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CHILD PROTECTION POLICY & IMPLEMENTATION PROCEDURES

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

The Board of Management of Killashee School has adopted the Department of Education and Science Guidelines and Procedures for schools in relation to Child Protection and Welfare. This policy is an outline of how Killashee Multi-denominational School proposes to implement these guidelines in order to ensure the protection and welfare of all children attending our school.

Introductory Statement & Rationale

Following in-service in SPHE in 2002, and in-service in the DES Guidelines and Procedures and Children First, it was decided to draw up a Child Protection Statement. It was developed in consultation with representatives of the Board of Management, teaching and ancillary staff and parents. This policy is being formulated to support the need for a policy in relation to child abuse prevention in line with the overall ethos of the school.

Ethos of the School

The ethos of Killashee recognises the uniqueness and importance of every human being. It celebrates the diversity among people. It encourages self-actualisation and the development of a positive self-image in all who are associated with our school. It fosters a spirit of co-operation and promotes self-respect for all others.

Our vision aspires to fostering a caring, nurturing environment for children of all denominations; an environment which embraces differences and gives equal opportunities to all children to reach their full potential academically, spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally. We aim to achieve this through providing the highest possible standard of education by means of quality leadership, teamwork and the involvement of all partners in an environment of mutual respect.

Aims

  1. To promote the safety, protection and welfare of all the pupils in the care of Killashee School
  2. To inform all member of the school community of the procedures in this school for dealing with all aspects of child protection.

Guidelines for the Management and Organisation of Child Protection in our School

It is the policy of Killashee Multi-Denominational School to follow the procedures as laid down in Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures DES 2001 in conjunction with Children First, in any case where we suspect, or are alerted to, child abuse, including where a child discloses abuse.

Role of the Board of Management

It is the primary responsibility of the Board of Management of Killashee Multi-Denominational School, to protect the children within the school to whom they have a duty of care. The responsibilities of the Board of Management are outlines on page 50/51 of the Children First Guidelines and in Page 15/17 of the Child Protection Guidelines (DES).

  • Planning and implementing a Child Protection Programme (Stay Safe)
  • Staff Development
  • Appointing a Designated Liaison Person and a deputy Designated Liaison Person
  • Respond to allegations/suspicions of child abuse involving employees
  • Invoke administrative leave of employee if the nature of the allegation warrants immediate action
  • Monitor and evaluate the programme and policy

Role of the Staff

  1. The responsibilities of the staff of Killashee Multi-Denominational School are as outlined in the Children First Guidelines and the Child Protection Guidelines (DES)
  2. Teaching of the Child Protection Programme; Stay Safe, Walk Tall, and Be safe in each of the classes in co-operation with the partner class as suggested in “Making the Links”.
  3. Recording of the responding to allegations of child abuse as recommended in the Child Protection Guidelines
  4. Mrs. Julie Hughes, Principal, was appointed by the Board of Management as the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) at our BOM meeting on 14th December, 2006

Mrs. Eleanor Brennan was also appointed by the Board of Management as the Deputy Designated Liaison Person and will assure the responsibilities of the DLP if Mrs Julie Hughes is unavailable.

  1. The DLP will ensure that all staff are aware of the procedures and guidelines and attend any further training, if provided.
  2. The DLP will ensure that each teacher has a copy of this policy on Child Protection.
  3. Each staff member has a method of recording concerns. We monitor the progress of pupils about whom we have concerns and who may be at risk in a manner consistent with our duty as teachers. These records are maintained confidentially. A log book will be kept in the Principal’s office, under lock, for the recording of any concerns teachers may have about possible child abuse issues e.g. neglect.

e.g. Registration of Pupil

DateObservationSignature
dd/mm/yyyy Observation details Signature here

It is the policy of this school to follow the procedures as laid down in the Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures, DES 2001, Chapter 4, in any case where allegations are received against school employees.

PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS/SUSPICIONS OF CHILD ABUSE

The Board of Management of Killashee School has carefully considered the Children’s First Guidelines 1999 as issued by the Department of Health and the guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Science.

Definition of Child Abuse

Child abuse can be categorised into four different types: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse.

Neglect

This can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, medical care. Neglect generally becomes apparent in different ways over a period of time rather than at one specific moment.

Emotional Abuse:

This is normally to be found in the relationship between the caregiver and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events. It occurs when a child’s need for affection, approval and consistency and security are not met. Emotional abuse can be manifested in terms of the child’s behavioural, cognitive, affective or physical functioning.

Physical Abuse:

This is any form of non-accidental injury or injury which results from wilful or neglectful failure to protect a child.

Sexual Abuse:

This occurs when a child is used by another person for his/her own gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others.

Designated Liaison Person:

The Board of Management has appointed School Principal, Mrs. Julie Hughes, as Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Mrs. Eleanor Brennan, Deputy Principal as the Deputy DLP. The role of the DLP is to liaise with all relevant agencies, whether in seeking advice, reporting or in follow up consultations.

Procedure In Dealing With A Disclosure/Suspicion From A Child/Third Party

  • Teachers who suspect child abuse should report their concerns to the DLP at the first instance and carefully record their observations over a period of time.
  • Disclosures of Child Abuse from a third party will be reported to the DLP. If a third party starts to tell a teacher about an alleged child abuse incident the teacher will them to speak to the DLP. If the person does not inform the DLP the teacher will do so.
  • Where a child discloses alleged abuse to a staff member, the person receiving that information should listen carefully and supportively. Great care must be taken not to abuse the child’s trust. This should not be a formal interview.
    • Listen to the child
    • Do not ask leading questions or make suggestions to the child
    • Offer reassurance but do not make promises
    • Do not stop a child recalling significant events
    • Do not over-react
    • Confidentiality should be assured, explain that further help may have to be sought
    • Record the discussion accurately noting:
      • What, where and when
      • Descriptions and possible sketches of physical injuries
      • Explanations of injuries using direct quotations if appropriate
      • Retain the record secure

Whether cases of abuse are suspected or confirmed, confidentiality will be respected. The information on individual cases will be restricted to the teacher(s) immediately involved with the child and will be on a need to know basis.

The DLP will record the incident. It is not the function of the teacher or the DLP to investigate the issue.

If the suspected abuser is the DLP then the suspicion and any records will be passed on to the Chairperson who will proceed as per guidelines.

The Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed of the disclosure.

Informal contact with the designated person in the Midland Health Board will be made, seeking advice as to whether a referral should be made. The DLP will be explicit that he/she is requesting advice and hot making a report. It is not necessary at this stage for the DLP to disclose his/her name or the name of the school.

The advice given by the Health Board must be acted upon.

If the advice is not to refer, the DLP will record this advice as the reason for non-referral. The Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed.

If the advice from the Health Board is to refer the case, the DLP will do so. However, prior to referring, the DLP will inform the parent of her intention to refer, unless this course of action is injurious to the child.

Following referral and the completion of the standard form the school will have no further part to play in the investigation.

If a case conference is required, the DLP will be invited to attend.

Allegations Against An Employee

Procedures followed are similar to those of a disclosure

Employee is made aware of the allegation against him/her

Employee will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegation in writing and at a meeting of the Board of Management

BOM meeting to review the allegation, giving due consideration to any advice given by the Health Board and Gardaí

 

On conclusion of any investigation the BOM will then determine the employment status of the employee

School supervision policy and routines will be followed by all staff to ensure that there is comprehensive supervision of children at all breaks and before and after school.

 

Behaviour

Children are to be encouraged at all times to play co-operatively and inappropriate behaviour will be addressed under our Code of Behaviour.

Visibility

Teachers will ensure that children are visible in the school yard. Children will not be allowed to spend time in classrooms, toilets or sheds where they would not be under adult supervision. They are not to leave the school yard or to engage with adults who are outside of the school yard.

Visitors

Teachers on yard duty will be aware of visitors entering the school yard and will ascertain their intentions. They will be supervised in the discharge of their business.

Swimming

Children will walk to the swimming pool under the teacher’s direction. Children must bring a coat to school on the day they are swimming in case it is cold or wet. No children will be allowed to walk to the swimming pool in the rain/cold without a coat. Children are reminded that if they forget their coat they may not be allowed to go swimming. All adults assisting with supervision in the changing rooms will act in ‘loco parentis’ and as such will act a prudent parents helping children to return to school as dry as possible. Parent helpers will be briefed around our swimming procedures.

Children Travelling in Staff Cars

Teachers will not carry children alone in their cars. At least two children must travel with the teacher in the car or another adult and child.

Induction of Teachers and Ancillary Staff

The DLP will be responsible for informing all new teachers and ancillary staff of this policy and Children First Guidelines (1999)

Dealing With Children On A One-to-one Basis

If a staff member has to work/deal/communicate with children on a one-to-one basis, they are requested to leave the classroom door open. A glass partition has been fitted in the doors of all resource/special needs rooms.

Attendance

With regards to chid 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.