The Board of Management has adopted as policy the Child Protection Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools as published by the Department of Education & Science and is guided by the DES circular 0065/2011 and Children First ‘National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children’ 2011. Circular 0065/2011 outlines new ‘oversight arrangements and these are incorporated into the guidelines which follow. Copies of all relevant documents are available from the Principal or may be viewed on www.education.ie./www.dcya.ie
If a member of staff should receive a report of a Child Protection Issue.
- Listen compassionately
- Use open, non-specific questions where, what is being reported is unclear.
- Make careful record of the report, using the young person’s own words.
- If the person reporting is an adult, invite him/her to provide a written account of the matter
- Indicate what will happen next
- Report the matter immediately to the Designated Liaison Person
- Keep the matter strictly confidential
You should not:
- Question the person reporting, other than to seek clarification
- Make any judgemental statements
- Give any undertaking of secrecy
- Start to investigate
In the event that the Designated Liaison Person decides not to report the allegation to the Health Service Executive, the member of staff who reported the matter will be given a written statement as to why action is not being taken.
The member of staff who reports an allegation to the Designated Liaison Person may be asked to attend a Child Protection Conference. The DLP will consult with the Board of Management before responding to such a request.
A member of staff reporting an allegation or suspicion in good faith has the legal protection of qualified privilege at common law and is also protected under ‘The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act’ 1998. The Freedom of Information Acts and the Data Protection Acts will apply to records.
Summary of the Board of Managements Responsibility in Child Protection
- To provide students with the highest possible standard of care in order to promote their well being and protect them from harm.
- To adopt a child protection policy in accordance with the Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures for Post Primary Schools.
- To adopt without modification the child protection procedures for post primary schools as outlined in circular 0065/2011.
- To designate a senior member of staff as the Designated Liaison Person for the school. It is expected that the Designated Liaison Person will normally be the Principal. The name of the DLP shall be prominently displayed in an appropriate public place in the school.
- To provide for another person to assume responsibilities of the Designated Liaison Person should the DLP be unavailable for any reason, this person to be known as the Deputy Designated Liaison Person.
- To ensure that all records relating to child protection are appropriately filed and stored.
- To adhere to DES requirements for Garda vetting in respect of all school personnel and apply thorough recruitment, selection and appointment procedures to all employees and volunteers.
- To ensure that the school’s child protection policy is available to parents/guardians of the school community.
The Designated Liaison Person will inform the Board that a report involving a student in the school has been submitted to the Health Service Executive. The DLP will inform the Board of cases where information is sought from the HSE but where no report is made. The DLP will be responsible to maintain all relevant contact details for HSE and An Garda Siochana.
Finally the Board undertakes to ensure that review of the schools Child Protection Policy will be undertaken on an annual basis and will put in place an action plan containing appropriate timelines to address those aspects of the policy which have been identified as requiring further improvement.