SCOIL BHRÍDE CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Introductory Statement

The management and staff of Scoil Bhríde have developed and agreed this policy in line with the current recommendations and guidelines relating to child abuse prevention and child protection guidelines.

This policy addresses the responsibilities of the school in the following areas:

A)    Prevention – curriculum provision

B)    Procedures – procedures for dealing with concerns/disclosures

C)    Practice –  best practice in child protection

An individual copy of this policy and the appended guidelines is available to view and print on the websites of the Health Service Executive (www.hse.ie) and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (www.dcya.gov.ie)

It is incumbent on all staff to familiarise themselves with ‘Children First’ (copy available for viewing in the school) and the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary’. Click on the link to access this information.

Aims

this policy aims to

  • Create a safe, trusting, responsive and caring environment
  • Provide a personal safety skills education which specifically addresses abuse  prevention for all children in the school
  • Develop awareness and responsibility in the area of child protection amongst the whole school community
  • Put in place procedures for good practice to protect all children an staff
  • Ensure that all staff members are aware of and familiar with the ‘Children First’ and the DES guidelines and procedures in relation to reporting concerns and/or disclosures of child abuse.

 

Prevention

The Stay Safe programme is the primary resource used to provide education for children on abuse prevention. The programme is taught as part of the schools’ SPHE curriculum under the strand unit Safety and Protection.

On enrolment of their child parents will be informed that the Stay Safe Programme is in use in the school and a copy of the Stay Safe ‘A Parent’s Guide’ provided.

The formal lessons of the programme will be taught in their entirety every second year in accordance with the SPHE two–year cycle plan.

Child Protection Policy of Scoil Bhríde

 

The Board of Management of Scoil Bhríde 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 & Skills’ Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, the Board of Management of Scoil Bhríde has agreed the following child protection policy:

  1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modifications 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 Sile Uí Mhurchú.
  3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Pádraigín Ui Dhonnabháin.
  4. In its policies, practices and activities, Scoil Bhríde  will adhere to the following principles of  best practice in child protection and welfare:
  • The school 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 confidentially 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. The following policies, practices and activities are particularly relevant to Child Protection:

Code of Behaviour, Anti- bullying Policy, Pupil attendance Strategy Supervision of pupils, Sporting activities/ school outings etc

  1. The Board has ensured that the necessary policies and practices as appropriate are in place in respect of each of the above listed items.
  2. This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year

Practice

The following areas have been considered by the staff and Board of Management

  • In the case of Special Needs Pupils who have difficulty understanding the programme, the Learning Support Teachers /Resource Teachers will help them to understand it.
  • Special effort will be made to help non native speakers to comprehend the content. Language Support Teachers will play a role here if necessary.

a) Physical Contact

Physical contact between school personnel and the child should always be in response to the needs of the child and not the needs of the adult. While physical contact may be used to comfort, reassure or assist a child the following should be factors in determining its appropriateness:-

  • It is acceptable to the child
  • It is open and not secretive
  • The age and developmental stage of the child

School personnel should avoid doing anything of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

b) Visitors /Guest Speakers:

Visitors/Guest Speakers should never be left alone with pupils. The school (principal//teacher(s)) has a responsibility to check out the credentials of the visitor/guest speaker and to ensure that the material in use by guests is appropriate.

c) Children with Specific Toileting/Intimate Care Needs:

In all situations where a pupil needs assistance with toileting/intimate care a meting will be convened, after enrolment and before the child starts school, between parents/guardians, special needs assistant, principal and if deemed necessary the class teacher and the pupil. The purpose of the meeting will be to ascertain the specific needs of the child and to determine how the school can best meet those needs. The staff to be involved in this care will be identified and provision will be made for occasions when the particular staff involved are absent. A written copy of what has been agreed will be made and kept in the child’s file.

Two members of staff will be present when dealing with intimate care/ toileting needs. Any deviation from the agreed procedure will be recorded and notified to the DLP and the parents/guardians.

d) Toileting Accidents

Clean underwear and suitable clothing will be kept in the school so that if a pupil has an ‘accident’ of this nature they will in the first instance be offered fresh clothing into which they can change. If the pupil for whatever reason cannot clean of change him/herself and the parent/guardians cannot be contacted the child will be assisted by members of staff, familiar to the child. In all such situations two members of staff should be present.

e) One-to-One Teaching

It is the policy in this school that one-to-one teaching is often in the best interest of the child. Every effort will be made to ensure that this teaching takes place in an open environment. Parents of children who are to be involved in one-to-one teaching will be informed and their agreement sought. Work being carried out by special needs assistants will be carried out under the direction of the class teacher in an open environment.

f) Changing for Games/PE/ Swimming

Pupils may be expected to dress and undress themselves for games/ PE/swimming. Where assistance is needed this will be done in the communal areas and with the consent of parents. Under no circumstances will members of staff/ volunteers be expected to or allowed to dress/undress a child in a cubicle /private area. In such situations where privacy is required the parent/guardian of the child will be asked to assist the child.

At all times there must be adequate supervision of pupils.

While every effort will be made to adhere to best practice as agreed and outlined above. In the case of an emergency where this is not possible or practicable a full record of the incident should be made and reported to principal and parents.

Links to other policy/planning areas:

Prevention:      SPHE curriculum, Strand unit on ‘Safety and Protection’

The School Code of Behaviour

Procedures:     Anti-Bullying Policy

Health and Safety Statement

Practice:          Swimming Practice

School Tours/outings

Review and Monitoring

This policy will be monitored and reviewed by the Board of Management on an annual basis or when the need arises. The Board of Management will ensure that adequate training and support is provided for all staff.

Policy adopted by the BOM on    15/09/’12

Reverend Father Cremin, B.O.M