Supervising Designated Safeguarding Leads in Schools: focus on child sexual abuse

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Summary & aims

This project expands existing work evaluating supervision for Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) in schools. In this study, we will evaluate an adapted version of the programme that has a specific focus on supporting DSLs in better identifying possible indicators of child sexual abuse and how to approproriately respond.


NIESR is evaluating the impact of the programme, which will run in primary and secondary schools across approximately ten local authorities in England. The evaluation comprises a randomised controlled trial and will explore impacts on contacts and referrals to children’s social care, contacts and referrals relating or potentially relating to child sexual abuse, as well as impacts on the wellbeing of DSLs themselves. The evaluation will also explore implementation of the programme and costs of delivery, helping to inform whether the programme could be rolled out on a wider scale in future.

The study is funded by What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC). It began in summer 2021 and is envisaged to complete in summer 2022. Training and resources are being provided by the Centre of expertise on Child Sexual Abuse.

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Lucy Stokes
Principal Economist
Johnny Runge
Senior Social Researcher
Chiara Manzoni
Senior Social Researcher
Katharine Stockland
Senior Social Researcher