The designated safeguarding lead (DSL)

Be clear on who the DSL can be and what their responsibilities are.

Last reviewed on 23 June 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 5440
  1. Every school should have a DSL
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Training
  4. Availability and time allocation

Every school should have a DSL

 Your school should have a DSL whose role is to:

  • Take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety and understanding the filtering and monitoring systems in place)
  • 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 pages 28 and 29, and in annex C of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE).

Find further information on the role of the DSL under 'Responsibilities' below.

Who can be the DSL?

The role of DSL should be held by a senior member of staff. The DSL cannot be a governor or a trustee.

The governing board or board of trustees needs to make sure a DSL is appointed, and that they are a senior member of staff from the leadership team.

Have the appropriate status and authority within the school to carry out