Child Safeguarding Statement

  1. Gortnahoe National Child Safeguarding Statement 

Gortnahoe N.S. 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 Gortnahoe N.S. has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

  • 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
  • The Designated Liaison Person (D.L.P.) is David O’Dwyer
  • The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy D.L.P.) is Therese Meehan
  • 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;
  • fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
  • 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.

  • 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 Túsla, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 _________________ .

Signed: _________________________                     Signed: ____________________________

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

 

 

Date:     __________________________                  Date:    __________________­­­­­­­_

 

Appendix 1

 

Gortnahoe N.S. Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment

1: Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment

Written Assessment of Risk of Gortnahoe N.S.

In accordance with section 11 of the Children First Act 2015 and with the requirement of Chapter 8 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, the following is the Written Risk Assessment of Gortnahoe N.S.

  1. List of school activities
  • Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils
  • Recreation breaks for pupils
  • Classroom teaching
  • One-to-one teaching
  • Outdoor teaching activities
  • Sporting Activities
  • School outings
  • Use of toilet/changing areas in schools
  • Annual Sports Day
  • Fundraising events involving pupils
  • Use of off-site facilities for school activities
  • School transport arrangements
  • Care of children with special educational needs, including intimate care where needed
  • Management of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint where required
  • Administration of Medicine
  • Administration of First Aid
  • Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe
  • Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils
  • Training of school personnel in child protection matters
  • Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum
  • Use of external personnel to support sports and other extra-curricular activities
  • Care of pupils with specific vulnerabilities/ needs such as
  • Pupils from ethnic minorities/migrants
  • Members of the Traveller community
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) children
  • Pupils perceived to be LGBT
  • Pupils of minority religious faiths
  • Children in care
  • Children on CPNS
  • Recruitment of school personnel including -
  • Teachers/SNA’s
  • Caretaker/Secretary/Cleaners
  • Sports coaches
  • External Tutors/Guest Speakers
  • Volunteers/Parents in school activities
  • Visitors/contractors present in school during school hours
  • Visitors/contractors present during after school activities
  • Participation by pupils in religious ceremonies/religious instruction external to the school
  • Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school
  • Application of sanctions under the school’s Code of Behaviour including detention of pupils, confiscation of phones etc.
  • Students participating in work experience in the school
  • Student teachers undertaking training placement in school
  • Use of video/photography/other media to record school events
  • After school use of school premises by other organisations
  • Use of school premises by other organisation during school day
  1. The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities –
  • Risk of harm not being recognised by school personnel
  • Risk of harm not being reported properly and promptly by school personnel
  • Risk of child being harmed in the school by a member of school personnel
  • Risk of child being harmed in the school by another child
  • Risk of child being harmed in the school by volunteer or visitor to the school
  • Risk of child being harmed by a member of school personnel, a member of staff of another organisation or other person while child participating in out of school activities e.g. school trip, swimming lessons
  • Risk of harm due to bullying of child
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in school
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children while attending out of school activities
  • Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationship/communications between child and another child or adult
  • Risk of harm due to children inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media, phones and other devices while at school
  • Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerabilities
  • Risk of harm to child while a child is receiving intimate care
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate code of behaviour
  • Risk of harm in one-to-one teaching, coaching situation
  • Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel communicating with pupils in an in-appropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
  • Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
  1. The school has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm identified in this assessment
  • All school personnel are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
  • The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 are made available to all school personnel
  • School Personnel are required to adhere to the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and all registered teaching staff are required to adhere to the Children First Act 2015
  • The school implements in full the Stay Safe Programme (see detailed Whole School SPHE Plan)
  • The school implements in full the SPHE curriculum (see detailed Whole School SPHE Plan)
  • The school has an Anti-Bullying Policy which fully adheres to the requirements of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools
  • The school has a supervision policy to ensure appropriate supervision of children during, assembly, dismissal and breaks and in respect of specific areas such as toilets, changing rooms etc.
  • The school has in place clear procedures in respect of school outings (please refer to Supervision Policy and Code of Behaviour)
  • The school has a Health and safety policy
  • The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda vetting legislation and relevant DES circulars in relation to recruitment and Garda vetting.
  • The school adheres to the “Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers” as set out by the Teaching Council. conduct for school personnel
  • The school complies with the agreed disciplinary procedures for teaching staff
  • The school has a Special Educational Needs policy
  • The school has an intimate care policy/plan in respect of students who require such care
  • The school has in place procedures for the administration of medication to pupils (provided in our Health & Safety Policy)
  • The school –
    • Has provided each member of school 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
    • Maintains records of all staff and board member training
  • The school has in place procedures for the administration of First Aid (as part of our Health & Safety Policy)
  • The school has in place a Code of Behaviour for pupils
  • The school has in place an ICT policy in respect of usage of ICT by pupils
  • Mobile phones are not allowed in our school, the details of which are outlined in our detailed Plean Scoile as well as on the Parents Information Booklet. Mobile Phones are also dealt with in our Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy (Cyberbullying section is also contained in our Anti-Bullying policy)
  • The school has in place a Critical Incident Management Plan
  • The school has in place procedures for Home School Liaison which are contained in our Plean Scoile and our Parent Information Handbook, as well as on our website.
  • The school has in place procedures for the use of external persons to supplement delivery of the curriculum
  • The school has in place procedures for the use of external sports coaches.
  • The school has in place a policy and clear procedures for one-to-one teaching activities.
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures in respect of student teacher placements (see Plean Scoile and Health & Safety Policy)
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures in respect of students undertaking work experience in the school (see Plean Scoile and Health & Safety Policy)
  • Serving mass during school time is generally not practised in the parish. On the rare occasion where children are asked to serve mass during the school day, they will walk to and return from the church in pairs.  Only children whose parents have given written permission may serve at Mass during school
  • At present the school building is “very open”. We have enquired about getting funding for a new entrance. In the meantime it was agreed by the BOM to have both doors at the front of the school put on a latch and door bell installed for visitors to make contact.

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 12/04/2018. It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.