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Key Guidance: Safeguarding in Education

Safeguarding guidance and policies for education settings.

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

If you're seeking further guidance that's not shown here or for bespoke advice - please contact

For Model Policies, please click here. We have also developed an Education Settings Safeguarding Policies & National Guidance checklist which will support integrating national guidance into local arrangements. 


Key safeguarding statutory guidance in education

Please note: Statutory means you must follow it unless you have good reason not to. 

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022) - Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.

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

National guidance

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 2021) - Statutory guidance that schools must follow when carrying out duties relating to school admissions.

Working together to improve school attendance (applies September 2022, committed to become statutory September 2023) - Replaces School attendance: guidance for schools (2020; updated 2021) non-statutory guidance to help schools, trusts, governing bodies, and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance.

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.

Local resources and guidance

Children Missing Education BCC guidance and reporting form

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

National guidance

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

Behaviour in Schools (2022) - Replaces Behaviour and discipline in schools (2016; updated 2020), non-statutory advice for headteachers and school staff to support them to improve and maintain high standards of behaviour. 

Suspension and permanent exclusion from maintained schools, academics and pupil referral units in England, including pupil movement (2023) - Replaces Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England (2017; updated 2021), statutory guidance on the exclusion of pupils from local-authority-maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units.

School exclusions: guide for parents (2023) - A guide to help parents and carers understand the suspension and permanent exclusion system in schools in England.

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.

Searching, Screening and Confiscation (2022) - Replaces Searching, screening and confiscation at school (2018), advice regarding 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.

Local guidance 

Leading Edge Relationships Based Approach 2021 - Belonging - Behaviour Regulation Guidance for Bristol. Developing an Attachment and ACE Aware approach to inclusion. 

Bristol City Council Advice – Alternative Provision (AP) & Unregistered Schools
September 2019 (Updated September 2022)

Provision of Alternative Learning (PAL) System Provider Catalogue

National guidance

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.

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

Local guidance

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

Local guidance on Private Fostering is available here.

Data Protection

Data protection in schools (2023) - 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 and Complaints

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; Updated 2021) - How education and  nurseries can set up or review their complaints procedures.

Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility: guide for schools and local authorities (2016; Updated 2018) - Guidance for local authorities and schools dealing with adults who have legal rights and responsibilities for children at their school.

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.

Gender Separation 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).

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.

Other reading and local resources

Technical Guidance on the Public Sector Equality Duty: England (2014; Updated 2021) - From the Equality Human Rights Commission  - this document has absorbed the Public Sector Equality Duty Guidance for Schools in England (2014); a guide to help school leaders meet the equality duty. It describes some of the benefits that the equality duty can bring.

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.

Equalities, Diversity and inclusion support for schools

Bristol Equalities Charter and supporting materials. 

National guidance

Meeting digital and technology standards in schools and colleges - The Department for Education (DfE) has created filtering and monitoring standards for schools and colleges in England to help protect children online.​

Education for a Connected World framework - 2020 edition - Describes the Digital knowledge and skills that children and young people should have the opportunity to develop at different ages of their lives. It highlights what a child should know in terms of current online technology, its influence on behaviour and development, and what skills they need to be able to navigate it.

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; Updated 2023) - Guidance supporting schools to teach pupils how to stay safe online when studying new and existing subjects.

Online Safety in schools and colleges: questions from the governing Board (2016; Updated 2022) - Questions school governors should ask to help ensure their school leaders are keeping children safe online. 

Local guidance and resources

Please click here to access our Local Authority Safer Schools App

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 those working with children and young people in education settings (2022) - This safer working practice document is NOT statutory guidance from the Department for Education (DfE); it's 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.

Teachers’ Standards (2011; Updated 2013, latest terminology updated 2021) - 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.

Staffing and employment: Advice for schools (2017; Updated 2021) - Guidance for managing staff and employment issues. 

Developing and implementing a low-level concerns policy: A guide for organisations which work with children (2022) - This explains how organisations working with children can develop and implement a written low-level concerns policy, as part of a culture that enables staff to share any concerns – no matter how small, and how these organisations should respond to them.

National guidance

Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England (2019; Updated 2021) – 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

The South West Relationships, Sex and Health Education Hub is now closed - You can request access to the free resources (historic RSHE training and support) by emailing with your name and school.

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 when contributing to school decision-making.

Local guidance and support

A Guide to Establishing Participation Groups in Education Settings - Developed by the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership to support education settings and targeted youth services to create participation groups around the RHSE (Relationships, Health and Sexual Education) and PHSE (Physical, Health and Social Education) curriculums.

Participation Groups PowerPoint Presentation & Script for PowerPoint Presentation - Training package to be used to deliver training on participation groups in education settings and targeted youth services

National guidance

This can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022).

National Guidance

Emergency planning and response for education, childcare, and children’s social care settings – How educational and childcare settings should plan for and deal with emergencies, including significant public health incidents and severe weather.

Topical Safeguarding Issues

These topics will have relevance both nationally and locally. Please do ensure that you read the policies and procedures from the Local Safeguarding Partnership (Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership) in line with your duties under Keeping Children Safe in Education and Working Together to Safeguard Children. Local multi-agency guidance can be accessed here.

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 actions to take.

Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. For policies and 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:

  • Assault
  • Criminal damage
  • Cyber crime
  • Drugs
  • Harassment
  • Sexual offences
  • Theft
  • Weapons

Local guidance

You can find more information about the local Police constabulary Avon and Somerset by clicking here or visiting the Youth and Police education hub.

National guidance

Child sex offender disclosure scheme guidance – Updated in April 2023 - Guidance and tools for the implementation of the child sex offender disclosure scheme, also known as Sarah’s Law.

Child exploitation disruption toolkit (2019; Updated 2022) - 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 actions to take.

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

Local guidance

Offensive Weapons and Controlled Drugs in Educational Settings (2021; Updated 2022) - Local Guidance has been developed to reflect local arrangements with the role of the violence reduction unit. 

Cover letter for Drugs in schools work.

You can find more information about the Bristol Violence Reduction Unit: Safer Options by clicking here.

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 2020) - Multi-agency guidelines on FGM for those with statutory duties to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.

Resources from the National FGM Centre - A selection of educational resources that can be used in schools to educate young people, help aid conversations with parents and implement strong FGM policies.

Local guidance

KBSP Polices and procedures including the FGM Referral Risk Assessment template can be found here

The Bristol Against Violence and Abuse (BAVA) website was closed down.  Content has been transferred to the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership website.

Anti-bullying practice

Anti-Bullying Alliance’s 3 step Response to Bullying Framework – Guidance to help educators develop a consistent, reflective and 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.

Cyber bullying: advice for headteachers and school staff - This is non-statutory advice from the Department for Education for headteachers and all school staff on how to protect themselves from cyberbullying and how to tackle it.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance holds lots of free resources for education settings.

Bristol is United Against Bullying Local Authority; join the United Against Bullying (UAB) Programme - The Anti-Bullying Alliance's free whole-school anti-bullying programme.

Sexual Violence and Sexual harassment

Advice for schools and colleges on how to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence and harassment between children - the guidance "Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges (2018)" has now been amalgamated into Part 5 of statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022)

Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people (2020) - This guidance replaces Sexting in schools and colleges (2016) and outlines how to respond to an incident of nudes and semi-nudes being shared.

Local 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. 

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.

Revised Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales (2021) - 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.