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Child Protection Policy

Child Protection and Procedures Policy

The policy operates while the school is open and to all school related activities. This policy applies to pupils, teachers and staff members during school time and to all school related activities where pupils are expected to attend.

This policy reflects in part the characteristic spirit of the school as defined in the school’s mission statement:

“Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa is a Catholic school under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin. In school we promote a caring, supportive and Christian community. We endeavour to provide a positive caring environment where good personal relationships and mutual respect are the cornerstones.”

Introductory Statement

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 Scoil

 

Chaoimhín Naofa, 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 Anne Savage.
  3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Marian Farrell.
  4. In its policies, practices and activities, Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa 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; 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.

Good Practice Guidelines

The staff of the school have identified the following areas and agreed good practice guidelines as follows:

While every effort will be made to adhere to best practice as agreed and outlined below, 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.

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

School personnel should avoid doing anything of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

Visitors/Guest Speakers

All visitors to the school are required to report to the office on arrival. Staff on yard duty will be aware of visitors entering the schoolyard and direct them to the school office. The drop-off/pick-up of children throughout the teaching day will be processed through the school office and the accompanying adult is requested to sign the “Sign-out sheet”. Where the agreed parents/guardians do not collect the child, the school must be informed in advance of arrangements where possible.

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 guests is appropriate.

Collection of children by person not known to staff during the school day

If parents/guardians or person who normally collects a child is unavailable to do so, the school must be informed in advance of arrangements. Children will not be released to an unauthorised person under any circumstances.

Access

Access to the school during the day is only through the door with a security camera. Parents/Visitors are requested to wait at the office. A staff member will collect children and bring them to their parents at the office. The other school door is opened to allow children access to the school. This door too has a buzzer/ security camera for use during school hours.

Supervision

Every effort will be made to ensure that there is comprehensive supervision of children throughout the school day. A roster of staff for playground supervision will be drawn up each year and displayed in the staff room. Children are to be visible in the playground. Children are instructed not to leave the playground or engage with adults outside of the playground. Children are not permitted to spend break times in the classrooms except on wet days when supervision is in place.

Toileting

It is school policy that only one child is permitted to enter the toilet cubicle at a time. Children who need to use the toilet during yard time must seek the permission of the teacher on yard. During yard time the toilet area closest to the yard will be used.

Clean underwear and suitable clothing are kept in the school(First Aid Room) 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 the pupil for whatever reason cannot clean or change themselves and the parents / 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. A record of all such incidents will be kept and principal and parents will be notified.

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 ascertaining 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 is absent.

Two members of staff will be present when dealing with intimate care/toileting needs.

This is in keeping with best practice, keeps the best interests of the child to the fore and maintains the child’s personal dignity.  Such procedures, when agreed will be communicated to all parties involved and recorded and any deviation from the agreed procedure will be recorded and notified to the DLP and the parents/guardians.

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. Parents of children who are to be involved in one to one teaching will be informed and their agreement sought. Where possible, children in Special Education will be taught in small groups.Work being carried out by special needs assistants will be carried out under the direction of the class teacher in an open environment.

Changing for Games/PE/Swimming

Pupils will be expected to dress and undress themselves for games/PE/Swimming. In such situations where assistance is required the parent/guardian (or SNA where appropriate) of the child will be asked to assist the child. Children from 1st to 6th classes take part in swimming lessons.

First Aid

Please Refer to School’s Health and Safety Policy.

Court Orders

In all cases where the school has been made aware of and has received a copy of a court order, all conditions relating to school will be complied with. The Principal will make teachers aware if a court order is in place.

Attendance

School attendance is monitored carefully. Attendance Certificates are awarded termly and annually to children who achieve a high attendance. The NEWB will be informed of any concerns relating to a child’s attendance.  Children who miss 20 days or more will be reported to the NEWB in accordance with legislation.

Induction of Teachers and Ancillary Staff

It is the responsibility of the D.L.P/ D.D.L.P to inform all new teachers and ancillary staff of the Children First Guidelines.

School Tours/Trips

School staff accompanying children on school tours/trips (including after school sporting events) will deliver a duty of care commensurate with the trip/venue. The higher the risk factor the higher the number of teachers/responsible adults involved. Hired buses/vehicles must provide safe transportation and a functioning seatbelt for every child/adult.

The following issues will be addressed:

  • Insurance
  • Suitability of Accommodation
  • Staffing Issues
  • Programme of events
  • Expectation of Leaders, Teachers, Parents and Children
  • Health and Safety Issues
  • Accident and emergency procedures.
  • Consent forms are required for every tour or trip away.

Staff Cars

In rare instances where a staff car must be used to transport a child, children will never be taken alone.

 

*Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa’s Child Protection Policy is available from the school upon request