Child Safeguarding Statement - Scoil Naomh Áine NS

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Child Safeguarding Statement

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Scoil Naomh Áine, Rathgarogue, New Ross

Child Safeguarding Statement

Scoil Naomh Áine is a primary school providing primary education to pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class.
In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of Scoil Naomh Áine has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

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
2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement.

2   The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Anne-Marie O’ Neill.

3   The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Elaine O’ Connor.

4    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, procedures, practices and activities. In its policies, procedures, practices and activities, the 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 comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
 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.

5   The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.
The following procedures/measures are in place:

      In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website.  
     In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website.
    In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school-

 Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
 Ensures all new staff  are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
 Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
 Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
 The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training

 In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015.

 In this school the Board has appointed the above named DLP as the "relevant person" (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the child safeguarding statement.
 All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015.
 In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to this statement.
 The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school.


6    This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association and the patron.  It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.  


7    This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers.

This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on 7 th March 2018.




Note: The following appendices must be read and understood in conjunction with the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017.



Appendix 1
Reporting of Concerns
(Extract from Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary School 2017 Pg. 35)

5.2 Action to be taken where a registered teacher has a concern

5.2.1 This section sets out the reporting procedures to be followed by both the DLP and registered teacher where a registered teacher has a concern that a child may have been, is being or is at risk of being abused or neglected.
5.2.2 Where a registered teacher receives an allegation or has a suspicion that a child may have been abused or neglected, is being abused or neglected, or is at risk of abuse or neglect (as described in chapter 2 of these procedures) he or she shall, without delay, report the matter to the DLP.
5.2.3
Firstly, the DLP and the registered teacher must consider whether there are reasonable grounds for concern (as described in chapter 2 of these procedures) about the welfare and protection of the child.

Types of Abuse
Neglect
The following are features of child neglect:

• Children being left alone without adequate care and supervision
• Malnourishment, lacking food, unsuitable food or erratic feeding
• Non-organic failure to thrive, i.e. a child not gaining weight due not only to malnutrition but also emotional deprivation
• Failure to provide adequate care for the child’s medical and developmental needs, including intellectual stimulation
• Inadequate living conditions – unhygienic conditions, environmental issues, including lack of adequate heating and furniture
• Lack of adequate clothing
• Inattention to basic hygiene
• Lack of protection and exposure to danger, including moral danger or lack of supervision appropriate to the child’s age
• Persistent failure to attend school
• Abandonment or desertion

Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse may be seen in some of the following ways:

• Rejection
• Lack of comfort and love
• Lack of attachment
• Lack of proper stimulation (e.g. fun and play)
• Lack of continuity of care (e.g. frequent moves, particularly unplanned)
• Continuous lack of praise and encouragement
• Persistent criticism, sarcasm, hostility or blaming of the child
• Bullying
• Conditional parenting in which care or affection of a child is made contingent on his or her behaviours or actions
• Extreme over-protectiveness
• Inappropriate non-physical punishment (e.g. locking child in bedroom)
• Ongoing family conflicts and family violence
• Seriously inappropriate expectations of a child relative to his or her age and stage of development



Physical Abuse
Physical abuse can include the following:

• Physical punishment
• Beating, slapping, hitting or kicking
• Pushing, shaking or throwing
• Pinching, biting, choking or hair-pulling
• Use of excessive force in handling
• Deliberate poisoning
• Suffocation
• Fabricated/induced illness
• Female genital mutilation



Sexual Abuse
Examples of child sexual abuse include the following:

• Any sexual act intentionally performed in the presence of the child
• An invitation to sexual touching or intentional touching or molesting of a child’s body whether by a person or object for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification
• Masturbation in the presence of a child or the involvement of a child in an act of masturbation
• Sexual intercourse with a child, whether oral, vaginal or anal
• Sexual exploitation of a child, which includes:
o Inviting, inducing or coercing a child to engage in prostitution or the production of child pornography [ for example, exhibition, modelling or posing for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or sexual act, including its recording (on film, videotape or other media) or the manipulation, for those purposes, of an image by computer or other means]
o Inviting, coercing or inducing a child to participate in, or to observe, any sexual, indecent or obscene act
o Showing sexually explicit material to children, which is often a feature of the ‘grooming’ process by perpetrators of abuse
• Exposing a child to inappropriate or abusive material through information and communication technology

• Consensual sexual activity involving an adult and an underage person

5.2.4 If the DLP and the registered teacher both agree that there are reasonable grounds for concern they shall then jointly consider whether the concern in question is at or above the defined threshold of harm (as set out in chapter 4 of these procedures) at which a report must be submitted as a mandated report to Tusla.


In accordance with section 2 of the Children First Act, 2015 the defined threshold of "harm" in relation to a child is as follows:

"harm" means, in relation to a child-

(a) assault, ill-treatment or neglect of the child in a manner that
seriously affects or is likely to seriously affect the child’s
health, development or welfare, or

(b) sexual abuse of the child,

whether caused by a single act, omission or circumstance or a series or
combination of acts, omissions or circumstances, or otherwise;"

"ill-treatment" means, in relation to a child, to abandon or cruelly treat the child,
or to cause or procure or allow the child to be abandoned or cruelly treated;

"neglect" means, in relation to a child, to deprive the child of adequate food, warmth, clothing, hygiene, supervision, safety or medical care;

"welfare" includes, in relation to a child, the moral, intellectual, physical, emotional and social welfare of the child."
Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools4.2.2 Pg. 26



5.2.5 If the DLP and the registered teacher both agree that the concern is at or above the defined threshold of harm at which a mandated report must be made, the concern shall, as soon as practicable, be submitted as a mandated report to Tusla jointly by the DLP and the registered teacher concerned using the Tusla report form. The Tusla report form which is available on the Tusla website www.tusla.ie shall be completed as comprehensively as possible and indicate, in the manner required that it is a mandated report under the Children First Act, 2015.
The Tusla report form is also available in the school Dropbox Account.
5.2.6 Where the DLP is unsure whether to report a concern to Tusla or whether a report should be submitted as a mandated report, the DLP shall seek advice from Tusla. It should be noted that Children First National Guidance 2017 sets out that Tusla can provide advice in this regard. In consulting Tusla, the DLP shall follow the procedures set out at section 5.3.3 of these procedures. The DLP shall inform the registered teacher concerned that such advice is being sought and shall, when received, inform the registered teacher of the advice provided.

5.2.7 Where Tusla advises that a mandated report should be made, the DLP and the registered teacher concerned shall act on that advice and a mandated report shall, as soon as practicable, be submitted to Tusla jointly by the DLP and the registered teacher concerned in accordance with section 5.2.5 of these procedures.
5.2.8 In any case (including where the DLP has sought and considered the advice of Tusla) where the DLP and the registered teacher are both satisfied that the concern is not at or above the defined threshold of harm for a mandated report but both consider that it constitutes reasonable grounds for concern (as described in chapter 2 of these procedures) the DLP shall as soon as practicable, report the concern to Tusla in accordance with section 5.4 of these procedures. In such cases (i.e. where the registered teacher is satisfied that the concern is not at or above the defined threshold of harm for a mandated report) the teacher is not required to submit a report to Tusla.

5.2.9 In any case (including where the DLP has sought and considered the advice of Tusla) where either the DLP or the registered teacher, has any remaining doubt as to whether the concern is at or above the defined threshold of harm for a mandated report, the DLP or the registered teacher (or both where applicable) shall submit the report to Tusla as a mandated report in accordance with the reporting procedures set out in section 5.4. Where applicable, the mandated report shall be submitted to Tusla jointly by the registered teacher and DLP in accordance with section 5.2.5 of these procedures.

5.2.10 Where the DLP has decided not to report to Tusla or has decided not to submit the report as a mandated report to Tusla, the DLP shall advise the registered teacher that it still remains open to that teacher to seek advice from Tusla and to report his or her concern, or to report that concern as a mandated report to Tulsa where he or she still considers that such a report is warranted. In accordance with section 5.3.8 where the DLP has decided not to report to Tusla the DLP shall give the registered teacher a clear statement in writing as to the reasons why action is not being taken and a copy of that statement shall be retained by the DLP. If, in such circumstances, the registered teacher decides to report the concern to Tusla or to report the concern as a mandated report to Tulsa, he or she shall use the Tusla Report Form which is available on the Tusla website www.tusla.ie and shall also provide a copy of that report to the DLP. Where that report concerns a member of school personnel, the DLP shall inform the board of management.
5.2.11 Important note for registered teachers:

Every registered teacher should note that as a mandated person the statutory obligation under the Children First Act 2015 to make a mandated report to Tusla rests with the individual teacher and this applies regardless of whether or not the DLP reports the concern in question. However a registered teacher who makes a mandated report to Tusla jointly with the DLP meets his or her statutory obligation to report to Tusla under the Children First Act 2015.


Guidelines for teachers and staff members
When a Child Makes a Disclosure

When a child does disclose abuse, this needs to be taken very seriously.  It is important that any disclosure is dealt with appropriately, both for the wellbeing of the child and also to ensure that the teacher’s actions do not jeopardise legal action against the abuser.

If as a mandated person, you receive a disclosure of harm from a child, which is above the thresholds, you must consult with the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and make a mandated report of the concern to Tusla. You are not required to judge the truth of the claims or the credibility of the child. If the concern does not meet the threshold to be reported as a mandated concern, you should report it to Tusla as a reasonable concern.

There are a number of basic 'rules' that should be followed to ensure the safe handling of any disclosures of abuse from a child:

Don’t panic
Remember that the safety and well-being of the child come before the interests of any other person
Listen to the child and accept what the child says
Look at the child directly, but do not appear shocked
Don’t seek help while the child is talking to you
Reassure them that they did the right thing by telling someone
Assure them that it is not their fault and you will do your best to help
Let them know that you need to tell someone else
Let them know what you are going to do next and that you will let them know what happens
Be aware that the child may have been threatened
Write down what the child says in their own words – record what you have seen and heard also
Make certain you distinguish between what the child has actually said and the inferences you may have made. Accuracy is paramount in this stage of the procedure
Tell your DLP or DDLP as soon as possible
As a mandated person, you must make a report to Tusla, or the Gardaí immediately.  This can be done in conjunction with the DLP/DDLP
After making the referral look after yourself.  Discuss the matter with your DLP/DDLP or relevant person

Important Notes

The same action should be taken if the allegation is about abuse that has taken place in the past, as it will be important to find out if the person is still working with or has access to children
Dealing with an allegation that a colleague on the school staff has abused a child is difficult but must be taken seriously and dealt with carefully and fairly
Things to say when a child discloses

‘I believe you’
‘I am going to try to help you’
‘I will help you’
‘I am glad that you told me’
‘You are not to blame’

Things not to say when a child discloses

‘You should have told someone before’
‘I can’t believe it! I am shocked!’
‘Oh that explains a lot’
‘No not…he’s a friend of mine’
‘I won’t tell anyone else’
‘Why? How? When? Where? Who?’

Things to do

Reassure the child that s/he was right to tell you
Let them know what you are going to do next
Immediately seek help, in the first place from the DLP/DDLP
Write down accurately what the child has told you. Sign and date your notes. Keep all notes in a secure place for an indefinite period
Seek help for yourself if you feel you need support

Things not to do

Do not attempt to deal with the situation yourself
Do not formally interview the child:
Never ask leading questions
Never push for information or make assumptions
Only necessary relevant facts should be obtained, when clarification is needed
Do not make assumptions, offer alternative explanations or diminish the seriousness of the behaviour or alleged incidents
Do not keep the information to yourself or promise confidentiality
Do not take any action that might undermine any future investigation or disciplinary procedure, such as interviewing the alleged victim or potential witnesses, or informing the alleged perpetrator or parents or carers
Do not permit personal doubt to prevent you from reporting the allegation to the designated child protection officer

1.3.11
Confidentiality
All information regarding concerns of possible child abuse or neglect should be shared only on a "need to know" basis in the interests of the child. The test is whether or not the person has any legitimate involvement or role in dealing with the issue. The assurance of confidentiality should not be given to a third party who imparts information.
However, giving information to those who need to have that information, for the protection of a child who may have been, is being, or is at risk of being abused or neglected is not a breach of confidentiality.
2.3.5 Bullying
Bullying is defined as repeated aggression – verbal, psychological or physical and can be conducted by an individual or group against one or more persons. It is behaviour that is intentionally aggravating and intimidating, and occurs mainly among children in social environments such as schools. It includes behaviours such as physical aggression, cyberbullying, damage to property, intimidation, isolation/exclusion, name calling, malicious gossip and extortion. It can often be based on perceived differences e.g. gender identity, sexual preference, race, ethnicity religion, parent’s occupation etc. ICTs mean that bullying can be perpetrated through mobile phones or other personal devices using internet and social media enablers such as Facebook, Snapchat etc.
 Policies relevant to Child Protection in Scoil Naomh Áine:
Code of Behaviour
Anti-Bullying Policy
Supervision Policy
RSE Policy
SPHE Policy
Stay Safe Plan
Special Education Policy
Information and Communication Technology Policy
Acceptable Use Policy
Record Keeping and Data Protection Policy
Administration of Medicine Policy
Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Policy
Parent/Teacher Communication Policy
Statement of Strategy for School Attendance


Appendix 2
Allegations or suspicions of Child Abuse regarding School Employees
(Extract from Chapter 7 of Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools)
The Employer in Scoil Naomh Áine is the Board of Management.
7.1.3 It is important to note that there are two procedures to be followed:
(a) the reporting procedure in respect of the allegation/suspicion;
(b) the procedure for dealing with the employee.
In general the same person shall not have responsibility for dealing with the reporting issue and the employment issue. The designated liaison person (DLP) is responsible for reporting the matter to Tusla while the employer (Chairperson on the Board of Management) is responsible for addressing the employment issues. However, where the allegation/suspicion relates to the DLP, the employer shall assume the responsibility for seeking advice from and/or for reporting the matter to Tusla, as appropriate
.
7.1.4 Where an allegation or suspicion of child abuse regarding a member of the board of management has been reported by the DLP (or employer as above) to Tusla, the board of management shall inform the patron that a report involving a board member has been submitted to Tusla. It is a matter for the patron to determine if any action is necessary regarding the member’s continued role on the board of management, including whether the patron shall exercise his or her powers under section 16 of the Education Act, 1998.
7.1.5 In the context of allegations or suspicions of child abuse regarding school employees the primary goal is to protect the children within the school. However, school employees can be subject to erroneous or malicious allegations. The employee shall be treated fairly which includes the right not to be judged in advance of a full and fair process and as applicable, in accordance with the relevant disciplinary procedures. The Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme for Teachers and Special Needs Assistants also continues to be available to offer assistance to teachers and special needs assistants.
7.1.6 At all stages it should be remembered that the first priority is to ensure that no child is exposed to unnecessary risk. The employer shall as a matter of urgency ensure that any necessary protective measures are taken, including where there is an urgent child safeguarding requirement to immediately absent an employee from the school.
7.2.1 Employers must have in place a written protocol for authorising immediate action (see Protocol authorising immediate action) when there is an urgent child safeguarding requirement to immediately absent an employee from the school. For example, this protocol will apply where the need for immediate action arises during the course of a school day or just prior to the commencement of a school day and where the immediate safeguarding of children requires that such action must not be delayed pending or contingent on the convening of a meeting of the board of management or the receipt of legal advice. Such action may also be triggered by the school being informed by Tusla or An Garda Síochána of a risk to children.

7.2.2 The guiding principle that must inform this protocol and its application is that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations. Keeping children safe in these circumstances means that the protocol will inevitably have to be activated immediately and without waiting to convene a board of management meeting or the receipt of legal advice. It is also very important to note that the actions under the protocol are intended to be precautionary and not disciplinary.

7.2.3 However once the safeguarding action of absenting the employee under the protocol has been put in place, the following shall apply –
(a) An emergency meeting of the board of management shall be convened

(b) Tusla shall be informed that the protocol has been operated and that the employee will be absent from the school pending an emergency meeting of the board of management. This may be done in tandem with the reporting of the allegation or if necessary by way of a separate notification to Tusla.

(c) Where the Department is paymaster, the Department shall also immediately be contacted with regard to seeking the Department’s:

1. formal approval for continuation of pay for a limited period to allow for the convening of the emergency board of management meeting, and

2. sanction for the employment of a substitute teacher where this is necessary for a limited period to allow for the convening of the emergency board of management meeting.
Following activation of the protocol, an emergency meeting of the Board of Management shall be convened. Refer to Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools section 7.2.4 Pg. 57. for further guidance.
Protocol authorising immediate action

The following protocol authorises immediate action under section 7.2 of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’.

Primary Schools Protocol

In the context of these procedures, where circumstances warrant it, as an essential precautionary measure in order to protect the children in the school, the chairperson of the Board of Management is authorised by the school authority to direct an employee to immediately absent himself or herself from the school without loss of pay until the matter has been considered by the employer. It is very important to note that the action under the protocol is intended to be precautionary and not disciplinary. The action under this protocol is an interim measure pending the employer’s consideration of the matter.

The employee will be invited to a meeting with the chairperson of the board of management, the purpose of which is to inform the employee of the allegation and the action being taken. The employee may be accompanied by an appropriate person of his or her choice and will be so advised.
In any event, the employee will also be advised of the matter, in writing.

The chairperson of the board of management shall also make a record of the meeting which shall be retained on the relevant case file.
Responsibilities of all School Personnel

3.1.1
School personnel are especially well placed to observe changes in children’s behaviour, their lack of development or outward signs of abuse. In any situation where a member of school personnel (including a registered teacher), receives an allegation or has a suspicion that a child may have been abused or neglected, is being abused or neglected, or is at risk of abuse or neglect, he or she shall, without delay, report the matter to the designated liaison person (DLP) in accordance with the procedures outlined in chapter 5 of these procedures.

3.1.2 Where a registered teacher has any such concern, in addition to reporting it to the DLP, he or she must also consider whether the concern is at or above the threshold at which the teacher must make a mandated report to Tusla.



Appendix 3
Checklist for Review of the Child Safeguarding Statement

The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 require that the Board of Management must undertake a review of its Child Safeguarding Statement and that the following checklist shall be used for this purpose. The review must be completed every year or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the Child Safeguarding Statement refers.  Undertaking an annual review will also ensure that a school also meets its statutory obligation under section 11(8) of the Children First Act 2015, to review its Child Safeguarding Statement every two years.   

The checklist is designed as an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list of the issues to be considered. Individual Boards of Management shall include other items in the checklist that are of relevance to the school in question.

As part of the overall review process, Boards of Management should also assess relevant school policies, procedures, practices and activities vis a vis their adherence to the principles of best practice in child protection and welfare as set out in the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement, the Children First Act 2015 and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017.


1. Has the Board formally adopted a Child Safeguarding Statement in accordance with the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’?
2. As part of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement, has the Board formally adopted, without modification, the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’’?
3. Does the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement include a written assessment of risk as required under the Children First Act 2015?
4. Has the Board reviewed and updated where necessary the written assessment of risk as part of this overall review?
5. Has the DLP attended available child protection training?
6. Has the Deputy DLP attended available child protection training?
7. Have any members of the Board attended child protection training?
8. Are there both a DLP and a Deputy DLP currently appointed?
9. Are the relevant contact details (Tusla and An Garda Síochána) to hand?
10. Has the Board arrangements in place to communicate the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement to new school personnel?
11. Is the Board satisfied that all school personnel have been made aware of their responsibilities under the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’ and the Children First Act 2015?
12. Has the Board received a Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report at each Board meeting held since the last review was undertaken?
13. Since the Board’s last review, was the Board informed of any child protection reports made to Tusla/An Garda Síochána by the DLP?
14. Since the Board’s last review, was the Board informed of any cases where the DLP sought advice from Tusla/and as a result of this advice, no report to the HSE was made?
15. Since the Board’s last review, was the Board informed of any cases where an allegation of abuse or neglect was made against any member of school personnel?
16. Has the Board been provided with and reviewed all documents relevant to the Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report?
17. Is the Board satisfied that the child protection procedures in relation to the making of reports to Tusla/An Garda Síochána were appropriately followed in each case reviewed?
18. Is the Board satisfied that, since the last review, all appropriate actions are being or have been taken in respect of any member of school personnel against whom an allegation of abuse or neglect has been made?*
19. Were child protection matters reported to the Board appropriately recorded in the Board minutes?
20. Is the Board satisfied that all records relating to child protection are appropriately filed and stored securely?
21. Has the Board been notified by any parent in relation to that parent not receiving the standard notification required under section 5.6  of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’
22. In relation to any cases identified at question 21 above, has the Board ensured that any notifications required section 5.6 of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’ were subsequently issued by the DLP?
23. Has the Board ensured that the Parents’ Association (if any), has been provided with the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?
24. Has the Board ensured that the patron has been provided with the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?
25. Has the Board ensured that the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement is available to parents on request?
26. Has the Board ensured that the Stay Safe programme is implemented in full in the school? (applies to primary schools)
27. Has the Board ensured that the Wellbeing Programme for Junior Cycle students is implemented in full in the school? (applies to post- primary schools)
28. Has the Board ensured that the SPHE curriculum is implemented in full in the school?
29. Is the Board satisfied that the statutory requirements for Garda Vetting have been met in respect of all school personnel (employees and volunteers)? *
30. Is the Board satisfied that the Department’s requirements in relation to the provision of a child protection related statutory declaration and associated form of undertaking have been met in respect of persons appointed to teaching and non-teaching positions?*
31. Is the Board satisfied that, from a child protection perspective, thorough recruitment and selection procedures are applied by the school in relation to all school personnel (employees and volunteers)?*
32. Has the Board considered and addressed any complaints or suggestions for improvements regarding the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?
33. Has the Board sought the feedback of parents in relation to the school’s compliance with the requirements of the child safeguarding requirements of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’
34. Has the Board sought the feedback of pupils in relation to the school’s child safeguarding arrangements?
35. Is the Board satisfied that the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’ are being fully and adequately implemented by the school?
36. Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement and/or its implementation that require further improvement?
37. Has the Board put in place an action plan containing appropriate timelines to address those aspects of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement and/or its implementation that have been identified as requiring further improvement ?
38. Has the Board ensured that any areas for improvement that were identified in any previous review of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement have been adequately addressed?

*In schools where the ETB is the employer the responsibility for meeting the employer’s requirements rests with the ETB concerned. In such cases, this question should be completed following consultation with the ETB.





Risk Assessment

Under the Children First Act, 2015 all boards of management are statutorily obliged to undertake a risk assessment in accordance with the Act. This assessment involves considering and documenting the potential for harm to come to children (referred to as risk) while they are in the school’s care.
Section 11 (1) (a) of the Children First Act, 2015 defines risk as "any potential for harm to a child while availing of the service." It should be noted that Children First outlines that risk in this context is the risk of "harm" as defined in the Children First Act, 2015 and not general health and safety risk. Section 2 of the Act defines harm as follows:



"harm" means, in relation to a child –

(a) assault, ill-treatment or neglect of the child in a manner that seriously affects or is likely to seriously affect the child’s health, development or welfare, or
(b) sexual abuse of the child,

whether caused by a single act, omission or circumstance or a series or combination of acts, omissions or circumstances or otherwise;
"ill-treatment" means, in relation to a child, to abandon or cruelly treat the child, or to cause or procure or allow the child to be abandoned or cruelly treated;
"neglect" means, in relation to a child, to deprive the child of adequate food, warmth, clothing, hygiene, supervision, safety or medical care;"
"welfare" includes, in relation to a child, the moral, intellectual, physical, emotional and social welfare of the child."


Risk

Risk of Harm

Managing the risk

Ranking the risk

Potential for abuse by employee/volunteer

Harm to pupils

  • Adherence to national vetting procedures and child protection procedures including statutory retrospective vetting and periodic re-vetting of employees.

  • (National Vetting Persons (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016)

Working alone with children on a one to one basis

Harm to pupils

  • Utilise in class support approach to special education

  • Small group/pair withdrawal

  • Open door policy

  • Glass panel in door

  • Special Education Teaching Policy

Intimate Care and Toileting accidents

Inappropriate behaviour

  • Intimate Care and Toileting Policy

Use of Information and Communication Technology

Bullying
Talking to strangers

  • Acceptable Use Policy

  • "Children are only allowed access to the internet in supervised situations. The NCTE Broadband installation program is providing external centralised firewall."

  •  Anti-Bullying Policy

  • Code of Behaviour

Training of School Staff

Abuse may be undetected or incorrectly reported

  • BoM to ensure all staff are trained

  • New staff to complete  e-learning training and present evidence of same

Toilet Area

Inappropriate behaviour

  • Code of Behaviour

  • Anti Bullying Policy

  • Supervision Policy

Swimming

Inappropriate behaviour

  • Swimming Policy

Arrival and Dismissal from School

Supervision between handover from parents/guardians to teacher and teacher to parent/guardian

  • Arrival and Dismissal Policy

School outings and School Tours

Meeting with strangers

  • Policy on School tours and School outings

Visitors to school (HSE/Tusla/Grandparents’Day/Open Evening/Coaches/Students on Work Experience/School Placement/Travelling to matches)

Meeting with strangers
Inappropriate behaviour

  • Adherence to vetting procedure

  • Teacher present

  • HSE identification

Travelling in cars with staff

Harm to pupils

  • Staff will not carry pupils alone in cars at any time

Dressing Rooms and Changing Rooms

  • While playing matches the pupils will prepare in dressing rooms.

  •  The teacher will check the dressing room before the children enter.

  •  The teacher will then leave the dressing room and allow the pupils change their gear.

  •  The teacher will knock on the door and wait for a response from the pupils before re-entering to call out the team or give out jerseys.

School Attendance

Neglect

  • Scoil Naomh Áine’s Statement of Strategy for School Attendance ensures pupil attendance is monitored.

  • With regards to child protection particular attention will be paid to trends in non-attendance.

  • Non-attendance will be monitored in correlation with signs of neglect/ physical/ emotional abuse.

Working with Parents

Harm to Pupils

  • When a parent is working with a teacher in any school related activity; he/she is under the supervision of the teacher throughout.  Parents are not to be left alone with either individual pupils and / or groups.

  • In accordance with Circular 0031/2016 the school authority is not required to obtain a vetting disclosure under the Vetting Act prior to commencing the contract, permission or placement in the case of unpaid volunteers who assist the school on an occasional basis provided such assistance does not involve the coaching, mentoring, counselling, teaching or training of children or vulnerable persons.

Working with Coaches/Speakers from other relevant organisations

Harm to Pupils

  • When coaches/ teachers/ speakers organised through other external organisations (Sports organisations/third level colleges) undertake work in Scoil Naomh Áine, they must be vetted in accordance with the Vetting Act prior to undertaking relevant work or activities with the children.

 
 
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