Child Protection Policy - St Patricks BNS

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Child Protection Policy

Safeguarding Policies

Child Protection Policy


St. Patrick’s Boys’ National School,
Gardiner’s Hill,
Cork.
Tel: 021 4502024
Fax: 021 4502719
Roll No: 17045Q                   

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 St. Patrick’s B.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 the principal, Joseph McCarthy.

3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is the Deputy principal, Shane Foley.

4. In its policies, practices and activities, St. Patrick’s B.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
• fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

5. The Board of Management fully endorses arrangements for the vetting of teaching and non-teaching staff for the Department of Education & Skills.
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. (accesible on the school server and PDST website.)
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 school’s child safeguarding statement.

6. Certain policies and strategies will be continually implemented and also updated over time as the demands of the school and its general population change. Other policies will join with this policy to ensure a child-centred environment in our school. These policies are as follows:

Policies:
Child Safeguarding Statement
RSE Policy
Code of Behaviour
Anti-bullying Policy
Daily Procedures
Health and Safety Policy
Critical Incident Policy
Acceptable Use Policy
Attendance Policy
SPHE
Healthy Eating Policy

Strategies:

Prevention
Curriculum Provision

We follow the Stay Safe, Walk Tall and RSE Programmes.
The Stay Safe programme is the primary resource used in this school to provide education for children on abuse prevention. The programme is taught as part of the school’s SPHE curriculum under the strand unit Safety and Protection. On enrolment of their child parents will be informed that the Stay Safe progamme is in use in the school. The formal lessons of the programme will be taught every second year in accordance with the SPHE two-year cycle plan. The key prevention messages of the programme will be revised in the intervening year where the necessary Learning Support/Resource Teacher will liaise with the class teacher in the teaching of Stay Safe for children with Special Needs. The Special Needs pack for Stay Safe will be used as appropriate.
The Walk Tall Programme is taught every year. The RSE Programme is taught every year paying particular attention to specific lessons as outlined in the RSE Policy.

Procedures
for dealing with concerns/disclosures

All staff , as mandated persons, (Teachers, SNAs, ancillary, secretarial, caretaking etc.) in this school will follow the recommendations for recording and reporting concerns or disclosures as outlined in Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools. All staff shall have access to standard recording sheets.

The staff and management of this school have agreed:
All concerns / disclosures involving child protection/child welfare issues will be recorded and reported in the first instance to the DLP (deputy DLP where appropriate).
Each report to the DLP will be dated and signed by the person making that report.
The DLP will make a decision of how to proceed and inform the concerned staff member of the action/ non-action to be taken in writing. A copy will be kept securely by the DLP and mandated person.
The DLP will inform the Board of Management at each meeting of the number of Child Protection Reports being referred to the HSE.
Where a child transfers to another school and a Child Protection Report has been made, the DLP will inform the other school.
A strict adherence to maintaining confidentiality - information regarding concerns or disclosures of abuse should only be given on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Practice
The following areas have been considered by the staff and board of management of this school as areas of specific concern in relation to child protection. Following discussion and consultation the staff and board of management have agreed that the following practices be adopted.

(a)  Morning yard
Parents should allow boys to line up with their classes in the yard before school bell.  Parents/Visitors must not loiter in yard. We promote a ‘Drop and Go’ system.  In poor weather, the boys will be asked to go into their classrooms, and will be supervised by the morning teacher  from 8:30 a.m.  Parents should allow the boys to go independently to their classrooms on these mornings.


(b)  Visitors
Any visitor to the school including parents and guardians must firstly report to the secretary’s or Principal’s office on entering the school building.

Visitors/guest speakers/work placement students/teaching practice students will be vetted accordingly and should never be left alone with pupils. The school management team has a responsibility to check out the credentials of these visitors and to ensure that the material to be used by guests is appropriate.

To help inform, a visitor’s pack will be given to all substitute teachers and visitors on arrival to the school. These packs will include a school confidentiality note, daily procedures and the health and safety, child protection and code of behaviour policies. These packs will be kept in the secretary’s office and will be returned there by the substitute/visitor on completion of visit.


(c)  Children with specific toileting / intimate care needs
In all situations where a pupil needs assistance with toileting / intimate care, a meeting will be convened, after enrolment and before the child starts school, between parents / guardians, class teacher, special needs assistant, principal and if appropriate 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 may be absent. A written copy of what has been agreed will be made and kept in the child’s file and a copy sent to the parents.

(d)   Toileting accidents
Clean 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. It is expected by the school that all pupils will be able to change themselves.  If a pupil for whatever reason cannot clean or change themselves and the parent / guardians cannot be contacted the child will be assisted by members of staff familiar to the child. In such situations two members of staff should be present.
A record of all such incidents will be kept and principal and parents will be notified.

(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 e.g. door remains open. Parents of children who are to be involved in one-to-one teaching will be informed and their written 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 /P.E./Swimming
Notes will be sent home in the weeks preceding classes’ visits to swimming or games where pupils will have to change clothing. These notes will inform parents that pupils will be expected to dress and undress themselves for games/P.E./swimming. Also class teachers may prepare younger classes by teaching lessons on good practice in changing rooms. Every effort will be made to ensure that supervision of changing areas is supervised by male members of staff. 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.

(g)  School Tours / Outings / Sports Days
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 event of an emergency situation where this is not possible or practicable, a full record of the incident should be made and reported to principal and parents.
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.

(h) Electronic devices
Pupils (phones, I Pads, mp3 players etc.) are not permitted to bring electronic devices to school.  A staff member will confiscate an electronic device if it comes to their attention.  This electronic device will be kept by the Principal until his parent collects it.  This prohibition is to ensure the safety of all our pupils and staff.

(i)  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.

Physical contact between school personnel and the child may need to be used where the child’s behaviour  threatens the safety and well being of others or a staff member.  The following should be factors in determining its appropriateness:
1.  It is only used after verbal interventions have failed (e.g. request, order, persuasion techniques).
2.  It is used to reduce/remove the threat to the childs/pupils/staff members safety.
3.  The contact is used in a manner which minimises the risk of physical/emotional injury to all involved.


6. 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.

7. 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 _________________

Signed: _________________________ Signed: __________________________

Chairperson of Board of Management Principal

Date: __________________________ Date: __________________________

Date of next review: ________________


 
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