New Criminal Offence Of Upskirting Added To Schools Safeguarding Guidance

Publication Date29 May 2020
AuthorMs Alacoque Marvin and Callum Pooler
SubjectConsumer Protection, Criminal Law, Education, Crime
Law FirmWrigleys Solicitors

Keeping Children Safe in Education: revised statutory guidance is expected to be in place from 2 September 2019.

"Upskirting" became a specific criminal offence under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019 on 12 April this year. It typically involves taking a photograph under a person's clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks for sexual gratification or causing humiliation, distress or alarm. The revised version of Keeping Children Safe in Education lists upskirting as one example of peer on peer abuse of which school staff should be aware.

A copy of the new, and current, guidance is available here. All schools and academies are required to have regard to this advice. The guidance continues to be refined and added to in the face of new and evolving threats. These include threats which have been much in the media of late, such as the risks to children and young people involved in and exploited by gangs and criminal networks.

KEY CHANGES WITHIN THE NEW GUIDANCE ARE LISTED BELOW:

Part 1 - Safeguarding information for all staff

  • "Upskirting" has been added to the list of examples of peer on peer abuse.
  • New information is included concerning the risks to children involved with serious violence. Staff should be vigilant for signs that children are involved with serious violent crime, criminal networks and gangs. Links to Government advice for schools on gangs and youth violence and county lines have also been added.

Part 2 - Management of safeguarding

  • References to the guidance on multi-agency working have been updated to reflect new safeguarding partner and child death review arrangements which will be in place from 29 September 2019. The three safeguarding partners (the local authority, a local clinical commissioning group and a local chief of police) will work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children. Governing bodies, proprietors, management committees and senior leadership teams (including the designated safeguarding lead) should make themselves aware of and follow the new arrangements.
  • The guidance on the opportunity to teach safeguarding through Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education has been updated. Readers will be aware of the current debate concerning teaching primary school children about LGBT relationships. This debate arises from the use of the "No Outsiders" programme by some schools. From September 2020, the subjects of Relationships Education (for all...

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