Designated Safeguarding Leads

Recent communications

Beyond Referrals – University of Bedfordshire –  Guidance report plus accompanying toolkit and scorecard

NSPCC training – Harmful sexual behaviour in schools training

A training presentation for Harmful Sexual Behaviour is available on the training page of our website alongside the e-workbooks.

List of NSPCC resources available on their website – June 2022

Support to schools and colleges in their response to child sexual abuse

Ofsted published its ‘Review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges’ on 10 June 2021.

This was followed up by a letter from Ministers at the Department for Education, Home Office and Department of Health and Social Care, which called for safeguarding partners to review work to improve engagement with schools and tailoring their approach to what the analysis indicates are the risks to children and young people in the local area. The letter also called for safeguarding partners to set out what the local offer to schools and colleges was.

The below document sets out what mechanisms are in place as part of the local arrangements to support schools, including academies, colleges and alternative provision.

Support to schools and colleges in their response to child sexual abuse

Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support Service

SWGfL and The Marie Collins Foundation has created a support service for professionals working with children and young people in tackling harmful sexual behaviours, funded by the Home Office and in collaboration with the Department for Education.

The support service is available for anyone in England working with children and young people, particularly, designated safeguarding leads within primary and secondary schools and alternative provision. Support is also available to early years provision, colleges and wider safeguarding professionals (including police, social workers and health care professionals). If children within your care have been displaying or are affected by specific incidents of Harmful Sexual Behaviour, the support service can provide initial support and signpost to further resources and advice.

The Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support Service will provide:

  • Advice on individual cases or incidents of harmful sexual behaviour, to ensure an appropriate response both for children displaying this behaviour and others affected by it
  • Guidance on policy development on tackling harmful sexual behaviour
  • Relevant resources, best practice and contacts around harmful sexual behaviour, both locally and nationally

The telephone and email support is available Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm.

Call: 0344 255 0623                  Email:

More information can be found on their website

DBS Barred List Checks – Important changes from 1 April 2021

From the 1st April 2021, standalone checks of the children’s barred list will be administered by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) on behalf of the DfE. This means that standalone barred list checks can no longer be obtained from TP Online or from the various umbrella bodies and supply agencies who currently sell these checks.

Schools need to ensure that they see the original (paper) DBS certificate for all new appointments in regulated activity with children. A digital certificate or letter of clearance is not acceptable.

If the appointee is transferring directly from another school in England without a break in service of 3 months or more, the appointing school can undertake a stand-alone barred list check using the TRA website.

The Teaching Regulation Agency website is here: TRA Website

For further information see: TP Online website

If you have any questions about these changes, you can contact the DfE via email at

Or if you have any questions about access to the replacement service email

Designated Safeguarding Leads

Training Requirements

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) (and any deputies (DDSL)) should undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. This training should be updated at least every two years. The DSL should undertake Prevent awareness training. Training should provide DSL’s with a good understanding of their own role, and the processes, procedures and responsibilities of other agencies, particularly children’s social care, so they:

  • understand the assessment process for providing early help and statutory intervention, including local criteria for action and local authority children’s social care referral arrangements;
  • have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so;
  • ensure each member of staff has access to, and understands, the school’s or college’s child protection policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff;
  • are alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers;
  • understand relevant data protection legislation and regulations, especially the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation;
  • understand the importance of information sharing, both within the school and college, and with the three safeguarding partners, other agencies, organisations and practitioners; • are able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals; • understand and support the school or college with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and are able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation;
  • are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at school or college;
  • can recognise the additional risks that children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example, from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support SEND children to stay safe online;
  • obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses; and
  • encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff, in any measures the school or college may put in place to protect them.

In addition to the formal training set out above, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (this might be via e-bulletins, meeting other designated safeguarding leads, or simply taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at regular intervals, as required, and at least annually, to allow them to understand and keep up with any developments relevant to their role.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2022)

A CPD training powerpoint has also been developed with embedded activities for schools to use or adapt for their staff teams – KCSIE CPD presentation – Sept 2022

Every DSL should complete the Children’s MARS Child Protection Masterclass training, as soon as possible when role commences. Once completed DSL’s should not repeat this but continue their safeguarding training and updates through:-

  • attending the DSL termly briefings or appointing an appropriate Deputy DSL to attend on their behalf. These sessions are held termly and meet Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 and Working Together 2018 requirements. They will include guest presenters who will address emerging themes or provide updated information on services. The presentation will be available on the CMARS website following each briefing.
  • Work through the Children’s MARS education and training programme to build on and enhance your safeguarding knowledge and skills. This includes training from across the awareness, intermediate and masterclass.
  • Complete any other relevant training organised by your school/setting or other provider.

Designated Safeguarding Leads Termly Briefing

These sessions are held termly and meet Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 and Working Together 2018 requirements.

Upcoming Dates

  • TBC

For queries or further information, please contact Sarah Stokoe, School Improvement Officer on or Helen Parker, Safeguarding Education Officer on

Meeting papers and resources

02 October 2019

21 March 2019

16 November 2020

9 February 2021

27 April 2021

28 September 2021

1 February 2022

17 May 2022

28 September 2022

17 January 2023

16 May 2023

26 September 2023

January 2024

May 2024