The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, practices and activities. Accordingly, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills’ Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, the Board of Management of St. Nessan’s National School has agreed the following child protection policy:
The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools as part of this overall child protection policy.
The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Colm Ward.
The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Siobhán Long
(a) In the event of neither the DLP nor the DDLP being available, the next most senior available teacher may act in their place.
In its policies, practices and activities, St. Nessan’s National School will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:
The school will
- recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations
- fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
- adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect
- develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and
- fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters
Code of Behaviour:
The school Code of Behaviour including the Anti-Bullying Policy is in place and has been revised in the school year 2009 – 2010. All staff members are familiar with the content of this document. Copies are available on the school website and on request from the school. The parents of all new children enrolling in the school are provided with a hard copy of the policy. The safety and welfare of all children in the school is central to this policy. Pupils are expected to abide by the Code of Good Behaviour at all times and any breaches will normally be dealt with under the terms of the code. However, where child abuse is alleged to have been carried out by another child, the reporting procedures outlined in Chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures will be followed.
The school Attendance Policy is framed under the terms of the Education Welfare Act (2000). The attendance / non-attendance of pupils is monitored by the class teachers and any child with a pattern of non-attendance or whose non-attendance exceeds 20 days in a school year is brought to the attention of the Education Welfare Board.
Supervision, Arrival and Dismissal
Children are supervised from the school opening time of 9.00 am until the school closing time of 2.40 pm (1.40 pm in the case of Infant classes). At break times, teachers supervise children on the yards on a rota basis. In the event of bad weather, children are supervised in the classrooms by the teachers on duty for that break. The Principal and Deputy Principal supervise children on the yards, or in the classrooms in the event of bad weather, from 8.40 am until 9.00 am. At the end of the school day, Infant classes are brought to the front of the school and the children are handed over to the designated collector, ie, parent, guardian, bus personnel, etc as designated by the parents. At the end of the school day for all other classes, pupils are dismissed and are monitored by the Principal and Deputy Principal as they disperse. Security cameras monitor the front and back of the school.
Supervision is ensured when children are on school related activities off the school premises at sporting events, church based celebrations, school outings, etc, and due cognisance is given to the necessity of both male and female supervision at these times.
All members of staff and specifically Special Needs Assistants play a very important role in assisting with supervision. SNA staff are made aware of the importance of respecting the personal space of the child/children in their care having due regard to the care needs of that child/children. SNAs are required to work in pairs where tasks of an intimate nature are involved where practicable.
All visitors coming to the school are required to report to Reception on arrival. Depending on the purpose of the visit, the visitor may be requested to wait at Reception, to make an appointment to see a member of staff, to proceed to their child’s classroom or otherwise. Parents who are taking their child(ren) from the school outside of normal school for any reason must sign their chil(ren) out in the book specially kept for this purpose at Reception. On returning the child(ren) to the school, the parent must sign the child back in in this book. All visitors who have unsupervised access to children must have Garda Vetting Procedures fulfilled.
Special Educational Needs:
It is generally expected / school policy that extra support to children with special educational needs will be given through in-class support. However a small number of children will be withdrawn from class for specific special needs purposes, for example one-to-one teaching, social skills work, etc. In such cases no child will be taught in a room on an individual basis unless the door to the room is left open and/or full visibility into the room is available through glass panels on the room door.
Toileting issues may arise from time to time especially in Infant Classes. If the incident merely involves a simple change of clothing, one member of staff is deemed to be sufficient. Where support of a more intimate nature is required, two members of staff will be present. Parents may be notified and may be requested to come to the school to bring a change of clothes for their child. In all cases the teacher will log the event in the office and will inform the parents as soon as possible.
Third and Fourth Class children are offered swimming as part of the Curriculum in P.E. This swimming takes place in Grove Island Swimming Pool. Supervision is provided by the teacher (and if applicable the SNA) on the bus to and from the pool. Adults, to include the teacher and if applicable the SNA, are not normally permitted in the dressing room in which children are preparing for swimming or in which children are changing after swimming. It may however prove necessary for appropriate adults to enter the dressing room in exceptional cases. Children with special needs, in particular mobility needs, may require assistance in the dressing room. Parental advice and assistance will be sought in such situations and it is hoped that a private area for changing will be available. Individual cases will be dealt with individually with the child’s best interests and safety always to the fore. In the events of an emergency in the dressing room (a child slipping, having a medical emergency, etc) appropriate adults will enter the dressing room. All such events will be recorded and will be reported to the parents concerned as soon as possible.
All members of staff including substitute teachers and SNAs satisfy the requirements of the DES regarding Garda Vetting and all visiting / specialist teachers are requested to fulfil any such conditions laid down including the signing of a Statutory Declaration.
Students on Teaching Practice do not have unsupervised access to pupils in the school. The same situation applies to persons undertaking Child Care and / or SNA Training courses through PLC and / or FETAC courses and to second level students on Transition Year Work Experience.
Stay Safe / RSE:
The Stay Safe programme forms an integral part of the school’s Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy (as an element of the SPHE Curriculum) and its content is taught in Senior Infants, Second Class, Fourth Class and Sixth Class. The RSE Policy aims to enable the children;
- to develop healthy friendships and relationships
- to develop a positive sense of self-awareness, self-esteem and self-worth
- to develop some coping strategies to protect oneself and others from various forms of abuse and bullying
- to develop strategies to make decisions, solve problems, and implement actions in various personal, social and health contexts and
- to acquire a critical understanding of external influences on life styles and decision-making.
The Board of Management has ensured and will continue to ensure that the necessary policies, practices or protocols as appropriate are in place to address issues relevant to child protection.
Designated Liaison Person / Deputy Designated Liaison Person:
A notice detailing the names of both the Designated Liaison Person and the Deputy Liaison Person has been displayed on the community notice board near the reception area of the school.
This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. It is also available on the school website.
This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.
This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 30 April 2012
Signed: ____________________ Signed: ____________________
Chairperson of Board of Management Principal
Date: _______________ Date: _______________
Date of next review: April 2013