Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill

Dear Colleague,

EDUCATION AND TRAINING (WELFARE OF CHILDREN) BILL

Mary Kelly Foy has introduced a Private Members’ Bill that will ensure everyone under the age of 1 8 is protected by the same safeguarding duties in the law, whether they are an apprentice, a college student or a learner elsewhere.

This Government wants to level up the further education system, helping further education providers transform the lives of millions of young people. Safeguarding is an essential component of this. The Government will be supporting this Private Members’ Bill for the following reasons:
. It will help to streamline and simplify the current system whereby safeguarding responsibilities are imposed through a combination of contractual arrangements, Ofsted requirements and statutory provisions.
. It will demonstrate the Government’s commitment to safeguarding as it will make the Secretary of State for Education directly accountable for ensuring that all funding agreements for post-i 6 education and training providers include safeguarding duties.
. It will make it easier for providers to understand what safeguarding actions they need to take, and easier for students, apprentices and parents to understand what protections are in place. This is because ift he Bill is passed, the statutory guidance on safeguarding, Keeping Children Safe in Education will be amended to apply to all further education providers, rather than just schools and colleges as it is now.

Currently, approximately 24,000 schools and 250 colleges are subject to a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welbeing of children at their institution, protecting children from
online harms, peer on peer abuse and other safeguarding risks. Providers also have a duty to have regard to any statutory guidance issued by the Government.

This Bill will bring approximately one thousand more further education institutions into scope. If those providers are compliant with their existing safeguarding responsibilities, there will be no additional costs. We have spoken to membership bodies for all the providers affected, and they are content with the Bill’s proposals.

I have attached a fact sheet to this letter which sets out our proposals in more detail and I would be happy to meet with any colleagues who would like to discuss them further. 

Yours sincerely,
Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills