DSL Masterclass

A series of 10 sessions on safeguarding in schools by experts in their field. Book on this cohort now...

Our DSL Masterclass series develops the skills and confidence of new and experienced DSLs, deputies, head teachers, SLT and safeguarding governors. Each month a different expert talks to an aspect of the DSL role, sharing law, research and best practice to enhance the quality of safeguarding in your setting.

All sessions are certified and our ‘watch again’ option means you can review or recap the session whether you were able to attend or not. Each session includes groupwork with other DSLs about the practical application of the session and a reflective practice element that builds a portfolio demonstrating your continuing professional development.

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  • £149 per annum to attend all 10 DSL Masterclass sessions
  • £99 per annum for Safeguarding Network members
  • £25 for each additional participant
  • Fully certified, builds CPD, ‘watch again’ options.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to book. Attendance for just an individual session is £35 (£25 for members)

Mind the gap - tracking and developing the attainment of vulnerable children in a post-lockdown context

Our progress on closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their peers may have slipped by as much as a decade  during COVID-19 and sustained support will be needed to help them catch up (Eeducation Endowment Foundation, 2020). The DSL’s job description in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 now includes understanding the academic progress and attainment of vulnerable children and maintaining a culture of high aspirations for this cohort. You’ll be “supporting teaching staff to identify the challenges that children in this group might face and the additional academic support and adjustments that they could make to best support these children.” (Annex B).

Christine Freestone has been a lecturer, head teacher, inspector and passionate advocate of the most vulnerable children throughout her career. Chris will take us through the underlying causes of the attainment gap, how to identify and monitor difficulties and effective action to demonstrate you are giving these children the best your setting can offer.

This is the first of our DSL Masterclass series for 2020.

5pm to 6:30pm on Thursday 22nd October, repeated Tuesday 27th October

To book this session or join our DSL Masterclass series please see below. Tickets from £2.50 per session.

Masterclass calendar

Masterclass sessions are run twice a month on a Tuesday and a Thursday.

October – “Mind the gap” – tracking and developing the attainment of vulnerable children in a post-lockdown context

November – Leading a safeguarding culture – working together to create safe environments for children

December – Safeguarding readiness in a COVID-19 world – recording your learning from the pandemic and a strategic approach to the ‘new normal’ that recognises particular vulnerabilities and plans to keep children safe and doing well

January – Safeguarding & SEND – We will welcome the renowned Carolyn Eyre, safeguarding lead for NASS, to discuss adapting your approach to the needs of the most vulnerable children and young people.

February – Assessing & recording safeguarding risks – a structured, risk mitigated model to understanding, analysing and recording risk to children and young people

March – Safeguarding & inspection – being prepared, managing your inspector and the role of young people in keeping safeguarding front and centre

April – Child Exploitation – working against an exploitative culture

May – Mental health & safeguarding – an exploration of the new responsibilities of DSLs and deputies under KCSiE 2020

June – Effective referrals, threshold and escalation – effective partnership work with children’s services that prioritises children, outcomes and accountability

July – Extra-familial risk – a contextual approach to keeping children safe


Sessions are run twice a month on different days – you may attend either or both events. The sessions start at 5pm with an hour on a topic with an expert in the field. Semi-structured questions then support small group work with 3 or 4 other participants before we round up with questions and finish at 6:30pm.

Participants may complete an online reflective document to capture their reflections and action plan. A video of the main session and the Q&A is kept and can be reviewed by participants, irrespective of whether they were able to attend.

Who is it for?

Designated Safeguarding Leads, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads, Senior Leadership Team and Safeguarding Governors

Are the sessions certified?

Yes. Attendees will automatically receive a certificate of attendance covering the core aims of the session. Those who cannot make it on the day may review the whole session online to receive their certificate.

Is this DSL training?

The sessions contribute to your CPD and demonstrate regular training and awareness, particularly when combined with the reflective document and action plan. However, we strongly recommend you attend separate, comprehensive DSL training aligned to the DSL job description.

Costs of the programme

The series is £149 per annum for the first participant, discounted to £99 for Safeguarding Network member settings. Additional participiants can be registered for just £25 per annum, again giving access to all 10 sessions.