Child Protection Policy

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 Woodland 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

 

  1. The Designated Liaison Person (DPL) is: Patricia Slevin

 

  1. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DPL) is:

 

Caitriona Wilson/Evelyn Roche

 

  1. In its policies, practices and activities Woodland N.S. will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

 

  • recognises 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 form 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 pupil with a special vulnerability.

 

  1. For a list of school policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to child protection see Appendix 1

 

The Board has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices as appropriate are in place.

 

  1. This policy has been made available to school personnel, the Parents’ Association and all parents. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

 

  1. 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: 20th November 2018

 

 

 

Signed:      Susan Kenny____                         Signed:       Patricia Slevin_____

Chairperson of Board of Management                               Principal

 

 

Date:          20/11/2018_____                         Date:         20/11/2018______

 

 

Date of next review:     November 2019

 

 


Appendix 1

 

The staff, parents and Board of Management of Woodland NS have agreed this policy in line with the current recommendations and guidelines relating to child abuse prevention and child protection guidelines.

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

 

Prevention-curricular provision

 

Procedures– procedures for dealing with concerns/disclosures

 

Practice-best practice in child protection

 

A copy of this policy will be made available to all new families, staff, and published on the website. A copy of the DES Guidelines is available in the school. It is incumbent on all staff to familiarise themselves with the guidelines

 

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 and 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
  • Provide for ongoing training in this and related areas for all school

Prevention

 

This is catered for in the school’s SPHE programme.

 

The objectives are:

  • To develop children’s self-esteem, assertiveness and self-protective skills
  • To teach the children that they should always tell an adult about any situation which they find unsafe,upsetting,threatening,dangerous or abusive

Procedures

 

All staff(Teachers, SNA’s, secretarial, caretaking, ancillary etc.) in this school will follow the procedures for reporting concerns or disclosures as outlined in Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary School based on Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011. At the beginning of each school year all staff will be reminded of the guidelines. Substitute/Temporary teachers and SNA’s will be given a copy of the Child Protection Policy.

 

The staff and management have agreed that:

  • All concerns/disclosures involving child protection/child welfare issues will be reported in the first instance to the DLP(deputy DLP in her absence)
  • The DLP will record each report
  • A strict adherence to maintaining confidentiality-information regarding concerns or disclosures of abuse will only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.
  • At the beginning of each school year all staff are sent a reminder of procedures

 

PRACTICE

1.  Recruitment and Selection of Staff

 

Correct procedures will be followed in advertising, interviewing and the selection of staff. All applicants will be asked to supply information including personal details, a resume of past and current work/voluntary experience and written references. Verification of references will be sought through verbal contact with the referees. Garda Vetting and Statutory Declaration and Form of Undertaking will be required. Substitute teachers and SNAs will be asked for identification and evidence of qualification.

2.  General Conduct

 

As a general rule any physical contact between school personnel and the child should be in response to the needs of the child and not the needs of the adult. While physical contact can be used to comfort, reassure or assist a child the following should be factors in assessing its appropriateness

 

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

 

 

3.   Toileting/Intimate Care

Normally children with specific toileting needs will have a Special Needs Assistant assigned. The manner in which a child’s needs are to be met will be discussed and agreed prior to the child’s admission to the school.

4.  Changing for Games/Swimming

 

See Appendix 2

5.  Supervision of Children

 

As in the Supervision policy

6.  One-to-One Teaching

 

One to one teaching is provided in rooms where there is a vision panel in the door.

7.  Visitors/Guest Speakers

 

All visitors must report in the first instance to the office.

 

Visitors /guest speakers will not be left alone with children. It is incumbent on the Board, Principal, Class Teacher to ensure that content/material in use is appropriate and in line with school ethos and policy.

8.  Internet Safety

 

See Internet Use Policy

 

Links to other policies 

SPHE curriculum-Safety and Protection
Code of Discipline
Anti-Bullying Policy
Health and Safety
Swimming Policy
School Tours/Trips
Special Needs
Internet Use Policy
Supervision
School Attendance Policy

Appendix 2 

Parental Volunteers and Swimming Pool

 

 

 

There is a requirement for volunteers to be vetted who have, or may have, unsupervised access to children. As parental volunteers do not and will not have unsupervised access to children at the swimming pool, this will not apply in this instance.

 

Below is an outline of the procedures in place at the swimming pool.

 

Normally teachers and volunteers will remain outside the changing rooms. Generally assistance is not required but if there is, two adults (and must be two adults) will enter. The main assistance given is to fix swimming caps, goggles and hair.

 

At times some children are not comfortable changing in the common changing area. If there are individual changing cubicles available these are used and this area is supervised. Other arrangements may be made for children with special needs.

 

Each volunteer will receive a copy of this outline.