Can we keep up with all the Acronyms?

As teachers we are used to abbreviations and acronyms but throw in terminology that social care, police or the medical teams use and our world starts getting very complicated and almost like a comedy sketch. I thought I knew the basics:

DSL – Designated Safeguarding Lead
KCSIE July 2015 – Keeping Children Safe in Education
DBS – staff will refer to this as the old CRB
FGM – Female Genital Mutilation – mandatory reporting from staff came into force Oct 2015
CSE – Child Sexual Exploitation
Prevent Duty – preventing radicalisation and reporting through the CHANNEL programme
LSCB – Local Safeguarding Children Board
DV / DA – Domestic Violence or Abuse
CAMH – Child and Adult Mental Health
LADO – Local Area Designated Officer for Whistleblowing
MASH– Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub
CPIN – Child Protection Information NetworkPresentation1


However a recent phone call cast doubt in my mind. I was trying to fill out a CAF ( Common Assessment Framework) but I was struggling to find out the names of all the staff involved. It took a few phone calls to different Locality teams to clarify which area the student fell into. After finally making contact I was asked if I have filled out the new TAF with FREDT. Ummmmmmm not sure, what does FREDT stand for I asked……………… there was silence on the end of the phone. I was then told “Please can you ensure that the FPD is started within 2 weeks of the first TAF or review meeting”.

Turns out that FREDT means “The First Response and Emergency Duty Team” and a TAF is the Team around the Family. Both of these are just new names that I as a DSL can relate to but the FPD is something completely new. They kindly sent me The Family Progress Data collection tool along with four useful YouTube videos explaining how to fill the form in. Something apparently all DSL should be aware of. I have since booked myself on a course for The lead professional role for Think Family ( the new CAF), hoping that it will help me fill out all the paperwork and understand all of the jargon.

However I am concerned that this will only help with Social Care, what about e-safety and the acronyms there that we should be aware of? CEOP for example. Or Prevent, which is a safeguarding issue but seems to have different forms and a completely different language. I attended the WRAP training  ( Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent), which although really interesting highlighted more gaps in my understanding.  The government has sent guidance to all teachers for language to watch out for on social media, language used by extremist from all walks of life including Far right and Animal right groups.

The list of acronyms only seems to be getting longer and more confusing and I am concerned because I don’t know the right language to use in the CAF/TAF/FPD, then the pupils might not be getting the help they actually need. Most DSL are trained teachers, who have a two day course and a biannual refresher. It seems that we need constant refreshers or at least told when a new form or acronym is introduced.

Will let you know how the Think family course goes in June but TTFN.

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Assistant Head ( DSL) at a boarding school. Interested in all PSHE and safeguarding topics.

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