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Child Safeguarding Statement

Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts 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 Mhuire, Coolcotts 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 Dr Mags Jordan. 
  3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Mr Dermot McDermott 
  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.
  • Comply fully with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children.
  • Co-operate fully 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 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 9 March 2018.

 Monsignor Denis Lennon                                Dr Mags Jordan

Chairperson of Board of Management           Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

Date: 9 March 2018                                        Date: 9 March 2018

 

Risk Assessment

List of School Activities

Risk Level

 

The School has identified the following Risk of Harm

The School has the following procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment

Training of school personnel in Child Protection matters

High

Harm to pupils not recognised or reported promptly

Child Safeguarding Statement, DES Procedures & National Guidance made available to all staff

DLP& DDLP attended PDST face-to-face training

Staff to view online training offered by Tusla and PDST

BoM maintains record of staff and board training

 

Recruitment of school personnel

High

Harm to pupils not recognised or properly or promptly reported

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement, DES Procedures & National Guidance made available to all staff

Staff to view online training offered by Tusla and PDST

 

Visitors to the school

High

 

 

 

Harm by visitors/uninvited guests

Harm and/or injury to pupils

 

 

Full implementation of Closed Door Policy by staff and pupils

Use of fob security system

Full implementation of Stay Safe Programme

Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils

Medium

Harm from older pupils or unknown adults on the yard

Arrival supervised by Principal, Deputy Principal and Assistant Principals from 8.35am

Dismissal supervised by Principal and Deputy Principal and class teachers at 1.30pm and 2.30pm

One-to-one handover of infant pupils, 1st/2nd class pupils & Rainbow Unit pupils to Parent/Guardian or designated collector

 

Late arrival and early departure of pupils

Medium

Harm to pupils

Pupils who arrive late/depart early signed in/out by Parent/Guardian at secretary’s office, including reason for same

Phone verification with Parent/Guardian where child is being collected by unknown adult/adolescent

Late arrivals and early departures recorded on Aladdin and monitored by Principal and Attendance Team

List of School Activities

Risk Level

 

The School has identified the following Risk of Harm

The School has the following procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment

Recreation breaks for pupils

High

Harm and/or injury to pupils

External gates locked

Pupils not permitted to re-enter school building

First aid administered on yard

SNA access for designated pupils

Reduced recreation time and specific activities for designated pupils

Supervision Policy

Code of Behaviour & Anti-Bullying Policy

Record keeping systems, including Aladdin

 

Breakfast Club

Homework Club

 

Low

 

Medium

Harm by Breakfast Club/Homework Club personnel

Harm and/or injury to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Appropriate supervision

Maintenance of Attendance Records & follow-up by HSCL as required

 

One-to-one teaching

Medium

Harm by school personnel

Harm to pupils

Special Educational Needs Policy to be revised by December 2018

Whole-school timetabling

Glass in classroom doors

Appropriate seating arrangements

 

Sensory Room & OT Room

Medium

Harm by school personnel

Harm to pupils

Special Educational Needs Policy to be revised by December 2018

Whole-school timetabling

Glass in OT room door

Cushion in sensory room door and adult visible in doorway

 

Movement Breaks

Medium

Harm by school personnel

Harm to pupils

Special Educational Needs Policy to be revised by December 2018

Whole-school timetabling

Movement Breaks hosted in public and circulation areas

List of School Activities

Risk Level

 

The School has identified the following Risk of Harm

The School has the following procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment

Care of children with special needs, including intimate care needs

High

Harm by school personnel

Harm to pupils

Special Educational Needs Policy to be revised by December 2018

Intimate Care Policy

 

 

Administration of First Aid & Medication

 

Low

Harm by school personnel

Harm to pupils

Administration of First Aid & Medication Policy to be updated by December 2018

First aid & medication administered by trained school personnel in public areas

 

Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils

High

Injury to pupils and staff

Management of Actual or Potential Aggression (MAPA) training for staff

Behaviour Reductions Plans

Counselling & Play Therapy

Nurture Room

Incredible Years & FRIENDS Programmes

Immediate access to Principal, Deputy Principal & other key personnel

Pupil Support Team

Liaison with external agencies – NEPS, CAMHS, Tusla

Supervision Policy

Code of Behaviour & Restorative Practice

Health & Safety Policy

 

 

Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils, including during classroom teaching

LGBT children/pupils perceived to be LGBT

High

 

 

High

Harm by fellow pupils

Bullying

 

Harm by fellow pupils

Bullying

 

Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour

Full implementation of Stay Safe Programme

 

List of School Activities

Risk Level

 

The School has identified the following Risk of Harm

 

The School has the following procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment

Nurture Room

Medium

Injury to pupils and staff

Tailored professional development for staff via Nurture Group Network (NGN)

Management of Actual or Potential Aggression (MAPA) training for staff

Pairing & timetabling of pupils

Room layout, facilities & resources

Immediate access to Principal & other key personnel

Pupil Support Team

Liaison with external agencies – NEPS, CAMHS, Tusla

Code of Behaviour & Restorative Practice

Health & Safety Policy

 

Sports Coaches

Medium

Harm by sports coaches

Harm to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Sports Coaches work under the direct supervision of the designated teacher

 

Sporting Activities, including swimming

 

Medium

Harm by school personnel/sports coaches

Harm and/or injury to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Sporting activities take place in designated areas of school building/grounds and sport facilities at specified times

Supervision Policy

School personnel supervision in swimming changing area

School personnel assistance for individual children with significant additional needs in swimming cubicle area, if needed

 

Participation in Inter-School Matches

Medium

Harm by school personnel/referees/other attendees

Harm and/or injury to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Use of designated sport facilities at specified times

Supervision Policy

Two Scoil Mhuire personnel present at all times

Bus system to transport pupils to/from inter-school matches

List of School Activities

Risk Level

 

The School has identified the following Risk of Harm

 

The School has the following procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment

Sports Day

Medium

Harm from older past pupils or unknown adults on the school premises

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Sporting activities take place in designated areas of school building/grounds and sport facilities at specified times

Supervision Policy

Whole-school timetabling & record of attendance

 

School outings, including trips involving an overnight stay (6th class only)

 

High

Harm by school personnel/tour venue personnel

Harm and/or injury to pupils

School Tours/Outings Policy

Selection of venues & grouping of pupils

Pupil mobile phone protocol

Use of counsellors

High

Harm by counsellors

Harm to pupils

Use of accredited and supervised counsellors only

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Use of Parent/Guardian consent forms & review meetings

Regular liaison with Principal and Pupil Support Team

Whole-school timetabling & record of attendance

Glass in meeting room doors

Appropriate seating arrangements

 

Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum

Low

Harm by external personnel

Harm to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

External personnel work under the direct supervision of the designated teacher

 

Parents/Guardians participating in in-class activities

Low

Harm by Parents/Guardians at school

Harm to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Induction provided for Parents/Guardians by HSCL

Scoil Mhuire Code of Practice for Parents/Guardians to be devised by December 2018

Parents/Guardians work under the direct supervision of the designated teacher

List of School Activities

Risk Level

 

The School has identified the following Risk of Harm

 

The School has the following procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment

Post-Primary students participating in work experience in the school

 

Low

Harm by post-primary students

Harm to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Post-Primary students work under the direct supervision of the designated teacher

 

Student teachers undertaking training placement in school

 

Low

Harm by student teachers

Harm to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Student teachers work under the direct supervision of the designated teacher

 

Volunteers or third level students participating in special educational needs (SEN) work placement

 

Medium

Harm by volunteers/third level students

Harm to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Scoil Mhuire Code of Practice for SNA Volunteers & SNA Work Placement Students

 

Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school

 

Medium

Harm by fellow pupils

Bullying

Cyber Bullying sessions for senior pupils & Parents/Guardians

Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour

ICT Policy to be revised by December 2018

 

Use of video/photography/other media to record school events

 

Medium

Harm to pupils

Written Parent/Guardian consent for images of his/her child to be taken and how they may be used

Photography/videography of school activities and events undertaken by school personnel and used in compliance with school policy

Pupil images and names do not co-appear on school website, other media

Parents/Guardians not permitted to take photographs/videos at school activities and events of children other than their own

 

List of School Activities

Risk Level

 

The School has identified the following Risk of Harm

 

The School has the following procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment

School-based celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Low

Harm by Church personnel

Harm to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

Church personnel work under the direct supervision of the designated teacher

Whole-school timetabling

Appropriate seating arrangements

 

After school use of school premises by other organisations

 

High

Harm by personnel from external organisations

Harm to pupils

Vetting Procedures

Child Safeguarding Statement

 

 

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 risk assessment has been completed by the Board of Management on 9 March 2018. It was reviewed and updated as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement on 18 September 2018.

 

 Monsignor Denis Lennon                                                                                Dr Mags Jordan

 Chairperson of Board of Management                                                           Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

Date: 18 September 2018                                                                              Date: 18 September 2018

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Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts

Coolcotts, Wexford, Ireland

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