How to present safeguarding referrals to Ofsted

Ofsted will ask to see a list of safeguarding referrals made to your DSL. Get expert advice on presenting this information, and see examples of forms other schools use to record referrals.

Last reviewed on 7 September 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 12478
  1. What Ofsted will ask and look for
  2. Top tips for presenting referral information
  3. Examples of forms for recording referrals

What Ofsted will ask and look for

By 8am on the day of inspection, you must give inspectors secure access to:

  • A list of referrals made to your designated safeguarding lead (DSL)
  • Those that were subsequently referred to your local authority (LA)
  • Brief details on the resolution(s) 

This is set out in paragraph 97 of the School Inspection Handbook

For a small number of these pupils, inspectors will check how the referral was made and the thoroughness of the follow-up (see paragraph 285 of the inspection handbook, linked above). 

To show Ofsted your safeguarding arrangements are effective, you’ll need to: 

  • Retain a record of safeguarding referrals 
  • Demonstrate that you’ve promptly taken any agreed action following the referral, in order to protect the pupil from further harm 

This is explained in this guidance about how Ofsted inspects safeguarding. Read our guide to find out more about the process. 

An Ofsted representative answered the following questions for us: