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January Calendar For Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs)

10 Tasks for Designated Safeguarding Leads in Schools for January and February

As the calendar turns to a new year, Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) in schools play a critical role in reinforcing and enhancing the safety measures in place for students. January and February mark the beginning of a fresh start, making it an ideal time for Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) to review, update, and implement safeguarding initiatives. Here are ten tasks for Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) in schools during January and February:

  1. Review and Update Safeguarding Action Plan: Start the year by revisiting and updating the school’s Safeguarding Action Plan. Evaluate the effectiveness of existing strategies and make adjustments to address emerging concerns and priorities.
  2. Review Actions and Plans for CP and CIN Children: Conduct a detailed review of the actions and plans in place for Child Protection (CP) and Children in Need (CIN) cases. Ensure that interventions are aligned with the evolving needs of these children.
  3. Prepare Safeguarding Report for Governors: Compile a comprehensive safeguarding report for the governors, summarising key activities and outlining plans for the upcoming year. Attend the governors’ safeguarding meeting to present the report and foster collaboration (if applicable).
  4. Monitor Progress of Students with Pastoral/Safeguarding Needs: Continuously monitor the progress of students with significant pastoral and safeguarding needs. Pay special attention to those receiving support, both within the school and from external agencies.
  5. Seek Student/Child Voice: Actively seek input from students to understand their feelings of safety within the school environment. Inquire about their awareness of available support and ensure they know whom to approach if they need help.
  6. Review Plan for Disseminating Safeguarding Updates to Families: Evaluate and refine the plan for regularly updating families on safeguarding matters, especially online safety. Ensure that communication channels are effective, and parents are well-informed partners in the school’s safeguarding efforts.
  7. Consider Information Availability for Students: Reflect on the information available to students regarding self-help and accessing support independently. Address potential barriers to disclosure and empower students with the knowledge they need to seek assistance.
  8. Ensure Safeguarding Training for New Staff: Confirm that all new staff members, including non-teaching staff, have completed mandatory safeguarding training and induction. This is crucial for maintaining a unified and informed approach to safeguarding.
  9. Enhance Recording of Incidents and Disclosures: Ensure that records allow for specific and detailed documentation of incidents and disclosures ensure categorisation is accurate, for example labelling the concern as sexual harassment, sexual assault or online safety. Accurate recording is vital for reporting and intervention.
  10. Ensure Supervision for DSLs: Prioritise the well-being of DSLs and other safeguarding staff by ensuring that regular supervision is in place. This provides a supportive space to discuss challenges, seek advice, and maintain a strong, resilient safeguarding team.

As the new year unfolds, Designated Safeguarding Leads have a unique opportunity to strengthen their commitment to creating a safe educational environment. By addressing these ten tasks during January and February, DSLs can contribute significantly to the overall well-being and security of students, staff, and the entire school community.

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