Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is the person appointed to take responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) across early years settings and schools. The lead practitioner is responsible for liaison with local statutory children's services agencies, and with the Waltham Forest Local Safeguarding Children's Board.

Who can be a DSL?

Governing bodies, proprietors and management committees should ensure an appropriate senior memeber of staff, from the setting, school or college leadership team, is appointed to the role of designated safeguarding lead. The DSL should have appropriate status and authority with the school or the setting to carry out the duties of the post.

The role should be exlicit in the role holder's job description. It is good practice to nominate a deputy to cover the role of the designated safeguarding lead when they are unavaliable and in larger schools it is advisable to have other senior staff to work as part of a 'designated safegauarding team'. The lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection will remain with the designated DSL

Childminders must take lead responsibility themselves.

Role of the DSL:

The DSL should be given the time, fudning, training, resources and support to provide advice and support

  • to other staff on safeguarding and child protection matters
  • to take part in strategy discussions and inter-agency metings
  • to support other staff to take part in inter-agency meetings and strategy dicussions
  • to contribute to the assessment of children

What training does a DSL need?

The DSL 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. 

Responsibilities of DSL:


Manage Referrals

The DSL is expected to:

  • refer cases of suspected abuse to local authority children's social care as required.
  • support staff who make referrals to local authority children's social care.
  • where there are concerns about radicalisation, to make referrals to the Channel Programme and offer support to other staff who have concerns about radicalisation.
  • refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as required.
  • refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the Police as required. 

Raise Awareness 

The DSL role is to:

  • work with the Senior Leadership Team and Governing BOdy to ensure that the setting or school's safeguarding policy is updated and renewed annualy and that all members of staff have access to it and understand it. 
  • provide regular briefings and updates at staff, management and governor meetings to help ensure that everyone is kept up to date on latest policy developments and reminded of their responsibilities. 
  • ensure that safeguarding policy is avaliable publicly and that parents are aware of the policy and that schools may make referrals to children's social care if there are concerns.
  • link with the safeguarding partner arrangements to make sure staff are aware of any training opportunities and the latest local policies on local safeguarding arrangements. 




Work with others

The DSL is expected to:

  • work with Senior Leadership and Management Team to ensure that safeguarding is at the heart of the setting or schools ethos and that all staff are supported in knowing how to recognise and respond to potential concerns. 
  • liaise with the head teacher or manager to keep them informed of any safeguarding issues, especially ongoing enquiries and police investigations. 
  • liaise with the local authority case manager or the designated officer at the local authority if a concern has arisen regarding a member of staff
  • liaise with staff on matters of safety and safeguarding when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies
  • act as a source of support, advice and expertise for staff. 

Record Keeping

It is the role of the DSL responsibility to keep detailed, accurate and written records of safeguarding concerns. These records are confidential and should be kept separately from pupil records. They should include a chronology of concerns, referrals, meetings, phone calls and emails. 

Where children leave the setting or school, the DSL should ensure their safeguarding record is transferred to the new school or setting as soon as possible. This should be transferred separately from the main pupil file, ensuring secure delivery and confirmation of receipt should be obtained. 

Last update: Tuesday 12th of November 2019 12:31:17 PM