Advice for a DSL Part two #safeguarding

After you have delivered your first inset, there is no going back. But there is defiantly plenty of other things to be getting on with.

Posters and small handout cards. – get someone else to design them but you need posters everywhere. This will help staff remember, key words or acronyms. Put them in the staff rooms, maintaince coffee rooms, cleaners storage cupboards. Different posters for entrances, with photos of all DSL. What to do details in the back of lanyards, on a little card for staff to put somewhere easily, on forms when visitors sign in. In calendars, introduction booklets and on the web site. Put details everywhere.

Paperwork. I am afraid you need to be very OCD about this area. Document everything and make sure you keep it in the correct order. Your filing cabinet needs to be spotless and make complete sense to anyone. This will take up a lot of your time and will seem pointless for some cases but then when you get that phone call from the police asking for information, you will be so pleased with all the effort you did. Plus inspectors will expect this to be of a very high standard.

After 6 months ask your LSCB to do a child protection audit. This is stressful but worth the time. They come in for two days, normally a month apart and audit everything you do from a safeguarding point of view. Their advice is invaluable.  This year I have been through an independent safeguarding review, a child protection audit, a safeguarding spot inspection and a Tier 4 safeguarding inspection ( for oversea students although she referred to them as migrants, which was interesting). Have to admit it’s been a stressful 12 months. Each inspection asked for different things and gave recommendations. What it has taught me is to be confident, confident of my staff, my pupils and my school. WE do a good job and I am very proud and they ( inspectors) always have to find something.

Network with other DSL when you go on other courses. Sometimes the course has been delivered by police ( prevent) or social services and they have no idea how things work in school. They will ask more and more from us, which can add stress. But you look around the room at the other DSL, they will have fantastic idea of how to actually implement the requirements, without imploding. This was the main reason I started blogging, to get ideas from other DSL.

Oh and another glass of bubbly, in an even posher glass. You deserve it.

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

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