This course will guide colleagues in establishing a vision of outstanding whole school practice putting safeguarding at the heart of your school. It will help you to understand the challenges of the role of DSL as you develop your role on a day by day basis. You will also look at some of the major concerns that face many schools and how to address them in your own organisation.

The course will look at KCSiE 2018-20, examine the keep points of the guidance and look ahead to what might be in the 2021 guidance. You will also look at the some of the issues around staff training and developing a whole school training programme as well as the role of OFSTED in safeguarding, post-pandemic. We will also look at the role of the LADO and Lead Governor and your relationship with them.

This course can also be brought into your school, and tailored accordingly, if required.


  • Exploring the role of the DSL
  • Understanding the difference between Safeguarding and Child Protection and how to act accordingly
  • Understanding your Safeguarding and CP Policy, what must be in it
  • Looking at the ‘everyone’s invited’ agenda and how to build a robust a robust response to the  issues that it has highlighted
  • Does everyone feel safe in school? Auditing the school’s student population and other stakeholders, to make sure that the student voice is heard
  • Carrying out a Safeguarding audit of your policies and procedures for your GB and the LA
  • Explore key challenges and prioritise concerning the safeguarding training of staff
  • New approaches to responding to Ofsted post-pandemic
  • Have an opportunity to discuss the ideas and themes with other colleague’s present
COURSE DATES London | Thursday 14 October 2021
  • New and recently appointed Pastoral Leads, and those moving into post in September.
  • Experienced Pastoral Leads.
  • Heads of House/Heads of Year.
  • Pastoral Lead Line Managers.
  • Members of governing bodies, with a brief for wellbeing/mental health, including staff governors.
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an in-school course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


10.00 – 10.45am
Key challenges for a newly appointed DSL

  • You will develop your understanding of the post of DSL and why, arguably, it is the most important role in the organisation (outside that of the head teacher);
  • You will understand the difference between your role in safeguarding and child protection and how to act accordingly;
  • How do you ensure that there is no ‘implementation gap’? Making sure all staff are fully aware of their responsibilities;
  • Understanding yourself, developing your own emotional wellbeing and knowing when to switch off; Who is looking after you?
  • Making sure that you understand the importance of good teamwork in safeguarding.
  • Preparing for the effects of increased time spent on cyber & social media during lock-down e.g. aggravating poor mental health, decreasing confidence and exposure to grooming.

10.45 – 10.45am
Discussion: coffee break

11.00 – 11.30pm
Key issues around safeguarding

  • The ‘voice of the student’ is the student being heard in school? Exploring how to put the child at the ‘centre of the school’
  • Understanding and developing your knowledge of contextual safeguarding and its importance in safeguarding children and young people;
  • Looking at the rise in mental health concerns as a consequence of the pandemic and what steps should be taken to tackle those concerns

11.30 – 12.30pm

The threat of sexual violence and sexual harassment in schools, what steps should you take address this issue?

  • Toxic masculinity in schools, what steps should you take to address this issue?
  • Child Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation, understanding the key issues
  • Diagnostics – recognising the signs of exploitation e.g. county lines
  • Do you know if your school is safe? Carrying out a safeguarding audit in school. Who to audit and how best to do so – measuring your school against outstanding safeguarding criterion
  • Making sure you know the context of your own school, what are the issues facing your school?

12.30 – 1.30pm

Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.30pm
Training staff – making sure that all staff are fully aware of their safeguarding role in school

  • What should be in your September safeguarding presentation?
  • How to develop a whole school training plan for safeguarding
  • Looking at other opportunities to keep staff fully trained in safeguarding matters
  • Expectations of staff in promoting an integrated safeguarding approach
  • What steps to take to avoid complacency and safeguarding ‘fatigue’
  • The importance of safer recruitment training for staff
  • Knowing when to refer the concern – where your duty begins and ends

2.30 – 3.00pm
Collaborating with External Partners

  • The role of the Lead Governor and the LADO
  • Understand the role of the Local Area Designated Officer and that of your Lead safeguarding governor
  • Working in conjunction with your lead governor and ensuring that governors are briefed on safeguarding matters

3.00 – 3.30pm
Ofsted – Key Safeguarding Concerns Post-pandemic

  • What are the key safeguarding issues that OFSTED may look at?
  • What arrangements were in place during lockdowns and what plans have you just in case there is another lockdown?
  • What are the views children especially vulnerable groups about lockdown?

Eugene O’Reilly

Former Deputy Head Teacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead with over 20 years’  experience as DSL in a large urban, high performing secondary school. Comprehensive and sustained experience of dealing with a range of complex safeguarding cases in addition to leading a safeguarding team with multiple DSLs and a wider cohort of senior and middle
management staff. Demonstrable history of a number of successful OFSTED inspections and chairing of MAT safeguarding committees.