Reflective Supervision Programme

Reflective Supervision in Education


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If you would like further information about our Reflective Supervision Programme, please get in touch. 

Why is Safeguarding Supervision crucial for a Safeguarding team?

Frequently asked questions

Reflective supervision in education refers to a process where safeguarding practitioners receive regular support and guidance to ensure they are able to identify, report and respond appropriately to safeguarding concerns.

Supervision can take various forms, such as one-to-one meetings with a designated safeguarding lead, group supervision sessions, or reflective practice discussions. It is essential that safeguarding supervision is regular, consistent, and supportive, and that safeguarding leads feel comfortable and confident in raising any concerns they may have.

Overall, supervision is a critical element in ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people in educational settings.

Statutory Guidance and Serious Case Review Recommendations are:

  • Providers must put appropriate arrangements in place for the supervision of staff who have contact with children and families.
  • Effective supervision provides support, coaching and training for the practitioner and promotes the interests of children.

[EYFS Statutory Framework (2021)]


  • Effective practitioner supervision can play a critical role in ensuring a clear focus on a child’s welfare.
  • Supervision should support practitioners to reflect critically on the impact of their decisions on the child and their family.

[Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018/2020)]


  • Employers are responsible for ensuring that their staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role.

[Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education (2021)]


  • The role carries a significant level of responsibility and the postholder should be given the additional time, funding, training, resources, and support needed to carry out the role effectively.

[Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022]

Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs)

DSL’s can often feel overwhelmed by the constant changes and safeguarding demands, leading to compassion fatigue which may impact on their own emotional and physical health and the ability to do their job.

Safeguarding Team Members

As safeguarding responsibilities and teams grow, it is recognised as best practice that supervision should be extended to the deputy safeguarding leads and other staff in safeguarding lead roles working specifically with vulnerable children.

In the case of supervision, there will be a partnership between the supervisee, the supervisor and the setting.  The supervisor does not necessarily sit hierarchically above the supervisee. However, where someone other than the line manager provides supervision, the line manager still provides accountability for the work and should oversee direction of the plan and work for individual children.

We work to sector agreed standards for the supervision which provides a framework for and understanding of the minimum requirements and processes of supervision, encouraging staff to appreciate a restorative approach to supervision, which recognises benefits for all.

Good supervision can provide the opportunity for practitioners to reflect on their practice, explore any worries or concerns they may hold about the welfare or development of the children in their care and contribute towards highly effective practice and increased confidence.

Supervision should allow for work to be outcome focused, where the supervisee is held to account for the agreed actions, provides the opportunity for reflection, analysis and building on good practice. It should support the supervisee with professional development needs and space to discuss any personal impact of their role and responsibilities.

Monitoring: It monitors the work of safeguarding professionals to ensure that they are following best practices and adhering to established policies and procedures.

Support: It provides support and guidance to safeguarding professionals, particularly in situations that are complex or emotionally challenging.

Training: It serves as a platform to inform training and development opportunities to safeguarding professionals, helping them to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Accountability: It plays a critical role in ensuring that safeguarding professionals are held accountable for their actions and decisions, and that appropriate action is taken when necessary to address any issues that arise.

Continuous Improvement: It helps drive continuous improvement in safeguarding practices by identifying areas for improvement and implementing changes to address them.

Supervision should enable the safeguarding team to reflect and learn in order to:

  • Uphold quality standards, including legislation and the suite of safeguarding policies
  • Receive appropriate support and ensure staff wellbeing
  • Celebrate success
  • Be open and honest
  • Be a two-way relationship between supervisor and supervisee
  • Be structured within an agreement supervision contract
  • Be recorded, kept private but not a confidential process
  • Be regular

Rachel Priestley

Rach has a background in Business Development and Administration, gaining much of her knowledge and experience through her 19 year career with the NHS working within the executive office, community services and public health. 

Before moving on from the NHS, Rach supported the Chief Executive, the Chairman and the Trust Board of a local NHS Care Trust, which managed Children’s Services. Her responsibilities spanned across HR, Finance, Governance, Compliance, Risk, systems and processes, and internal training. Rach also supported the Children’s Safeguarding Lead with safeguarding investigations.

In 2017, she left the NHS to pursue a successful self-employed career supporting business to grow, with flexible business development and administration support, which she continues to do on a part-time basis.

Rach is in house trained, and is passionate about delivering outstanding services and enjoys working as part of the safeguarding team to achieve a common goal.

In her own time, she loves spending time outside, and long walks with the two family dogs. 

Shelley Armstrong

Shelley joined Safeguarding Support in 2020 as an experienced AET-qualified freelance trainer, and now enjoys working across the business, keeping clients as up to date as possible with the ever changing challenges facing safeguarding children in education.

Whilst we aim to simplify safeguarding, Shelley’s passion is to ensure engagement, pride and confidence through training and support. Shelley enjoys applying the competencies gained in different industries and environments to researching, designing, and developing materials for those with the responsibility to safeguard children, and in return has enormous respect for their commitment.

Her experience across the private business sector brings commercial skills to training and her background in psychology and counselling ensure courses are designed and delivered with the learner in mind.

Shelley lives in Yorkshire and enjoys walking her springer spaniels – come rain or shine!

Abigail Havon

Abigail is an experienced AET qualified trainer who began her safeguarding career in the charity sector.  There she was a regional manager and part of the safeguarding leadership team.  She was involved in writing policies and procedures, developing, and delivering training and supporting staff and volunteers to work 121 with children struggling with their literacy. 

She has worked in a variety of business environments gaining experience in different sectors. She has always chosen roles that call for collaboration and communication to bring the best out in people and projects to completion.  Abigail passionately believes that empowering educators to work together as part of a safeguarding team will lead to better outcomes for children and young people. 

As part of the SSL training team her role focuses mainly on delivering virtual training. 

Abigail lives near the Jurassic Coast and enjoys long walks and caring for her jungle of houseplants.  

Carol Stephenson

Carol has spent her entire career teaching in Bradford primary schools. Most recently she was Head Teacher of a large, outstanding, multi-academy trust, inner-city
school where she gained Local Leaders of Education (LLE) status.

Carol is a highly experienced Designated Safeguarding Lead and safeguarding Governor, with an extensive range of expertise, skills and knowledge. It was through this depth of experience that she became a dedicated representative of Bradford Children’s Safeguarding Board. In June 2019, Carol was awarded a Bradford Safeguarding Champions lifetime achievement award 2019 for her continued work in safeguarding the children of Bradford.

Carol is in-house trained and is NSPCC certified to deliver Child Protection and Safeguarding training.

In her spare time, Carol enjoys working on her allotment.