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New Independent School Inspectorate Framework 2023

As schools begin to prepare for a new academic year, those inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) will be aware that the new ISI inspection framework will come into effect from September 2023.

The new framework, known as "Framework 23", comes off the back of last year’s consultation into the new regime and replaces the previous framework published in 2016.

Since the last framework was published, we have seen a global pandemic, the rise of  the Black Lives Matter and Everyone’s Invited movements, and a significant increase in poor mental health amongst pupils across all age ranges. The new framework aims to reflect on and consider the challenges pupils face in today’s world, and contains a number of changes to the previous framework.

While schools will be aware that in the past ISI published Commentary on Regulatory Requirements, for this cycle they have moved away from publishing the Commentary in its current form. ISI’s Inspection Handbook is also available to all on the ISI website and will be reviewed and updated regularly. The Inspection Handbook is primarily aimed at inspectors conducting routine inspections but is helpful reading for schools so that they are aware of the methodology of inspections.

Farrer & Co have provided some changes schools should be aware of and some suggestions as to how they can best prepare for future inspections which can be found here



Consultations: Working Together and Info Sharing Advice

Working Together to Safeguard Children 

Closing date: 6th September 2023

In this consultation, the DfE are seeking views on how best to strengthen effective multiagency help, support, safeguarding and child protection across the system.

They advise that they are “consulting on revisions that keep a child-centred approach in a whole family focus and ensure that every individual and agency understands their role and is playing their part in delivering effective multi-agency support, intervention and protection”

Proposed changes strengthen the guidance in five key areas:

  • A shared endeavour introduces expectations for effective multi-agency working and practice principles for working with parents and carers.
  • Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements clarifies roles and responsibilities, introduces a partnership chair and deepens accountability and transparency.
  • Help and support for children and their families includes stronger expectations on Early Help and family networks, clarifies permissions on working with children under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 and emphasises support for disabled children.
  • Decisive multi-agency child protection introduces new national multi-agency child protection standards for practitioners and approaches to harm outside the home.
  • Learning from serious child safeguarding incidents.

Make sure to have your say HERE.

Information Sharing Advice for Safeguarding Practitioners

Closing date: 6th September 2023

The last substantive update of the Information Sharing Advice was in July 2018 to reflect the revised Data Protection Act 2018 and introduction of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

Recent national reviews (such as the Independent Review of Childrens Social Care and the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s review ‘Child Protection in England’) have evidenced confusion, anxieties and poor practices of practitioners sharing information to protect children and recommended improved training and guidance for practitioners. In February 2023, the Government published Stable Homes, Built on Love, which responded to the recommendations, and has committed to revising and consulting on the Information Sharing Advice to address practitioners’ perceptions that there are legal impediments to sharing information.

The purpose of the Information Sharing Advice is to:

  • instil confidence in practitioners about the legal framework that supports the sharing of information for safeguarding and promotion of welfare purposes.
  • provide a straight-forward guide to practitioners on the core principles of timely and effective information sharing, that can be applied to day-to-day decision making.
  • support organisations to develop processes, policies and training for their practitioners about information sharing.

Make sure to have your say HERE.


Free Primary School Grooming Resource

Alright Charlie – CSE Primary School Resource - free video, workbook and downloads available for professionals and young people

'Alright Charlie’ is a preventative resource pack that addresses child sexual exploitation (CSE) and grooming in a way that is age appropriate. A fantastic insight into CSE for both professionals and young people aimed at Year 5 and 6 and onwards. 

Basis Training, together with the Blast Project supported the development of a gender neutral, age appropriate video resource (Alright Charlie) for raising awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in primary schools.  



Youth warnings, reprimands and cautions will no longer be automatically disclosed to employers who require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates from 28 November.

The changes, which come as a result of a Supreme Court judgment that found some elements of the existing filtering rules for Standard and Enhanced DBS checks were disproportionate, are intended to make it easier for people with certain convictions to find employment.

The multiple conviction rule will also be removed, meaning that if an individual has more than one conviction, regardless of offence type or time passed, each conviction will be considered against the remaining rules individually, rather than all being automatically disclosed on the certificate.

Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock – a group that campaigns for people with convictions – welcomed the changes, but said they did not go far enough to improve access to work for some people with childhood convictions. 

“The changes coming in on 28 November are a crucial first step towards achieving a fair system that takes a more balanced approach towards disclosing criminal records,” he said. “However, we are still left with a criminal records system where many people with old and minor criminal records are shut out of jobs that they are qualified to do.

“We found that over a five-year period, 380,000 checks contained childhood convictions, with 2,795 checks including convictions from children aged just ten. Many of these childhood convictions will continue to be disclosed despite these changes.

“Reviews by the Law Commission, Justice Select Committee, former Chair of the Youth Justice Board Charlie Taylor and David Lammy MP have all stressed the need to look at the wider disclosure system. The government’s plan for jobs should include a wider review of the criminal records disclosure system to ensure all law-abiding people with criminal records are able to move on into employment and contribute to our economic recovery.”

New DBS guidance advises organisations to update their recruitment processes in light of the changes and check the Ministry of Justice website for which convictions or cautions should be disclosed by job candidates.

It suggests that employers ask job candidates: “Do you have any convictions or cautions (excluding youth cautions, reprimands or warnings) that are not ‘protected’ as defined by the Ministry of Justice?”

It also urged employers to include the following paragraph in their standard job application forms: “The amendments to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (2013 and 2020) provides that when applying for certain jobs and activities, certain convictions and cautions are considered ‘protected’. This means that they do not need to be disclosed to employers, and if they are disclosed, employers cannot take them into account.”

The guidance says: “Employers can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that they are legally entitled to know about.

“If an employer takes into account a conviction or caution that would not have been disclosed, they are acting unlawfully under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

“Employers should conduct a case-by-case analysis of any convictions and cautions disclosed and consider how, if at all, they are relevant to the position sought. It would be advisable for the employer to keep records of the reasons for any employment decision (and in particular rejections), including whether any convictions or cautions were taken into account and, if so, why.”

Cedit: Ashley Webber - Personnel Today


Forty children as young as 14 recruited to deal drugs inside school

A county lines drug gang forced 40 children to deal cannabis and cocaine at a single school.

The teens, some as young as 14, had been supplied with drugs and dealing kits including deal bags and scales. 

Police say grown-up dealers had a network of 40 pupils dealing at the school which has just over 1,200 pupils - meaning one in thirty was possibly selling drugs.

It is suspected that girls as young as 14 at Kingsdown School in Swindon, Wiltshire, have been pestered for sex in exchange for cocaine.

And the dawn police raid yesterday - on the eve of GCSE results - revealed the extent of the teens coerced into the operation.

Wiltshire Police arrested a 27-year-old man during the raid. He has since been released under investigation.

Sgt Nathan Perry, who planned the 7am raid, said: "We found the person we're looking for, we've managed to safeguard the children who were at risk and we've found drugs.

"We all know about county lines and the risks associated with that.

"The difficulty with this type of drugs operation is that it's specifically targeting very young children in order to get them to deal drugs.

"Some of the information we've been passed is that children are not only being coerced into this activity, but they're also being physically threatened.

"If they go to police or teachers they'll be harmed," he added. 

Police were said to have been alerted to the gang at Kingsdown School.

A pair of older teen boys, both 16, are believed to have been supplying a network of up to 40 children in their mid-teens at the Swindon school.

The 27-year-old was arrested during the morning raid on suspicion of possession of class B drugs with intent to supply and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The raid came as Swindon police focused their sights on modern slavery.

Nationally, police have increasingly turned to modern slavery laws to target drug dealers who force children and vulnerable adults to peddle their product.

Sgt Perry said those convicted could expect sentences of up to 15 years imprisonment.

"You've got children being exploited and young kids being forced to run the drugs. We will take it seriously," he said.

"The sheer nature of the exploitation of these young people is unacceptable.

"If we don't do something to stop that they're potentially going to be at risk for the rest of their lives.

"They need that positive engagement and we're not going to be able to do that until we remove their handlers, for want of a better word."
If children start becoming more withdrawn, secretive about their possessions and start acquiring cash and expensive clothes without explanation, it could be a sign they are being exploited by the gangs.
Article reported by Tom Seaward for the Mirror.

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