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Child Protection Policy

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 Presentation Convent NS 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 Margaret Maxwell (Principal)
 3.The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Mary Jacob (Deputy Principal)

In its policies, practices and activities, Presentation Convent NS 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.
5. 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: Revised Guidelines and Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary schools (2011) (See attached Appendix, from Part 2, 3 and 4 of the above DES guidelines)

The staff and management of this school have agreed:
• All concerns/ disclosures involving child protection/child welfare issues will bereported 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.p;Reports will be based on carefully created records noting what was observed and when it was observed. Signs of physical injury will be described in detail and, ifappropriate, sketched. Any comment by the child concerned, or by any other person will be recorded, preferably quoting words actually used, as soon as possible after the comment has been made.

• All records so created will be retained in a secure location by the Designated ;Liaison person

• A strict adherence to maintaining confidentiality – information regarding concerns ordisclosures of abuse should only be given on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Report to BOM
At each Board of Management the principal’s report shall:
;(a) State the number of reports made to the HSE by the DLP, since the last BOM meeting and
(b) State the number of cases, since the last BOM meeting, where the DLP has sought advice from the HSE, and as a result of this advice, no report was made, or
(c) Where there are no such cases at (a) and (b) above, state this fact The minutes of the meeting shall record the above
Note: the principal’s report shall state only the number of cases at (a) and (b) and shall not include any other details of these cases. Where necessary, the child’s registration number will be used to protect their identity in the minutes.
SCHOOL POLICIES, PRACTICES AND ACTIVITIES RELEVANT TO CHILD PROTECTION
In its policies practices and activities, Presentation Convent NS, will endeavour to adhere to best practice in child protection and welfare. The following have been identified as policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to child protection and following discussion and consultation the staff and board of management have agreed that the following practices be adopted:
Prevention:
• Code of Behaviour/ Anti Bullying policy: is fully implemented and protects the pupils in areas such as peer abuse, cyber bullying, etc.
SPHE:.
The Safety and Protection strand of the SPHE curriculum will address issues related to child protection in an age appropriate way. 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 schools’ SPHE curriculum under the strand unit
Safety and Protection.
Parents will be informed that the Stay Safe programme is in use in the school and, where possible, a copy of the Stay Safe ‘A Parent’s Guide’ provided. The formal lessons of the programme will be taught in their entirety every second year in accordance with the SPHE two-year cycle plan. Staff will make every effort to ensure that the messages of the programme are reinforced whenever possible
RSE:
The RSE programme will be explicitly taught every second year in accordance with the Child Protection two-year cycle and our recently updated RSE policy
Procedures
• Attendance Policy: Teachers will monitor attendance and punctuality because it is a key indicator of neglect in children. Procedures in our attendance policy will be strictly followed
• Health and Safety Statement: Awareness of and compliance with this protects staff and children in our school from physical harm.
• ICT Acceptable Use Policy: counteracts cyber bullying and ensures safe use of digital media.Permissions are sought for pictures to be taken.
Practice:
• Parent Teacher meetings; any issues surrounding the welfare of the child are raised and discussed with parents.

• Continuous Professional Development: Staff and management will avail of CPD opportunities in Child Protection and records will be maintained by the principal of who accessed and when CPD was accessed.

• Toileting accidents: Parents are contacted in the first instance. If they cannot be contacted or cannot come a change of clothing is provided. If the child needs assistance two adults assist, if possible. A record will be kept of this and the DLP and parents will be informed in this event.

• School activities: e.g. Swimming: A teacher will be present at all times. Where possible garda vetted parents will accompany and if not possible two parents will be asked so that there are two adults present with children at all times.

• Football and other out of school activities e.g. choir, attendance at awards ceremonies: the school will endeavour to never have a parent or teacher alone with children at any time. Children are to be collected from the school and returned to the school and not to own homes.

• Dance/Basketball lessons: with lessons by outside teachers, the class teacher to be present at all times.

• Supervision of Pupils: teachers supervise children during lunch times. SNA , caretaker and work experience students will assist with this Out of school activities e.g. School Tours/ Educational trips: teachers/SNA supervise.

• Substitute teachers: All vetting procedures are complied with in accordance with Circular 63-210

• One to one teaching: Every effort made to ensure that this teaching takes place in open environment. Permissions are always sought for one to one teaching from parents. The SNA also sometimes work under the direction of a class teacher in an open environment.

• Visitors/Volunteers: will be given a short one page document giving do’s and don’ts of appropriate behaviour in line with child protection policies.

These may include:
    Teaching Practice Students
    Transition Year Work Placement
    Guest speakers/outside teachers
    Parent volunteers

The above will never be left alone with pupils.
Every effort will be made to check out the credentials of guest speakers beforehand and to ensure material is appropriate and adheres to our Acceptable use of Internet and ICTs policy. 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 record will be kept of the incident and reported to the DLP 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.

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.

 

 

Presentation Convent N.S. Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.
Phone:056 444 1426 E-mail: info@prescomerns.scoilnet.ie
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