Child Protection Policy

Child Protection Policy.

Cloghans Hill National School.

 

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 Roundfort National School 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.

 

 

  1. The Designated Liaison Person ( known as the DLP) is:

Iseult Mangan.

 

  1. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person {Deputy DLP}is

Sharon McCabe.

 

  1. In its policies, practices and activities, Cloghan Hill National School will adhere to the following principals of best practice in child protection and welfare:

 

  1. The Education Act 1998

 

The Child Welfare Act 2000

 

Children First-National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011.

 

References:

 

In all instances of suspicion or allegations of abuse or neglect, the following two resource books will be referenced.

 

‘Children First’ – Department of Children & Youth Affairs 2011.

‘ Child Protection Procedures’ – Department of Education & Skills 2011 for Primary and Post Primary Schools.

 

Confidentiality:

 

All information regarding concerns of possible child abuse should only be shared on a need to know basis in the interests of the Child.   The test is whether or not the person has any legitimate involvement or role in dealing with the issue.

 

Giving information to those who need to have that information for the protection of the Child who may have been or has been abused, is not a breach of confidentiality.

 

The DLP who is submitting a report to the Health Board or An Garda Siochana should inform a parent/guardian unless doing so is likely to endanger the child or place that child at further risk. A decision not to inform a parent/guardian should be briefly recorded together with the reasons for not doing so.

 

In emergency situations, where the Health Board cannot be contacted, and the child appears to be at immediate and serious risk, An Garda Siochana should be contacted immediately.

 

A Child should not be left in a dangerous situation pending Health Board intervention.

 

Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse:

 

The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998, provides immunity from civil liability to any person who reports child abuse’ reasonably and in good faith’ to designated officers of Health Boards or any member of An Garda Siochana.

 

This Means that even if a reported suspicion of child abuse proves unfounded, a plaintiff who took an action would have to prove that the reporter had not acted reasonably and in good faith making the report.

 

The act provides significant protection for employees who report child abuse. These protections cover all employees and all forms of discrimination up to and including dismissal. (Child Protection Des Book Chapter 1. 1.10 Page 10)

 

Qualified Privilege:

 

While the legal protection outlined above only applies to reports made to the appropriate authorities (i.e. The Health Boards and An Garda Siochana), Common Law qualified privilege continues to apply as heretofore. Consequently, should a Board Of Management or School Personnel furnish information with regard to suspicions of Child abuse to the DLP or the Board Of Management Chairman, such communication would be regarded under common law as having qualified privilege.

 

A further definition of qualified privilege is outlined in Section 1.4.2 and 11.1 1.11.2 1.11.3. Page 11 of Child Protection Procedures.

 

Freedon of Information Act 1997:

 

Reports made to Health Boards may be subject to provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1997, which enables members of the public to obtain access to personal information relating to them which is in the possession of public bodies. However the act also provides that public bodies may refuse access to information obtained by them in confidence.

 

Board of Management:

 

At each Board Of Management meeting in Cloghans Hill NS, the chairperson should inform the Board of Management of all the details and remind the members of their serious responsibility to maintain strict confidentiality on all matters relating to the issue and the principles of due process and natural justice.

 

At each Board of Management meeting in Cloghans Hill NS, the principal’s report shall include the number of all cases and this shall be recorded in the minutes of the board meeting.

 

Cloghans Hill NS will as required by all schools implement the Stay Safe Programme.

 

Annual review of our child protection policy and its implementation by the school will take place each September.

 

Written notification, that the review has been undertaken shall be provided to the Parents.

            

 

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 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.

 

  1. The following are in place;

 

  • School policies, practices and activities.

 

  • Code of Behaviour/Anti-bullying Policy.

 

  • Supervision of Pupils, Sporting Activities/School Outings.

 

  • The Stay Safe Programme.

 

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.

 

  1. The Board has arrangements in place to communicate the Schools Child Protection Policy to new School Personnel.

 

  1. Child Protection matters will be reported to the Board appropriately and will be recorded in the Board minutes.

 

  1. Copy of the Child Protection Policy will be provided to the Parents Association should one be set up.

 

  1. All records will be appropriately filed and stored securely.

 

  1. This policy has been made available to school personnel 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

 

Signed: Ann Ryan                Signed: Iseult Mangan

 

Chairperson of Board of Management.       Principal.

 

 

Date: 27/01/2016                               Date: 27/01/2016

 

 

 

Date of next review: January 2017