Supervision of Designated Safeguarding Leads in primary schools

This trial aims to establish the impact of providing regular, individual supervision to the Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) in primary schools in Bolton Council.


Randomised controlled trial / In progress

Estimated completion

Spring 2020

Focus areas


Delivered by

Bolton Council

Evaluated by


Key Figures

Local authorities 1
Sample size 94

DSLs are the members of staff in a school who have the lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection, including responsibility for referring cases that meet threshold levels of concern on to Children’s Social Care (CSC). The role involves having to make difficult decisions about complex situations and vulnerable children, however DSLs tend not to receive adequate formal supervision.

This programme aims to test the impact of providing formal, individual supervision to DSLs in primary schools, with the aim of reducing inappropriate contacts to CSC.

In total, 94 primary schools in Bolton Council are eligible to participate in the programme, and will be randomly assigned to either receiving the intervention, or support as usual. The DSLs allocated to the intervention group will receive monthly supervision, provided by an experienced social work manager over the course of six months. The primary outcome measure will be the proportion of contacts made to CSC resulting in no further action. Monthly data will be collected from October 2019