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Updated EYFS Statutory Framework

The EYFS Statutory Framework was updated on 19th January 2024 which impacts on those providing services under this guidance.

For ISS members, this will relate to Childminders and for Group and School-based providers. We have listed the updated changes below relevant to these to groups:

Summary of changes for group and school-based providers, since the previous issued framework as as follows:

 Group and school-based settings must:

  • ensure setting managers appointed on or after 4 January 2024 hold a level 2 maths qualification, or they achieve one within 2 years of starting in the position (Section 3, Staff:child ratios)
  • ensure your setting’s safeguarding policies and procedures include all electronic devices with imaging and sharing capabilities, not just mobile phones and cameras (Section 3, Safeguarding policies and procedures)
  • ensure all level 2 and level 3 staff members who gained their qualification since June 2016, hold a valid paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate, otherwise they cannot be included in ratio (Section 3, Paediatric first aid)

Group and school-based settings may wish to consider applying the following flexibilities, if appropriate:

  • level 3 practitioners in group and school-based settings will no longer be required to hold a level 2 maths qualification to count within staff:child ratios (Section 3, Staff:child ratios)
  • a manager in group and school-based settings can now allow students and apprentices to count in staff:child ratios at the level below their level of study, if the manager is satisfied that they are competent and responsible (Section 3, Staff:child ratios)
  • settings may provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, previously this requirement stated this ‘must’ be done (Section 1, English as an Additional Language)

Group and school-based settings should also be aware that the following updates have been made to the EYFS:

  • there is a new statutory document on early years qualification requirements and standards
  • the language has been changed to clarify that physical evidence does not need to be collected for assessments (Section 2, Assessment)
  • a clarification made that while qualifications must be verified, employees do not have to provide physical copies of their qualifications (Section 3, Suitable people)
  • a clarification made on the wording on the validity of paediatric first aid (PFA) certificates (Section 3, Paediatric first aid)

 

Summary of changes for childminders, since the previous issued framework as as follows:

Childminders must:

  • be aware that further information has been provided in the framework on safeguarding responsibilities when childminders are working in a group, including a change on child protection language (Section 3, Safeguarding policies and procedures)
  • ensure the safeguarding policies and procedures at a setting include all electronic devices with imaging and sharing capabilities, not just mobile phones and cameras (Section 3, Safeguarding policies and procedures). As technology changes, you should consider a wider range of devices in your policies, for example smart watches.

Childminders may wish to consider applying the following flexibilities, if appropriate:

  • you will no longer be required to complete training on the EYFS prior to registration, however childminders will still need to demonstrate that they have the required knowledge of the EYFS at their pre-registration visit (Section 3, Safeguarding training)
  • where judged appropriate by a childminder, childminding assistants can now fulfil the role of a key person for children (Section 3, Key person)
  • childminders with open plan kitchen-living areas can now utilise safely useable areas within this room for their provision (Section 3, Indoor space requirements)
  • childminders may provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, previously this requirement stated this ‘must’ be done (Section 1, English as an Additional Language)

Childminders should also be aware that the following updates have been made to the EYFS:

  • the language has been changed to clarify that physical evidence does not need to be collected for assessments (Section 2, Assessment)
  • the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) have been moved from the childminder EYFS to an annex, as childminders do not usually need to use these (Annex C, Early Learning Goals)
  • the section on assessment in the childminder framework has been significantly amended including removing information on the Reception Baseline Assessment which childminders never undertake (Section 2, Assessment at the end of the EYFS – the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)
  • the wording has been changed on ‘suitable person’ to clarify that it is the responsibility of the childminder agency (CMA) or Ofsted to carry out suitability checks on behalf of the childminder (Section 3, Suitable people)
  • the wording has been changed on ‘confidential areas’ so rather than having a permanent area available, a suitable area is made available on request (Section 3, Organising premises for confidentiality and safeguarding)
  • the requirement for childminders to display a paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate has been removed, instead these are available on request (Section 3, Paediatric first aid)
  • a physical copy of the certificate of registration is no longer required to be displayed, a digital version can be used instead (Section 3, Information about the childminder)

 

The Full Updated Statutory Framework can be found here 

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Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023 updated

The Department for Education (DfE) published a new edition of its statutory guidance Working together to safeguard children in December 2023.

This 2023 edition replaces Working together to safeguard children 2018, which underwent a limited factual update in 2020.

The guidance outlines what organisations and agencies must and should do to help, protect and promote the welfare of all children and young people under the age of 18 in England.

This briefing outlines the main changes in the 2023 edition, including updates around:

  • multi-agency expectations for all practitioners
  • working with parents and families
  • clarifying the roles and responsibilities of safeguarding partners
  • the role of education and childcare providers
  • multi-agency practice standards
  • support for disabled children
  • tackling harm that occurs outside the home.

The full guidance can be found here.

To view a briefing on all the changes, the NSPCC has provided updates via their CASPAR briefing which can be found here.

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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

 

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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

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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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