Training requirements: designated staff


Each school must have a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) who takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection. They should be given training to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and protection matters. Schools can choose to have one or more deputy DSL(s); however, any deputies should be trained to the same standard as the DSL.

Designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and any deputies 

DSLs should receive training upon appointment. This training should be updated at least every 2 years.

In addition to formal training, DSLs should refresh their knowledge and skills at regular intervals, as required, but at least annually. Activities may include signing up to e-bulletins, meeting other DSLs or reading about safeguarding developments. 

DSLs need to be able to*:

  • Understand the assessment process for early help and intervention
  • Raise awareness and support staff understanding of child protection policies and procedures
  • Be alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers
  • Support staff with any concerns they have about a child, agree an appropriate course of action and ensure the child’s situation improves
  • Manage concerns and referrals and keep detailed, accurate and secure written records of these
  • Provide support and advice to staff on the requirements of the Prevent duty and ways to protect children from the risk of radicalisation. DSLs should undertake Prevent awareness training 
  • Encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their feelings
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with others including the headteacher (or equivalent) and local authority staff 
  • Contribute effectively to child protection case conferences/review conferences 

* Please note, this list is not intended to be exhaustive

Safer recruitment training

There must be at least one person on any appointment panel who has undertaken safer recruitment training. As a minimum, the training should cover the safer recruitment guidance covered by Keeping Children Safe in Education.

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