How we built the INSET day checklist with our members

Anna Chapman
Anna Chapman
Providing safeguarding training on a September INSET day is a top priority for safeguarding teams across the country - especially designated safeguarding leads (DSLs). When COVID-19 hit the UK earlier this year, it became increasingly clear that INSET days might not be able to run as normal, in-school, sessions in September. Here was our challenge; DSLs are in a situation they’ve never been in before, and providing helpful safeguarding training to their staff, while making sure they complete all of their statutory obligations, is going to be tough.

What did we do?

User experience design at The Key is all about understanding the problems our members face day to day, so we can create solutions for them. To understand the impact that COVID-19 would have on this year’s INSET day, we needed to hear from the people on the ground, so in June 2020 we conducted 9 video interviews with DSLs in different parts of the country. 

Ahead of the interviews, our product teams ran several workshops to generate ideas on how to best support safeguarding leads through a difficult time. These varied from a ‘build your own INSET day’ tool, or tracked reading of Keeping Children Safe in Education pt.1 to an INSET day checklist for DSLs. We shared these ideas during the interviews to understand whether they would save our members time and be useful to them.

What did we learn?

The DSLs told us that their two biggest concerns were that they would have less time to plan and prepare the day, and that there would be more safeguarding issues to train staff on this year due to the extended period of change for children caused by the pandemic. There were further worries around new guidance and protocols, delivering training face-to-face versus remotely, and collecting evidence that all staff had read and understood Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) pt 1.

Often in research you’re not likely to get a clear winner, but following months of uncertainty and changing guidance, it was no surprise that the DSLs unanimously agreed that having a dedicated INSET day checklist which outlines their statutory duties as well as a few extras, would reduce the pressure in preparing and delivering their INSET day. And after all, who doesn’t love a checklist? 

What did we create?

Keeping things simple was vital here. Not only were we working to a very tight deadline to make sure this was ready for our members by September, but we also know that DSLs have busy schedules, so making sure that everything was quick and actionable was a priority. To help with this, we mapped out each of the tasks a DSL needs to complete before, during and after their INSET day, and developed ways that each of these tasks could be easily completed on Safeguarding Training Centre. 

DSLs also told us about issues they wanted to cover at the INSET in light of the pandemic and partial school closures, like domestic abuse, anxiety, bereavement and trauma. We knew from previous research that these issues would be important, so in addition to the checklist we created a training session on reintegrating pupils into school to help DSLs train their staff on these issues. This training session is now part of our INSET day checklist.

We’ve already had lots of positive feedback from our members to say the checklist has really helped them get organised. To date, over 2,500 people have accessed the checklist, from nearly 2,000 schools across the country. We’re delighted that for these members, at least two things on their to do list will have been less stressful this September.

Our checklist is exclusive to members of Safeguarding Training Centre. Membership also includes an eLearning library covering topics such as online safety and Prevent, as well as a safeguarding assessment, reporting dashboard and so much more. Find out more about purchasing Safeguarding Training Centre for your school or trust by clicking below.

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