Role and Responsibilities of a Designated Safeguarding Lead

A DSL is appointed to ensure that schools and colleges conform to safeguarding policies. If you are employed in a place with vulnerable children or young people, having a DSL is a valuable addition to your team.

In this blog piece, we’ll explore the importance of DSLs.

Why Are DSLs Important?

  • designated safeguarding lead has the authority within a school or education provider to allocate funds for safeguarding actions. They’re furthermore obligated to support and direct staff about safeguarding issues.
  • The functions of the DSL were stipulated in the Children Act 2004, stating that every organization that engages with children should have a post dedicated to safeguarding. It’s a job that holds both strategic duties within the organization’s system along with day-to-day duties to conduct.
  • DSLs are not positions restricted to schools and various education givers. A lot of industries and working environments throughout varied sectors include DSLs as member of their respective teams.

How to Become a DSL?

There are many options available to become a qualified DSL. Different NGOs provide training, for example, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) or the SSS. A DSL should complete a training course every 2 years to acquire the latest techniques and procedures. Along with training courses, DSLs must stay up to date with modifications in safeguarding policies and governmental protocol.

The Responsibilities of a DSL

There are some broad responsibilities that the designated safeguarding lead has to put time and energy into. They can be distinguished under 3 categories: referrals, training and awareness.


They are the situations where a violation of safeguarding policies or issues of maltreatment have been detected and are consequently reported.

The responsibilities relate to:

  • Any case of alleged child abuse is to be reported to local authorities.
  • Apprise headteacher/principal of issues and/or continuing investigations. This needs to be executed under section 47 of the Children Act 1989.
  • When required, function as a source of support and expertise for associated staff members. Mediate, lead, and educate on safeguarding matters. Support the referral decision-making process by coordinating with appropriate agencies.
  • Collecting evidence related to any referral.
  • Collaborating with families & involved parties.


DSLs should give training to staff members. DSLs also must receive training regularly. They should thoroughly familiarize themselves with evaluation processes for providing required help at the right timings and intervention procedures.

A DSL needs to have comprehensive knowledge of both:

  • Child protection case conference.
  • Child protection review conference.


Providing knowledge on safeguarding protocols is a vital part of any DSL’s responsibilities. A DSL must:

  • Ensure their school or organization’s child protection policy is available publicly and reviewed every year, alongside pertinent updates being duly implemented.
  • Develop relationships with the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and inform staff of training opportunities & new policies.


A DSL is a vital part of any successful attempt to execute safeguarding policies but is a minute component of the overall perspective that is safeguarding policy and practice.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *