Child Protection Policy


Child Protection Policy

Introductory Statement

The staff and Board of Management of Scoil Naomh Pádraig 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 document and appended section from the Department of Education and Science Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures will be made available to all staff.

 

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 DES guidelines and procedures in relation to reporting and concerns and/or disclosures of child abuse

Prevention

The Stay Safe programme will be the primary resource used in the school to provide education for children on abuse prevention. The programme will be a 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.

 

The formal lessons of the programe will be taught in their entirety every second year in accordance with the SPHE plan.

 

Staff will make every effort to ensure that the messages of the programme are reinforced whenever possible.

 

Procedures

All staff (Teachers, SNAs, ancillary, secretarial, caretaking etc.) in this school will follow the recommendations for reporting concerns or disclosures as outlined in “Children First” and the Department of Education and Science document, “Child Protection”, guidelines and Procedures.

(See attached Appendix, pages 5 – 20 from the above DES guidelines)

 

The Board of Management of this school has appointed Roisin Walsh as the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Helen Mc Gonagle as the deputy DLP.

 

The staff and management of this school have agreed:

  • All concerns/disclosures involving child protection/child welfare issues will be reported in the first instances to the DLP (Deputy DLP where appropriate).
  • Each report to the DLP will be dated and signed by the person making that report.
  • 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 discussions and consultation the staff and Board of Management have agreed that the following practices be adopted.

(a)    Physical contact

It is advisable for staff not to make inappropriate physical contact with the children in the school.  Physical contact between school personnel and the child should always be in response to the health and safety 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 it’s appropriateness:-

  • It is acceptable to the child
  • Its 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:

The school (principal/teachers) has a responsibility to check out the credentials of the visitor/guest speaker and to ensure that the material in use by the guests is appropriate.  The teacher will be present.

 

     (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 a 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 provisions 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.  The BOM will be made aware of agreed practices.

(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 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 all such situations two members of staff should be present where possible.  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 sometimes 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.

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 will be expected to dress and undress themselves for games/PE/swimming.  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.

While every effort will be made to adhere to best practice as agreed and outlined above, in the event 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 Behavior

Procedures: Anti- Bullying Policy

                       Health and Safety Statement 

Practice:  School Tours /Outings