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Child Protection

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Child Protection Policy of St. Declan’s Community College

 

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 St. Declan’s Community College 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 : Eugene Power

3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Mary Dunbar

4. In its policies, practices and activities, St. Declan’s Community College 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. This section of the child protection policy should be used to list school policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to child protection (e.g. the Code of Behaviour/Anti-bullying Policy, Pupil Attendance Strategy, Supervision of Pupils, Sporting Activities/School Outings/Pupil Work Placements at post primary etc.)

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 (if any) 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.

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on : 3rd October 2011

Signed:Mary Greene ...............Signed: Eugene Power

Chairperson of Board of Management..... Principal

Date: 3rd October 2011 Date: 3rd October 2011

Adopted at VEC Meeting 16th January 2012

Policy reviewed on 24th October 2016

Signed: Oliver Coffey Signed: Eugene Power

 


CHILD PROTECTION

School Policy on procedures for dealing with allegations or suspicions of child abuse:

1.If a teacher receives an allegation or suspects child abuse, he/she in the first instance should report the matter to the Principal or in exceptional circumstances to the CEO.

2.The Principal reports the matter to the CEO.

3.The CEO together with the teacher should report the matter to the Director of Community Care/Medical Officer of Health. NB. It is not the responsibility of school staff to make enquiries about parents/guardians. That is the duty of the DCC/MOH.

4.If a teacher receives an allegation or has a suspicion that an employee of the school is abusing a pupil the above guidelines apply.

5.When child abuse is suspected staff should keep records of all the information available. Signs of physical abuse should be carefully noted and any comments made by the child recorded. It is possible that a teacher may be invited to attend a case conference by the DCC/MOH.

6.NB. When information on abuse is received from a child it must be responded to with tact and sensitivity. The staff member must reassure the pupil and retain his/her trust but must also explain the need for action and the ensuing consequences which will involve other adults. It is important that the child be told that everything will be done to protect him/her that no empty promises be made (e.g. promising not to tell anyone).

7.Absolute confidentiality must be maintained in these cases. Information is only disclosed on a need to know basis.

8.Legal position

(a) A teacher making a complaint is acting in loco parentis and such communication is privileged.

(b) Those reporting a student’s disclosure are not making a charge but merely passing on a report.

(c) It is unlikely that reporting such a case would warrant a court appearance but if subpoenaed leave of absence with full pay will be allowed.

Signed: Oliver Coffey                                                                                                     Signed: Eugene Power

 

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