Child protection policies should be updated during coronavirus crisis

The Department for Education has provided updated safeguarding advice for schools, colleges and other providers open during the coronavirus crisis.

It says that a school's child protection policy is likely to "not accurately reflect new arrangements in response to COVID-19".

Therefore, schools and colleges should "review and revise their child protection policy and keep it under review as circumstances continue to evolve."

The guidance says that in some cases, a COVID-19 annex/addendum that summaries any key COVID-19 related changes might be more effective that re-writing and re-issuing the whole policy.

Amongst other things the revised child protection policy should reflect any updated advice received from the local 3 safeguarding partners, and any updated advice received from local authorities regarding children with education, health and care (EHC) plans, the local authority designated officer and children’s social care, reporting mechanisms, referral thresholds and children in need.

The policy should also look at what staff and volunteers should do if they have any concerns about a child.

A full list of advice is available here.

The guidance says it is important that all staff and volunteers are aware of the new policy and are kept up to date as it is revised and that the revised policy should continue to be made available publicly.