Guidance for schools: Coronavirus (COVID19)  - What school leaders, teachers and school staff need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Children Missing Education (2016) - Statutory guidance for local authorities and advice for other groups on helping children who are missing education get back into it.

Education for children with health needs who cannot attend school (2013) - Statutory guidance for local authorities and departmental advice for others ensuring children with health needs receive education.

School Admissions Code (2014; Updated 2015) - Statutory guidance that schools must follow when carrying out duties relating to school admissions.

School attendance: guidance for schools (Updated 2020) - How schools can use pupil registers and attendance codes, including in circumstances due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and set school hours and term dates.

School behaviour and attendance: parental responsibility measures (2015; Updated 2020) - Statutory guidance for schools, local authorities and the police on dealing with poor attendance and behaviour in schools.

Click here for the Local Authority Attendance Toolkit. Please contact Lesley.o’

Alternative provision (2013; Updated 2016) - Statutory guidance for local authorities, as well as head teachers and governing bodies of settings providing alternative provision.

Behaviour and discipline in schools (2016) - How school leaders and staff can develop a school behaviour policy, including checklists to support full school opening following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England (2017) - Statutory guidance on the exclusion of pupils from local-authority-maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units.

School behaviour and attendance: parental responsibility measures (2015; Updated 2020) - Statutory guidance for schools, local authorities and the police on dealing with poor attendance and behavior in schools.

Searching, Screening and Confiscation at School (2018)  - Guidance explaining the powers schools have to screen and search pupils, and to confiscate items they find.

Use of Reasonable Force in Schools (2013) - Guidance about the use of physical restraint in schools for governing bodies, head teachers and school staff.

Reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention (2019) - How to support children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and mental health difficulties who are at risk of restrictive intervention.

See local guidance on the use of alternative provision and unregistered schools.

Bristol City Council Advice – Alterative Provision & Unregistered Schools (2019)

Commission Alterative Provision – Advice for schools, commissioners and Alternative Providers (2019)

Designated teacher for looked after and previously looked-after children (2018)  - Statutory guidance for schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children.

Promoting the education of looked-after children (2014; Updated 2018) - Statutory guidance for local authorities to support looked-after and previously looked-after children's aspirations to achieve in further and higher education.

The Hope Virtual School – Please click here for further local information and click here for more resources and training opportunities.

Children Act 1989: private fostering (2005)- Statutory guidance for local authorities on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of privately fostered children.

Local guidance on Private Fostering is available here.

Data protection: a toolkit for schools (2018) - Guidance to support schools with data protection activity, including compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data Protection: Annual review Checklist - This is a checklist developed to enable School Business Managers, Clerks, SENCO and other School Staff to carry out an efficient annual review and safe destruction of school records and information. 

Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (2018) - Guidance on information sharing for people who provide safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers.

School complaints procedures: guidance for schools (2020) – How education and  nurseries can set up or review their complaints procedures.

This guidance has been created to ensure that all relevant child protection and safeguarding information about a child is known to the educational setting that a child attends. It is imperative that, in order to promote a child's welfare and thus their educational needs, that any concerns around the child are documented and passed on when the child moves to a new setting.

KBSP Guidance on the Transfer of a Child Protection Safeguarding File to another Educational Setting - updated May 2020

Record Keeping Guidance for Pupil Safeguarding/ Child Protection Files 

The Equality Act 2010: advice for schools (2014; Updated 2018) - Guidance to help schools understand how the Equality Act affects them and how to fulfil their duties under the act.

Public Sector Equality Duty Guidance for Schools in England (2014) -  From the Equality Human Rights Commission  - This guide will help school leaders meet the equality duty. It describes some of the benefits that the equality duty can bring.

Gender Seperation in mixed schools (2018) - This non-statutory guidance is provided to support schools in identifying what is expected of mixed schools (maintained, academies and other independent) when it comes to separation by sex following the Court of Appeal’s judgment in HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills v the Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School [2017] EWCA Civ 1426 (Ofsted v Al-Hijrah).

Race, Education and Inequality in Contemporary Britain – The Runnymede School Report (2015) - With contributions from the UK's leading educationalists including David Gilborn, Heidi Mirza and Debbie Weekes-Bernard, tackling questions such as how did hate become honourable? What are fundamental British values and what are schools role in imparting these? What ramifications does the entrenched racial stereotyping and discrimination evident in schools have for BME communities? The School Report answers these and much more.

SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years (2015; Updated 2020) - Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014.

Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (2015; Updated 2017) - Statutory guidance about the support that pupils with medical conditions should receive at school.

Safeguarding children and protecting professionals in early years settings: online safety considerations for managers (2019) - Guidance to help those who work in early years settings consider their practice and to take steps to safeguard both children and adults online.

Teaching online safety in schools (2019) -  Guidance supporting schools to teach pupils how to stay safe online when studying new and existing subjects.

Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 (Updated 2018) -Statutory guidance for schools about employing staff who have been disqualified from providing childcare.

Guidance for Safer Working practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education (2019) - This safe working practice document is NOT statutory guidance from the Department for Education (DfE); it is for employers, local authorities and/or the Three Safeguarding Partners to decide whether to use this as the basis for their code of conduct / staff behaviour guidelines.

The Teachers’ Standards (2011; Updated 2013)  - These standards set the minimum requirements for teachers’ practice and conduct.

Supervision of activity with children (2012) -  Guidance on supervising the activities of workers and volunteers with children.

Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England (2019) – Statutory guidance on what schools should do and sets out the legal duties with which schools must comply when teaching Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education.

Local Guidance and support is available through the South West Relationships, Sex and Health Education Hub

Listening to and involving children and young people (2014) - This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education. It applies to local authorities and maintained schools, who are required to have regard to it when considering how best to provide opportunities for pupils to be consulted on matters affecting them or contribute to decision-making in the school.

Topical Safeguarding Issues

Other local multi-agency guidance can be accessed here . The issues below are pertinent to the education sector.

What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners (2015) - Guidance to help practitioners identify the signs of child abuse and neglect and understand what action to take.

Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. For policies, practice resources please join the Contextual Safeguarding Network.

When to call the Police (2020) - This advice covers incidents on school and college premises

where students have potentially committed a crime. It provides guidance on what schools and colleges should bear in mind when considering contacting the police. This advice covers the

following situations:

Child exploitation disruption toolkit (2019)  - Disruption tactics for those working to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from sexual and criminal exploitation.

Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners (2017) - Definition of child sexual exploitation, potential vulnerabilities and indicators of abuse and appropriate action to take in response.

Advice to schools and colleges on gangs and youth violence (2013) - Advice is for leaders, their senior teams and staff in schools or colleges affected by gang or youth violence.

Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation – procedural information (2015; Updated 2020) - Gives relevant professionals and the police an understanding of the female genital mutilation (FGM) mandatory reporting duty.

Multi-Agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation (2016; Updated 2018) - Multi-agency guidelines on FGM for those with statutory duties to safeguard children and vulnerable adults

Local guidance can be found here

Anti-bullying practice:

Anti-Bullying Alliance’s 3 step Response to Bullying Framework – Guidance to help educators develop a consistent, reflective and more effective approach to responding to bullying incidence in schools and other settings.

Preventing and tackling bullying (2013; Updated 2017) - Guidance for schools on preventing and responding to bullying.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance website holds a lot of free resources for education settings. Bristol is an All Together Local Authority; join on to the All Together  - Whole School anti-bullying programme for free. 

Sexual Violence and Sexual harassment:

Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges (2018) -  Advice for schools and colleges on how to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence and harassment between children.

Sexting in schools and colleges (2016)  - Guidance for schools and colleges on responding in instances of 'sexting'.

For local advice and guidance – Be Safe is a multi-agency partnership service working with children and young people with problematic/harmful sexual behaviour in Bristol. Be Safe offers holistic assessment and therapeutic intervention services informed by strength based, systemic, cognitive behavioural therapy, resolutions, relapse prevention and attachment based approaches. Click here to visit their website

Counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) (2018) -  The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK and its citizens and interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (2015; Updated 2019) - Guidance for specified authorities in England and Wales on the duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Protecting children from radicalisation: the prevent duty (2015) - Guidance for schools and childcare providers on preventing children and young people from being drawn into terrorism.