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Honeyguide School Leader Support

Designated Safeguarding Lead Skills Audit Pack

Designated Safeguarding Lead Skills Audit Pack

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Looking to identify the skills and development points of your school's designated safeguarding lead? Or perhaps you're a DSL or deputy DSL who wants to explore role-specific strengths and weaknesses as part of your ongoing development or when looking for a new role. No matter the situation, this handy pack contains exactly what you need to uncover strengths and plan for professional development & growth.
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What's included in this bundle?

A quick-and-easy pack to audit the skills of a DSL or anyone in a role where they hold responsibility for safeguarding and child protection. This pack contains concise guidance to support you in effectively utilising the skills audit, whether you're line managing a safeguarding and child protection lead or whether you're a DSL yourself who's wanting to evaluate their strengths and areas for improvement.  

Included is a 18-page template covering the different areas of skills that a DSL may need. These are split into handy sections, such as legislation, policies and record-keeping, staff development and critical thinking, decision making and working in partnership, so they can be used flexibly. Questions include:

  • Do I understand the protocols for managing situations involving missing children, including reporting to relevant authorities and communication with parents or carers?
  • Do I understand the assessment process for providing early help and statutory intervention?
  • Given the increasing importance of online safety, how do I support staff to recognise and respond to online risks, including cyberbullying, grooming and inappropriate content?
  • How do I ensure pupils are provided with the opportunity to give feedback about their school experience and how safe they feel?

Who will find this resource useful?

The pack is aimed at supporting DSLs but can be used by anyone who line manages a safeguarding lead, such as a headteacher or trust leader. This can help to inform appraisal and performance management processes, as well as identify CPD needs for the designated safeguarding lead.

What questions does this pack have the answers to?

Whether staff members are new-to-role or have vast experience in their area, skills audits are a valuable self-evaluation tool. When a staff member reflects on their competencies and expertise, they’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the strengths they bring to their role while identifying opportunities for growth or next steps. This self-awareness can boost confidence and self-belief, as well as enabling individuals to articulate their unique contributions to the team.

When skill gaps are identified, performance targets can include specific objectives aimed at addressing these gaps, allowing those with line management responsibilities to support the staff member through professional development and further training. Skills audits can also help school leaders to create balanced teams, prepare for change, support staff retention and assist in succession planning. 

Key questions answered:

  • Why is it important for staff to utilise skills audits?
  • How should a skills audit be conducted?
  • How can skills audits inform performance management targets?
  • How can leaders identify individual staff training needs?
  • What other ways can skills audits be used?

What else can help me?

Skills audits can be used as a valuable part of the induction process when a new staff member joins your team. Find out more about how to craft staff induction procedures that allow staff to get off to a flying start in your setting with the following pack:

If you know that your staff have training and development needs, and are looking to enhance your CPD planning, this pack will support your thinking:

If you're thinking about recruiting a JOB TITLE, and want to use the skills audit as part of that process, then you'll find the following packs and pages useful too: