Child Safeguarding Statement - Scoil Naomh Áine, Rathgarogue

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Child Safeguarding Statement

Plans and Policies

Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment

Child Safeguarding Statement

Scoil Naomh Áine, Rathgarogue a primary school providing primary education to pupils from Early Intervention ASD Class and mainstream 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 Addendum to Children First (2019), 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, Rathgarogue 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 Karen Murphy.

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.

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

5 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 DE 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 Department of Education and available on the DE 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 schools 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 and the Addendum to Children First (2019), 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 included with the Child Safeguarding Statement.
● The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DE 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 02.04.2019.
This Child Safeguarding Statement was reviewed by the Board of Management on 19.10.2021.



Risk Assessment

In accordance with section 11 of the Children First Act, 2015and with the requirement of Chapter 8 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, the following is the written Risk Assessment of Scoil Noamh Áine.


List of school Activities
The School has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities
The school has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm identified in this assessment:
Classroom teaching
Potential for abuse by employee/volunteer
Harm to pupils
  • ●All school personnel are provided with a copy of the Child Safeguarding Statement.
    ● The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 are made available to all school personnel.
    ● School personnel are required to adhere to the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and all registered teaching staff are required to adhere to the Children First Act 2015 and its Addendum (2019)
    ● 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
teacher or SNA
Potential for abuse by employee/volunteer
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-risk of harm to child
  • Intimate Care and Toileting Policy
Use of ICT by pupils in school including social media
Bullying
Talking to strangers
Inadequate supervision of children
Risk of harm caused by school personnel communicating with pupils in an inappropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
Risk of harm caused by members of school personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting. digital device or other manner
  • 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
    ● Digital Devices policy governing the use of smart phones, tablet and devices by pupils

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
  • Intimate Care and Toileting 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
Harm to Pupils
  • 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.

Care of all pupils, including pupils with particular vulnerabilities
Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerabilities
Risk of harm to pupils
  • The school implements in full the Stay Safe and SPHE programme.
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.
Recreation breaks for pupils
Risk of child being harmed in the school by another child
Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision in school
  • The school has a Supervision Policy to ensure appropriate supervision of children.
  • The school has a Code of Behaviour
Administration of Medicine and First Aid
Risk of harm to Pupils
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures for the administration of medicine
Student teachers undertaking training placement
and work experience in school
Risk of harm to pupils
  • Student teachers are always supervised by a member of staff
  • Student teachers are garda vetted
  • School Placement and Work Experience Policy
Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils
Risk of Bullying behaviour
  • The school has an Anti-Bullying Policy which fully adheres to the requirements of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools
School transport arrangements including the use of bus escorts


Risk of harm to pupils with SEN who have particular
vulnerabilities
  • Policy of School transport for pupils attending ASD class
Use of school premises by other organisations
during and/or after the school day
Risk of harm to pupils
  •  All workers are Garda vetted.
Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum and to support sports and other extra-curricular activities
Risk of harm to the child by a member of school personnel
Risk of child being harmed in school by volunteer or visitor
to the school
  • All external personnel are garda vetted and accompanied by school staff while on school premises.
  • The school has a Policy on External Coaches and Volunteers
Pupils walking to the church to serve funerals
Risk of harm to pupils
  • Permission sought from parents to attend church as server
  • Sacristan is Garda Vetted - walks children to church with a member of school staff
Online teaching and Learning Remotely
Risk of harm due to inappropriate online remote teaching and learning
communication platforms such as an uninvited person accessing the lesson link
Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationship/communications
between child and another child or adult.
  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Guidelines on best practices for remote teaching and
  • learning
  • Stay Safe programme
  • Webwise/HTML Heroes/My Selfie programmes taught to pupils
Management of challenging behaviour amongst
pupils, including appropriate use of physical intervention where required



Risk of harm to pupils
Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular
vulnerabilities
  • Policy on Physical Intervention

Important Note: It should be noted that risk in the context of this risk assessment is the risk of “harm” as defined in the Children First Act 2015 and not general health and safety risk. The definition of harm is set out in Chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary Schools 2017


In undertaking this risk assessment, the board of management has endeavoured to identify as far as possible the risks of harm that are relevant to this school and to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to manage all risks identified. While it is not possible to foresee and remove all risk of harm, the school has in place the procedures listed in this risk assessment to manage and reduce risk to the greatest possible extent.

This Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment  was ratified by the Board of Management of Scoil Naomh Áine on 6th June 2021
Chairperson, Board of Management


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