Mandatory Template 1: Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment  June 2022

Child Safeguarding Statement

St. Patrick’s GNS 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 Addendum to Children First (2019), 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 St. Patrick’s GNS has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

 

  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 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement

 

  1. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is     Eileen Kelly

 

  1. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is  Yvonne Crosse

 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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 DE 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 Department of Education and available on the DE 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 Tusla, 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 schools 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 and the Addendum to Children First (2019), 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 included with the Child Safeguarding Statement. 

 

  • The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DE website or will be made available on request by the school.

 

Note:  The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management shall also include in this section such other procedures/measures that are of relevance to the school in question.  

  1. This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association (if any) 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.  

 

  1. 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 reviewed by the Board of Management on 1st June 2022.

 

Signed: Ann Moynihan Signed: Eileen Kelly

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

 

1st June 2022

 

 

 

1.      List of school activities

 

2.    The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities –

 

 

3.    The school has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm identified in this assessment –

 

Training of school personnel in Child Protection matters

Harm not recognised or reported promptly

 

 

Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff

 DLP& DDLP to attend PDST face to face training (Not possible due to covid- Online training will be undertaken if offered)

All Staff to view Túsla training module (link on Aladdin noticeboard) & any other online training offered by PDST 

 BOM records all records of staff and board training.

The school ensures that all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement/Guidelines for dealing with a disclosure and Child Protection Policy.

Procedure for dealing with Child Protection issue on display in Staff room and revised at staff meeting

The school encourages board of management members to avail of relevant training

 

One to one teaching

Harm by school personnel

Harm not recognised or reported promptly

 

School has policy in place for one to one teaching in Special Education Policy

Table between teacher and pupil

Uncovered Glass in window

Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff

 

Care of Children with special needs, including intimate care needs

Harm by school personnel

Child Safeguarding Statement

Special Education Needs Policy

 

Toilet areas

Inappropriate behaviour

Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in school

Daily Procedures Policy (All pupils are accompanied to the toilets on the top corridor).No child will ever be on their own with a staff member in the toilet.

Curricular Provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay safe.

Non-teaching of same

SPHE Policy. SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe in full. SPHE Coordinator ensure that teachers receive resources and are informed of any upcoming courses.

BOM signs off on teaching of Stay Safe programme every year.

Where school closure occurs coordinator will seek advice re completing Stay Safe programme

LGBT Children/Pupils perceived to be LGBT

Bullying

Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour 

 

 

Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils

Harm from older pupils, unknown adults in the school

Dismissal supervised by Teachers

Daily Procedures Policy

Parents drop child at the main door and are not permitted to enter the building unless permission is granted by principal.

Covid-19 Response Plan

Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint

Injury to pupils and staff

Special Education Policy

Health & Safety Policy

Code Of Behaviour

Sports Coaches/Music Tutor/ Dancing teachers/ Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum

Harm to pupils

Child Safeguarding Statement.

Health & Safety Policy

Code of Behaviour

Class Teacher is always present

Students participating in work experience

Harm by student

Child Safeguarding Statement.

Special Education Policy

Health & Safety Policy

Code Of Behaviour

Recreation breaks for pupils

Harm to pupils

Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in school

 

Special Education Policy

Health & Safety Policy

Code Of Behaviour

Covid-19 Response Plan

Classroom teaching

Harm to pupils

Inappropriate Curriculum Content

Special Education Policy

Health & Safety Policy

Child Safeguarding Statement

Code of Behaviour

Acceptable Use Policy

School Plans

Long Term Plans

Short Term Plans

Covid-19 Response Plan

Homework club

 

Harm to pupils

Health & Safety Policy

Child Safeguarding Statement

Code of Behaviour

Covid-19 Response Plan 

Annual Sports Day

 

Harm to pupils

Health & Safety Policy

Child Safeguarding Statement

Code of Behaviour

Acceptable Use Policy

Daily Procedures Policy

Covid-19 Response Plan

DEIS Summer camps
Campa Samhraidh

Harm to pupils

Health & Safety Policy

Child Safeguarding Statement

Code of Behaviour

Acceptable Use Policy

Daily Procedures Policy

Covid-19 Response Plan

Fundraising events involving pupils

 

Harm to pupils

Health & Safety Policy

Child Safeguarding Statement

Code of Behaviour

Acceptable Use Policy

Daily Procedures Policy

Covid-19 Response Plan

Use of off-site facilities for school activities

 

 

Harm to pupils

Health & Safety Policy

Child Safeguarding Statement

Code of Behaviour

Acceptable Use Policy

Covid-19 Response Plan

School transport arrangements

 

 

Harm to pupils

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

Health & Safety Policy

Child Safeguarding Statement

Code of Behaviour

Acceptable Use Policy

Covid-19 Response Plan

Care of any vulnerable pupils, including intimate care where needed

 

Harm to pupils

Health & Safety Policy

Child Safeguarding Statement

Code of Behaviour

Acceptable Use Policy

Special Education Policy

Administration of Medicine

Administration of First Aid

 

Harm to pupils

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

Substance Abuse Policy

Health and Safety Policy

Covid-19 Response Plan

Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe

 

Harm to pupils

SPHE Policy

Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils

 

Harm to pupils

Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour

SPHE Policy

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

 

Harm to pupils

Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour

SPHE Policy

Stay Safe Programme

Special Education Policy

Covid-19 Response Plan

Recruitment of school personnel including –

·         Teachers

·         SNA’s

·         Substitue teacher or SNA

·         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

 

Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported

Risk of child being harmed in the school by volunteer or visitor to the school

Meet with Principal/Deputy Principal before commencement

and Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff

 

Staff to view Tusla training module & any other online training offered by PDST

 

Vetting Procedures

 

 Covid-19 Response Plan

Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school

 

Bullying

Risk of harm due to children inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media, phones and other devices while at school

Acceptable Use policy

Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour

Email Etiquette Policy

Covid-19 Response Plan

 

Application of sanctions under the school’s Code of Behaviour including detention of pupils, confiscation of phones etc.

 

Harm to Pupils

Acceptable Use policy

Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour

Student teachers undertaking training placement in school

 

Harm to pupils

Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff

 Staff to view Tusla training module & any other online training offered by PDST

 Vetting Procedures 

Covid-19 Response Plan

Use of video/photography/other media to record school events

 

Harm to pupils

Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationship/communications between child and another child or adult

Acceptable Use policy

Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour

Use of mobile phones and other I.E.D.s by parents working in a volunteer capacity at Parent Group events such as School Disco

Harm to Pupils

Risk of harm not being reported properly and promptly to/by school personnel

Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel communicating with pupils in appropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other manner

Acceptable Use Policy

Volunteers are not allowed to use mobile phones for personal use in front of pupils at school events.

 

One to One Intervention with outside Agencies

Harm to Pupils

Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in school

Risk of harm in one-to-one teaching, counselling, coaching situation

Express permission needs to be granted by parents/guardians and principal to carry out work within the school setting.

Attending school in-person during Covid-19 pandemic

Harm to pupils

Covid-19 Response Plan

Distance Learning while school is closed for exceptional reasons (Covid 19- school closure) 

Harm to Pupils

Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children on I.E.Ds (Internet Enabled Devices) for accessing school work.

Risk of harm in one-to-one teaching, phone call, counselling or coaching situation

 

GDPR protection of contacts of the school Community-Official Staff Emails to be used to convey school information, planning and resources between teachers.

Email Etiquette Policy between staff

Website and Textaparent used to communicate with parents and pupils.

Teachers will endeavour to check and use reputable websites for assigned work.

DES Guidance on Distance Learning

HSE Guidelines on Social Distancing

Acceptable Use Policy-As per policy, Phone numbers are blocked for contacting pupils. Staff are not permitted to give own phone numbers or personal contact details to parents or pupils.

Decision made at staff meeting on when to make contact with pupils via phone call.

 

Emailing the teacher/Contact via Aladdin

Harm to Pupils

Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children on I.E.Ds (Internet Enabled Devices) for accessing school work.

Risk of harm in one-to-one teaching, phone call, counselling or coaching situation

During closures, pupils will use their parents’ email account to contact their class teacher or learning support teacher.

Pupils will use email/Aladdin to send work to the teacher or to contact the teacher with a question relating to work.  

 

 

 

Important Note:  It should be noted that risk in the context of this risk assessment is the risk of “harm” as defined in the Children First Act 2015 and not general health and safety risk.  The definition of harm is set out in Chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary

 Schools 2017

 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.

Covid-19 Safety protocols- All school activities are guided by the Covid-19 Response Plan

 

This risk assessment has been completed by the Board of Management on 1st June 2022. It will be reviewed as part of the school’s annual

review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.

 

Signed Ann Moynihan Date  1st June 2022

Acting Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed Eileen Kelly Date 1st June 2022

Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management