Child Safeguarding Statement
Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, the Children First: National Guidance, and TUSLA’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice.
In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our service:
- Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against staff against a pupil
- Minor complaints about staff are managed in line with the complaint’s procedure, as outlined in our Complaints Policy.
- Allegations against staff of abuse or misconduct are managed according to the procedures as set out in Appendix 1.
- Procedure for the recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children
- Only teachers who are Garda vetted are employed. All temporary and permanent teachers are registered with the Teaching Council.
- All SNAs who are employed in the school in a temporary or permanent capacity are Garda vetted by our Patron. Substitute SNAs will present with Garda vetting.
- Parents and volunteers who work with the children on a long-term and/or consistent basis are Garda vetted by our Patron
- References from previous employers are obtained before employment in the school.
- Form of Undertaking and Statutory Declaration completed before commencing in the school where required
- Procedure for the provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm
- Staff are informed of school child-protection and anti-bullying procedures during staff induction at the beginning of each school year.
- School policies are provided to all staff and discussed. Staff are informed of the relevant person to direct queries to for each policy.
- All staff will be trained in the recognition of signs of abuse and reasonable grounds for concern and provided with a copy of the relevant sections of Children First during staff induction each October. All new members of staff hired after this induction day will receive training as soon as possible from an appropriate member of staff.
- Staff are informed of reporting procedures and provided with a copy of the Child Safeguarding Statement.
- The school Child Protection Policy and Anti-Bullying Procedures are on our school website. Child Protection and Anti-Bullying documents, e.g. reference sheets, reporting templates, are available for staff on the school intranet also.
- Child Protection Guidelines, including names of the DLP and DDLP and reporting procedures, are displayed in every room.
- The DLP/DDLP/Board of Management engage with Child Protection training through local education centres.
- School management stay updated on current Child Protection guidelines and circulars. School management will update staff and BoM and provide any training required where appropriate.
- Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to TUSLA
- All mandated persons shall report a mandated concern to TUSLA as soon as practicable in accordance with the Children First Act.
- The DLP or DDLP shall act as a resource to the mandated person to ensure that reporting procedures are followed correctly and promptly.
- On completion, a report shall be forwarded to the relevant Duty Social Worker by the DLP, DDLP or Mandated Person.
- In the event the report is forwarded by the DLP or DDLP, the Mandated Person shall be informed in writing that the report has been forwarded.
- In the event that the report is forwarded by a mandated person without the assistance of the DLP/DDLP, the DLP or DDLP shall be informed and any copies provided to be stored securely in a locked filing cabinet in the DLP’s office.
- Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons (if any) in the relevant service who are mandated persons
- Only teachers in the school are mandated persons. Mandated persons, as defined in the Children First Act 2015, have a statutory obligation to report concerns which reach a particular threshold to TUSLA and to cooperate with TUSLA in the assessment of mandated reports
- Procedure for appointing a relevant person
- The school principal and DLP, is the relevant person in accordance with the Children First Act 2015.
- The deputy principal and DDLP, will deputise for the DLP in her absence.
- The name and contact details of the current DLP and DDLP will be displayed at the school entrance, in every classroom and on the school website.
- All procedures listed are available upon request.
We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. Our school is committed to the implementation of the Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our service. This document will be published on our school website and will be circulated to all members of our school community including parents and staff. A hard copy of the policy can be available on request.
This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually with the Child Protection Policy, or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.
For queries, please contact Siobhán Weekes, DLP and Principal. She is the Relevant Person under the Children First Act 2015.
Ratified by the Board of Management of Scoil Chaitríona Baggot Street on February 27th 2020. It will be reviewed in February 2021.
CHILD SAFEGUARDING PRACTICES
A key element of our BoM’s ongoing child safeguarding work over the years has been the development of appropriate procedures in relation to child protection.
Following whole-school discussion and consultation, the BoM have agreed that the following practices be adopted:
- 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.
School personnel should never engage in or allow:
- The use of inappropriate language or behaviours
- Physical punishment of any kind
- Sexually provocative games or suggestive comments about or to a child
- The use of sexually explicit or pornographic material.
- All media products (CDs, DVDs etc.) or online content should be checked for their appropriateness not limited to but with regard to age and suitability.
- Vetted guest speakers and visiting teachers of varying disciplines, employed by the BoM of Scoil Chaitríona Baggot Street to perform specific duties, will be left work with a class alone at the Principal’s discretion.
- Visitors/Guest speakers should never be left alone with pupils. The school Principal has a responsibility to check out the credentials of the visitor/guest speaker and to ensure that the material in use is appropriate.
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 are absent. A written copy of what has been agreed will be made and kept in the child’s file
- Two members of staff will be present when dealing with intimate care/toileting needs. Any deviation from the agreed procedure will be recorded and notified to the DLP and the parents/guardians.
- The parents/guardians of the child who requires assistance with specific toileting /intimate care needs must provide clean underwear and suitable clothing. These will be kept in the school so that if the child has a toileting issue of this nature, they will in the first instance be offered their own fresh clothing into which they can change.
- If provided fresh clothing is not available, in the interest of the dignity of the child, the class teacher will make all reasonable efforts to source fresh clothing.
- If a child who does not have a specific toileting /intimate care needs and where a toileting issue occurs, the parents/guardians will be contacted if for whatever reason the child cannot clean or change themselves.
- If 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. Parents will be notified by the class teacher at the end of the school day.
- It is the policy in this school that one-to-one teaching is only undertaken if 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
- 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.
- Where assistance is needed, this will be done in the communal area and with the consent of parents.
- Under no circumstances will members of staff be expected to or allowed to dress/undress a child in a cubicle/private area.
- In such situations where privacy is required, a parent/guardian of the child will be asked to attend and assist the child.
- In such instances, the parent/guardian must apply to be vetted.
- Where practicable, Scoil Chaitríona Baggot Street will endeavour to have a male volunteers/member of staff in the male changing area and a female member of staff in the female changing area.
- 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 where this is not possible or practicable, a full record of the incident should be made and reported to the Principal and parents.
- Our school attendance will be monitored as per our Attendance Policy.
- With regards to child protection, we will pay particular attention to trends in non-attendance.
- We will also monitor non-attendance in correlation with signs of neglect/physical/emotional abuse.
- Children are encouraged at all times to interact in a co-operative and appropriate manner. All inappropriate behaviour will be addressed under our Code of Behaviour.
- If an incident occurs which is considered to be of a sexualised nature we will notify the DLP who will record it and respond to it appropriately.
- Bullying behaviour will be addressed under our Anti-Bullying policy.
- If the behaviour involved is of a sexualised nature or regarded as being particularly abusive, then the matter will be referred to the DLP.
Children travelling in staff cars
- At no time will the BoM instruct a teacher to use a personal vehicle to transport children.
- Members of the school staff will not carry children alone in their vehicles at any time.
- If a situation occurs where a child must travel in the car belonging to a staff member, either another member of staff or one of the child’s parents/guardians must also be present in the vehicle.
- Members of staff are advised to check with their insurance provider to ascertain their individual level of cover.
- Every effort will be made to continue to enhance pupil-teacher communication. If pupils have concerns they will be listened to sympathetically.
- The SPHE/Oral Language/RE programmes allow for open pupil-teacher communication, which is hoped will aid the pupil-teacher relationship.
- If teachers have to communicate with pupils on a one-to-one basis, they are requested to leave the classroom door open or request a colleague to attend.
Induction of Staff
- The DLP will be responsible for informing all new teachers and ancillary staff our school’s Child Safeguarding procedures. The DDLP will ensure that a copies of all relevant child safeguarding documentation is made available to all new staff members. These must be retained in all classrooms and in the Staff Room.
- All new teachers are expected to teach the designated SPHE objectives for their class.
- The DDLP, in accordance with the post of responsibility description, will be responsible for the mentoring of new teachers and also for supporting new teachers as they implement the SPHE objectives.
- The Principal is responsible for ensuring for informing all teachers of all relevant record-keeping procedures within the school.
Induction of Pupils
- All parents and children will be made aware of attendance rules and their implications as laid down in the Education Welfare Act (2000).
- All parents will be informed of the programmes in place in the school that deal with personal development e.g. Stay Safe and SPHE.
- All new parents will be either given a hard-copy of the school’s information booklet or directed to it online. This outlines the procedures parents and children should use when contacting the school if there are absences or concerns of an educational/personal/family matter.
- Parents must to make an appointment with the class teacher/principal if they wish to discuss their child’s progress.
- All parents will be given a hard-copy copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies. These must be read and signed by a parent/guardian.
Please refer to our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
Please refer to our Data Protection and Records Retention Policy.
Supervision and Visibility
Please refer to our Supervision Policy
Child Protection Contacts
Designated Liaison Person:
Siobhán Weekes (Principal)
Phone: 01 6766132
Deputy Designated Liaison Person:
Cillian Ó Bhroinn (Deputy Principal)
Phone: 01 6766132
Pearse Street Garda Station
Phone: 01 666 9000
Local Contact for the TUSLA (formally the Children and Family Social Services of the HSE):
Lord Edward Street Offices:
Phone: 01 648 6555