Part of the DSL role is to train your staff up to level 1 in safeguarding, pass on your wisdom and use the CD provided by your local county council. The CD or PowerPoint costs £60 and is updated every year. It’s very generic, handed out to primary, secondary, FE and specialist schools. So your role is to make it relevant but still include all the important information your training gave you but also to make it interesting. Sounds easy!
Problem number one: Lecture theatre nerves.
You know you are a good teacher and you can control a class of rowdy 17 yr olds in seconds. You can even cope with a last minute assembly thrown at you. But put you in front of a group of 100 teachers and you are going to get nervous. Even if I have stood up in front of them for 5 years now, I still feel my heart beating ridiculously fast. Why? The staff room is a supportive and happy group of people. I think they respect me, they defiantly rely on me. Alright some of them have been teaching for years and have heard similar insets so many times, they could easily deliver it themselves but they would never tell me this. So why am I so worried about an hour inset?
Problem number two: Making it relevant.
Staff will switch of if they can’t relate. So I admit it, I go off piste with the PowerPoint. I add in my own slides. I have to. I will still cover all the topics but some in a lot more depth. Mental Health for example, staff are thirsty to know how to help and want more information. Staff have seen pupils scars from self harming and they want to understand why. But when it comes to topics that staff think “ will never happen here”, I have to search for examples or even mention the dreaded “inspection” phrase ( sorry #SLT ) just to get their attention. Safeguarding is also a very hard topic. Some staff can get visibly upset. You have to be very careful between the line of informing and scaring.
Problem number three: Making it stick in their memory
Inset at the start of term is the worse time, staff are desperate to just get on with the planning, organising or even last minute notice board. The day seems full of meetings, all which add more and more jobs to your list. So you have to stick to some of the key points. The problem is that the PowerPoint you have been given is long and full of important information. Referring to lots of acronyms which need explaining. So you try to add some videos you have seen that make your point ( Sick party is excellent for CSE) or some cute drawings to focus them. But safeguarding is an important inset and not just a tick box exercise.
Problem number four: You are not an expert in all areas of safeguarding
Alright you have some experience; you may have been doing the DSL role for some time. But there always seems to be something new, a problem that you have never dealt with before. A legal requirement that has changed or a new concern the KCSIE wants you to address. How many of you really knew what you where talking about when discussing FGM?
The main solution to all of this is confidence and this takes time. I have been giving inset for 5 years now and although now I can actually sleep the night before, I still spend a lot of time researching the topic, planning the inset with key points I want them to take away and try to make it interesting.
Problem number five: ICT and projector issues
If you solve this one , let me know.