Child Protection

Child Protection Policy of Arles N.S.

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 Arles N.S. has agreed the following child protection policy:

  1. 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.
  2. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Mrs. Annette Fitzpatrick.
  3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Ms. Catherine Lawlor
  4. In its policies, practices and activities, Arles N.S. 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.

The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.

  1. School policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to child protection include the Code of Behaviour/Anti-bullying Policy, Pupil Attendance Strategy, Supervision of Pupils, Sporting Activities/School Outings/etc.The Board has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices as appropriate are in place in respect of each of the above listed items.
  2. This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
  3. This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.
  4. See Appendix 1 for more information on Child Protection Procedures in Arles N.S.

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 19th June 2012 and reviewed by the BOM on 15th June 2017.

 

Signed: _________________________ Signed: __________________________

Chairperson of Board of Management Principal

Date: __________________________ Date: __________________________

Date of next review: June 2018

 

Appendix 1

Arles N.S.  Child Protection Policy

 

Introductory Statement: Staff and parents reviewed this policy in September 2011 following new guidelines from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. These guidelines are available on the following website. http://www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/child_welfare_protection/ChildrenFirst.pdf

 

Rationale: This policy was formulated to comply with National Guidelines:

Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs 2011

 

Relationship to the Characteristic spirit of the school:

 

In our school the welfare of the child is paramount.

 

Aims:  Our main aim is to keep children safe.

 

Other Aims:

  • To insure that the policies/procedures are developed and that all staff/relevant personnel are involved in this process.
  • To insure that all staff volunteers, parents, children are advised of the child protection policy procedures within the school.
  • To ensure that the policy is upgraded and reviewed in line with government, national and organisational developments.

 

Guidelines

 

  1. Appointment of a Designated Liaison Person

 

  • B.O.M. Appoints DLP: Annette Fitzpatrick
  • B.O.M. Appoints Deputy DLP Catherine Lawlor
  • Each new board will be informed of the position of DLP and Deputy DLP will take place at the second B.O.M. meeting of the school year.
  • The appointment of the DLP and Deputy DLP will take place at the first B.O.M. meeting of the school year.  The position will be held for 2 years.

 

  1. Roles and Responsibilities

 

    1. Role of the B.O.M.:  The B.O.M. has primary responsibility for the care and welfare of their pupils.

It is the responsibility of the Board of Management of each school to do the following:

 

  • to have clear procedures, which teachers and other school staff must follow where they suspect, or are alerted to, possible child abuse or neglect, including where a child discloses abuse or neglect;
  • to designate a senior member of staff to have specific responsibility for child protection (see Chapter 3, Section 3.3 for role of designated liaison persons).
  • to monitor the progress of children considered to be at risk;
  • to contribute to the prevention of child abuse or neglect through curricular provision;
  • to provide or access in-service training for teachers and members of the Board of Management to ensure that they have a good working knowledge of child protection issues and procedures;
  • to have clear written procedures in place concerning action to be taken where allegations are received against school employees.

 

  • Role of the Staff Member (to include Teachers, SNA’s, Caretaker, Secretary etc.)

 

All staff members have a general duty of care to ensure that arrangements are in place to protect children from harm.  It is the responsibility of all teachers and staff members to familiarise themselves with the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs 2011especially

 

Chapter 2 Definition and Recognition of Child Abuse.

Chapter 3 Basis for Reporting and Standard Reporting Procedures

Appendix 1 Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse (page 70)

 

Guidelines for teachers and staff members in handling……..

  1. Disclosures from children
    • Listen first and write later.  Listen, don’t ask leading questions, offer reassurance, allow child to talk, don’t over-react, explain that you may have to take further action.  Confidentiality must never be promised to a person making a disclosure and the requirement to report to the DLP must be explained in a supportive manner.  Record but don’t identify the child by name, use roll number, remember all records are subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
    • Report to the DLP who is responsible for reporting the matter to the health board of Garda Siochana.

 

  1. Suspicions of abuse

When there are such concerns it is essential to keep an objective and factual record of all information available. A teacher may also be requested to keep a child under observation.

 

What are the procedures for staff, volunteers, parents to report child protection and welfare concerns?

 

DLP, Deputy DLP,  If a parent voices concern to a staff member, the staff member will inform the parent that the teacher will have to speak to the DLP or Deputy DLP.

 

    1. Role of the designated Liaison Person (DLP)

 

The role of the DLP vis-à-vis:

Outside agencies, Health Board, Gardai and other parties with child protection concerns

 

  • To ensure that all proper procedures are followed.
  • To act as a liaison with outside agencies and a resource person to any staff member or volunteer who has child protection concerns.
  • To ensure that the standard reporting procedure is followed, so that suspected cases of child neglect or abuse are referred promptly to the designated person in the HSE Children and Family Services or in the event of an emergency and the unavailability of the HSE, to An Garda Síochána.
  • To be knowledgeable about child protection and undertake any training considered necessary to keep themselves updated on new developments.

 

School Personnel

 

  • To inform staff of policy and procedures especially at first Staff meeting and make sure all personnel who work in the school are aware of the policy.

 

Maintenance of proper records

 

  • Maintain all records confidential and in a safe place.

 

Good practice Guidelines

 

Discuss and inform parents/care givers that a report has been made to the Health Board-unless doing so would put the child at further risk.  Standard Reporting Form to the Health Board to be enclosed.

In”out out of duty social work hours” any emergency situation should be referred to the Gardai.

 

List relevant phone numbers and addresses of Local Health Board duty social workers and Gardai.

 

  1. Child Protection Meetings/ Case Conferences

 

Employees involved in case conferences should first seek advice from the DLP.

 

  1. Organisational Implications

 

The following procedures/policies need to be examined with reference to the Children First Guidelines and from the point of view of Child Protection:

 

  • Policy on supervision
  • Induction meeting for new staff
  • Anti-Bullying policy should include sexual haressment
  • Written guidelines for extra curriculum activities
  • Written guidelines for swimming
  • Children travelling in teacher’s cars.
  • Policy needs to be explained to parents
  • DLP needs to make pupils aware of policy
  • Special needs
  • SPHE

 

  1. Curriculum Implications

 

  1. How will we educate our children in the protective skills of self-esteem and assertiveness?

 

SPHE, Oral language skills, Anti-Bullying policy, SEOL

 

  1. How can our whole school plan for SPHE support Child Protection?

 

Stay Safe, RSE

 

  1. What are the other curricular areas, which have child protection implications?

 

PE, Fieldtrips, School Tours, Drama, Visual Art, English

 

Success Criteria

How will we evaluate the success of this policy?

 

  • Were the DLP and Deputy DLP appointed?
  • Were the relevant people informed about the policy?
  • If a child protection issue arose (a) were procedures followed and (b) how effective were they?
  • Feedback from all staff.

 

Appendix 2

 

I have read the Child Protection Policy for Arles N.S. and I know that the principal, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, is the DLP to whom I report to and the Deputy DLP is Ms. Lawlor.

 

Signed:

Date: