Version | June 2023
Review Date: June 2024
Approved review date by Governors:
A consultation via email around the contents of this policy has been conducted with all staff prior to the policy release.
Definition of Safeguarding Supervision:
Supervision is a method of supporting staff so they can provide for the needs of their students. Safeguarding supervision is a regular, planned, accountable two-way process which should offer emotional support and develop the knowledge, skills and values of an individual, group or team. Its purpose is to monitor the progress of professional practice and to help staff to improve the quality of the work they do, thus improving outcomes for children as well as achieving agreed objectives. Supervision also provides an opportunity to ensure that codes of conduct and standards of practice are maintained therefore promoting a safe culture. This will relate to Teaching Standards. This may be part of supervision or can take place separately especially where supervision is not given by the line manager/DSL. The definition of supervision that is often used for school settings, which has been adapted from the work of Morrison (2005) states that: ‘Supervision is a process by which one member of staff is given responsibility by the school to work with another staff member in order to meet certain organisational, professional and personal objectives, which together promote the best outcomes for students. These objectives and functions are:
- Competent accountable performance (managerial function)
- Continuing professional development (developmental/formative function)
- Personal support (supportive/restorative function)
- Engaging the staff member with the school (mediation function)
Purpose of Safeguarding Supervision for DSLs and DDSLs
The purpose of Safeguarding Supervision is to:
- Provide protected time to reflect on practice
- provide support with emotional well-being, resilience, picking up on demands and developing coping strategies
- have an opportunity to off-load, talk about how they are feeling when dealing with distressed students and the impact on their own life. It should feel restorative and help build resilience
- celebrating success
- review workloads and time management
- discuss and seek guidance on specific cases – review action plans, avoid drift. Provide a fresh eye, talk through intolerances, frustrations e.g. with other agencies/systems
- provide an opportunity where a member of staff can be challenged supportively and constructively with advice offered on areas for improvement
- allow for issues relating to the workplace and to working practices to be identified and discussed including safer working practice and professional boundaries
- enable an opportunity for reflection, creative thinking and solution focussed thinking consider how their role fits with the rest of the school/other services and the community
- identify achievements and good practice
- consider appropriate CPD/training needs in relation to the safeguarding role
Safeguarding supervision is not related to and does not replace appraisal, but should complement it.
- It is not counselling and a supervisor at times may need to refer a supervisee to other services such as counselling
- The relationship between supervisor and supervisee should be positive and trusting
- The school SLT/Governors should see supervision as an important aspect of the professionals’ work and ensure adequate time is provided
- The supervisor may not sit hierarchically above the supervisee e.g. reciprocal arrangements, use of independent supervisor. However, where someone other than the line manager provides supervision, the line manager still provides accountability for the work and should oversee the direction of the plan and work for individual children.
- Where supervision takes place across schools or with an independent person, confidentiality of individual children and families must be maintained.
- The supervisor should have attended supervision training and also be receiving supervision themselves
Models of Supervision at Co-op Academy Swinton include;
- Group of DSLs/Deputies meet across an the Year Groups
- Mixture of group and 1:1 supervision
- Most supervision will be planned but this may be supplemented by informal supervision sessions e.g. in relation to a crisis, need to debrief after a session with a student
To reflect on individual cases/scenarios, the supervisor may find it useful to use;
- Tell me
- Explain to me
- Describe to me
And consider FOUR aspects;
- SENSE – the story, what happened?
- FEEL – reflection, what was it like?
- THINK – Analysis, what does this mean?
- DO – Action plans, what next? (Morrison T 2005) The Supervision Cycle
Supervision should enable the supervisee to consider the best way to support the student’s current needs, reflecting on and adapting responses to achieve the best outcome for the student. (Lists of possible questions for supervision can be found in Sturt and Rowe, using Supervision in Schools Appendix 2)
Safeguarding Supervision Contract
Every supervisor should make a written contract / agreement with their supervisees taking into account:
- frequency and length of safeguarding supervision;
- location – supervision should take place in a private and uninterrupted space during the working day;
- recording it is the supervisor’s responsibility to take notes and make sure they are made available to the Supervisee and filed. Both parties need to agree and sign that they are accurate. Records must be kept in a secure location. The records themselves must be kept in a format that suits both parties; however a summary sheet of actions will be completed during or immediately after the session. A Recording Sheet is provided at Appendix C. Case discussion with any changes in plan approved by the DSL are to go on a child’s safeguarding record
- confidentiality – in general, supervision is considered as confidential, however there will be occasions where confidentiality will be overridden, for example in the case of child protection issues relating to the Supervisee or if not sharing information with senior school management could contribute in bringing the school into disrepute, there is a potential disciplinary matter or whistleblowing
- preparation for supervision - supervisee should identify cases/issues to discuss and start to reflect on these
A contract is included at Appendix A.
Entitlement to Safeguarding Supervision
It is important that safeguarding supervision is provided to the DSL and DDSL. If a DSL/DDSL is not receiving safeguarding supervision at the required frequency during the year they should:
- in the first instance discuss any complaints or dissatisfaction with their supervisor and endeavour to reach an agreement within the normal supervision process; or
- if a solution is not agreed, the supervisee should raise the issue with their Principal
Supervision Policy - June 2023