Role of the designated safeguarding lead (DSL)

Understand the DSL's responsibilities, what training they need and what to consider when determining how much time your DSL needs for their role.

Last reviewed on 8 June 2022
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 8076
  1. Main areas of responsibility 
  2. Expectations for the DSL and deputies
  3. Training
  4. Availability and time allocation

Main areas of responsibility 

You should have a DSL whose role is to:

  • Take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety)
  • Support staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties
  • Liaise closely with children’s social care and other services 

The DSL's main responsibilities are set out on page 28 and in Annex C of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE). 

Managing referrals

Your DSL should refer cases:

  • Of suspected abuse and neglect to the local authority (LA) children’s social care team as required, and support any staff who do so
  • To the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern, and support any staff who do so
  • To the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), if a person is dismissed or leaves due to risk or harm to a child
  • To the police, where a crime may have been committed

Working with others

The LA Clinical commissioning group (within the LA) Chief officer