KCSIE consultation opens – Friday 28 February 2020

This week I report on the opening of a consultation on updating Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance which will come into force in September, publication of latest guidance for schools about coronavirus, confirmation that the KS1 SATs replacement will be rolled out from September and plans launched by Great Minds Together for a new independent inspection and resolution service to support schools and councils to find solutions for families of children with SEND or SEMH needs.

Keeping Children Safe in Education consultation
On Tuesday the DfE opened a consultation on the changes it’s proposing to make to Keeping children safe in education for 2020. The DfE is working to release the updated guidance for September and the consultation will close on 21 April.

The aim is to help schools and colleges better understand what they are required to do by law and what the DfE strongly advises they should do to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities. Many of the proposed changes are technical in nature. They are intended to improve the clarity of the guidance and ensure consistency throughout. A list with an explanation of all the proposed substantive changes is set out at Annex G of the draft guidance. The consultation document asks a number of questions about the substantial changes the DfE is proposing to make to KCSIE. The responses to these questions will inform the final guidance.

Public Health England (PHE) issues further guidance to schools about coronavirus
This morning PHE has published updated guidance for schools and other educational settings about how they should respond to the threat of coronavirus.  It has also produced a poster that educational settings should display.

Key stage 1 SATs replacement to be rolled out from September
From September all new primary school pupils will take the new reception baseline assessment (RBA) that will replace SATs in year 2.  Following successful pilots all over the country, the RBA, a one-to-one exercise done in 20 minutes with a teacher in an informal setting, will be taken by all children in their first six weeks of primary school.

The move paves the way for the removal of the national curriculum assessments at the end of Key Stage 1 from 2022/23.  It comes after a validity report based on a national pilot confirmed that the new assessments provide an accurate assessment of a pupils’ starting point from which to measure the progress they make in primary school.

Behaviour Hubs programme
The DfE believes that Behaviour hubs will enable schools and multi-academy trusts with exemplary behaviour cultures and practices to work in partnership with those that want to improve their behaviour culture.  It is now recruiting up to 20 lead schools to become behaviour hubs and work with new advisers to support at least 500 schools over three years.

The programme is based on Tom Bennett’s 2017 review of behaviour in schools Creating a culture: how school leaders can optimise behaviour and the first wave of lead schools will be matched with partners and start work this September.

Plan launched for new independent inspection and resolution service
Great Minds Together, an organisation which works to support families of children with SEND or social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, has developed an idea for a new inspection and resolution service to support schools and councils to improve and find solutions for families of children with such needs.

Great Minds Together is also proposing to create a new SEMH code of practice for schools and LAs to follow and has recommended that schools face inspections focused on whether they are inclusive for pupils with SEND.