Who can be a Designated Lead Person for Safeguarding?
We have worked extensively with Designated Safeguarding Leads for many, many years now.
In making a selection as to who should hold the Designated Safeguarding Lead role in your organisation it is essential to ensure that the person has a breadth and depth not only in their knowledge but also their practical experience of Safeguarding. And particularly they should understand what to do if there is a child protection concern.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead needs the capacity to read and actively work with a range of emotional responses and reactions by their Practitioners to abuse and neglect. This skill includes the ability to recognise Practitioners who may be one of life’s rescuers, might over-identify with the child or parent, or perhaps sanitise or avoid, to name just a few possible relational dynamics.
The Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019, Guidance in Annexe B, in particular, specifies that the Designated Safeguarding Lead must hold a senior leadership position in their organisation. This seniority is essential because they have the status to direct resources and exert their authority with safeguarding partners if necessary.
In our training and consultancy work with a wide range of both Children’s and Adult’s Safeguarding Services, we see a broad spectrum of models. In the most effective there is a Team of Designated Safeguarding Leads at a deputy level, all of whom keep the Senior Safeguarding Lead closely informed of:
- the lower level safeguarding work including meaningful Early Help offered from within the school, setting or service,
- the school or setting’s work with members of a more extensive professional network where there is a co-ordinated Team around the Child or Family approach
- consultation and/or referral to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) or Adults’ Social Care (in the case of Adults at Risk) for when concerns have reached a level 4, or serious threshold for protection.
In our experience, these Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads might hold roles such as Family Support or Inclusion Manager, Mentors within the Youth or Secondary Academy Sector, Heads of Year or Pastoral Leads.
The Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead is commonly the Head Teacher or Principal, their deputy or for the broader Children’s Services a Service Manager, Proprietor or Manager for an Early Years’ setting.
Guidance is explicit that the Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead can not delegate their leadership of safeguarding within their organisation.
If you would like to create a much deeper understanding of this pivotal role within your school, academy, service or setting, you might wish to consider joining us for our upcoming course.