Supervising Designated Safeguarding Leads in primary schools

Following on from an initial evaluation exploring the impact of providing formal, individual supervision to Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) in primary schools in Bolton, this study will evaluate a scale-up of the programme.

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Summary & aims

This intervention aims to improve knowledge and understanding of Children’s Social Care processes and issues among DSLs, resulting in reductions in inappropriate contacts to Children’s Social Care, and reducing DSL stress and anxiety.


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

The project began in summer 2021 and is envisaged to complete in summer 2022.

Initial evaluation

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Lucy Stokes
Principal Economist
Johnny Runge
Senior Social Researcher
Chiara Manzoni
Senior Social Researcher
Private: Xu, L
Katharine Stockland
Senior Social Researcher