Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment

St. Ursula’s Primary School.
Child Safeguarding Statement.
 
St. Ursula’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 St. Ursula’s Primary School 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 (DLP) is                      Marian Hayden        
  • The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Caitriona Daly
  • 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 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 s 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 these procedures.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
  • 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 5th February 2018.
It was reviewed at a meeting of the Board of Management on 22nd October 2018
Fr. Gerard Chestnutt,                                                                      Marian Hayden,
Chairperson of Board of Management                                                  Principal
St. Ursula’s Primary School
Child Safeguarding Statement
Written Assessment of Risk
 
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 St. Ursula’s Primary School.
 
List of School Activities.
The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of these activities.
 
 
 
The school has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm.
 
School Premises.
Unauthorised removal of a child from the school.
 
Unauthorised access to a child in the school.
 
Access to the school by unwanted personnel.
·         All exit doors to the school are locked with key pads. Only authorised persons may gain access to the school.
·         Staff and children only are allowed beyond the foyer of the school. Security cameras are in place in the main corridors and on the perimeter of the school.
·         Barriers are put in place each morning to prevent entry to the school through the playground during school hours.
·         Parents/authorised persons must sign the children out if they are being collected early from school.
 
 
 
 
Use of school premises by other organisations.
 
 
 
 
Risk of harm to the child by a member of an outside organisation.
·            Members of other organisations e.g. theatre groups, dancing classes etc. must provide the school authority with a vetting disclosure if they are working directly with the children.
·         Children who attend Irish dancing during school hours are under the care of the dancing teachers with the knowledge and explicit consent of the parents.
·         Other children who are on the premises after school hours remain under the supervision of the school staff.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Staff.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Risk of harm to the child from a member of staff.
 
Harm not recognised or reported promptly.
·         Child Safeguarding Statement and DES Procedures are available to all staff.
·         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.
·         Principal and Deputy Principal have received training in Child Protection Procedures.
·         All staff to view TUSLA training module and any other online training offered by the PDST.
·         All staff members are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Protection Policy.
·         The BOM ensures that the correct recruitment and induction procedures are followed when recruiting staff for the school.
·         All staff are required to be vetted and submit vetting disclosures to the BOM before beginning work in the school.
·         Staff are kept up to date with best policy and practice in relation to Child Protection.
·         Child Protection is put on the agenda for all BOM meetings.
·         An annual review of the school’s Child Protection and Anti-Bullying Policies is undertaken by the BOM.
 
 
 
 
Visitors/Guests
Risk of harm to the child from an authorised visitor to the school.
·         Visitors to the school are required to sign the visitors book on arrival at the school. They are required to wear a ‘visitors badge’ and are clearly identifiable when moving around the school.
·         Visitors to the school will be escorted by the Principal, Deputy Principal or staff member.
·         Access to pupils is restricted to the purpose of the visit.
·         Visitors will sign out when leaving the school.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Volunteers
 
 
 
 
Risk of harm to the child from a volunteer
·         Policy and Procedures in place.
·         Volunteers working regularly in the school are required to provide the school with a vetting disclosure.
·         Volunteers always work under the supervision of the teacher.
·          They never work with a child outside of the view of the teacher.
·          The teacher must remain with the class at all times.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Management
of Contractors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Risk of harm to the child from a person not known to the school.
·         Contractors working in the school are required to sign in on arrival at the school. They are required to wear a ‘visitors badge’ and are clearly identifiable when moving around the school.
·         The identity of contractors and their staff is checked on the arrival at the school.
·         Contractors will be required to provide a vetting disclosure if working regularly on the premises during school hours.
·         Access to pupils is restricted.
·         If, in the case of an emergency or in exceptional circumstances a contractor needs to work in a classroom or where children are present, the teacher will remove the children if necessary, or ensure that they are closely supervised.
 
 
Students on Work Experience.
Risk of harm to the child from an adult on work experience
·         Policy and Procedures in place.
·         When organising work experience placements the school will ensure that it receives vetting disclosures from the students who are over 16 years.
·         Teachers remain with the class.
Sports Coaches.
 
        Harm to pupils.
·         Procedures in place for sports coaches in the school.
·         Coaches are required to provide the school with a vetting disclosure.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pupils
 
Storing of sensitive information on the child.
 
Attendance – missing out on education.
Welfare issues – hygiene, dress,
behaviour, not collected after school etc.
 
Bullying
·         The school complies with GDPR Regulations.
·         Records containing sensitive information are stored safely and securely in line with GDPR Regulations.
·         An Attendance Strategy for the school has been formulated and submitted to TUSLA,
·         Attendance records on Databiz are password protected.
·         Each class teacher has strategies for dealing with absenteeism and inappropriate behaviour.
·         There is an effective Anti-Bullying Policy in place in the school.
·         The school strives to maintain an environment where children feel confident to approach a staff member if they have a problem.
·         There is a Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Policy in place in the school.
·         Staff are vigilant with regard to the welfare issues of the child i.e. identification of families who are in need of support.
·         The school nurse is contacted with regard to welfare issues where necessary.
·         The school has a healthy lunch policy in place and the school avails of the Dept. of Social Protection breakfast club.
·         Children who are not collected wait in the foyer until a parent or authorised person comes to collect them.
·         Care Orders and Protection Orders issued by the courts are stored in the Principal’s office. The children are identified by means of a ‘red flag’ which is in a covert area in the general office. These names are strictly confidential and only known to relevant staff members.
 
 
          Playground.
Risk of harm to the child due to inadequate supervision.
 
Flight Risk – young children/children or children with special needs.
 
Risk of harm to the child through rough play, bullying, isolation etc.
 
 
·         There is a Supervision Policy in place in the school.
·         Barriers are in place to prevent the children from leaving the school during school hours.
·         Teachers supervise all areas of the playground. There are designated areas for the class levels to separate the different age groups.
·         The school’s Code of Behaviour outlines the strategies for promoting positive behaviour and the children are reminded of these during school assemblies and SPHE lessons.
·         The children are encouraged to work co-operatively and to support one another in all school activities.
·         There is an effective Anti-Bullying Policy in the school.
·         Workshops on bullying are organised for the senior classes.
·         Teachers on duty monitor the interactions of the children.
·         Issues arising are dealt with under the school’s Code of Behaviour and recurring issues are recorded on the Behaviour Report Sheets.
Classroom Activities.
 
 
 
 
Risk of isolation or intimidation during group work or practical activities etc.
 
·         The school’s Code of Behaviour outlines the strategies for promoting positive behaviour and the children are reminded of these during school assemblies and SPHE lessons.
·         The children are encouraged to work co-operatively and to support one another in all school activities.
·         Teachers monitor the interactions of the children.
·         The teachers supervise all in-class activities vigilantly.
·         Issues arising are dealt with under the school’s Code of Behaviour and may be recorded on the Behaviour Report Sheets.
Extended School Activities.
Risk of harm to the child while undertaking the following activities
–        Aistear
–        Morning Activities
 (Infs.)
–        Nature Walks
–        Sports
–        Swimming
–        Fieldtrips
–        School Tours
–        After- School Activities
–        School Concerts.
–        Marathon.
–        Visits to the Church.
–        Fundraising events
–        Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils
–        Bus journeys
·         There are policies in place to cover School Tours /Fieldtrips, Extra-Curricular Activities and Swimming.
·         Coaches and volunteers are required to provide vetting disclosures and never work alone.
·         There is extra supervision when a class leaves the school during the school day.
·         The younger children have ‘buddies’ from the senior classes to assist the adults.
·         The Junior classes learn the Road Safety ‘Safe Cross Code’
·         The Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies are also in effect during these activities.
·         Children are accompanied on buses at all times by at least one member of staff.
·         Provision is made for children of different during visits to the church.
·         Children are escorted to and from their classes at entry and dismissal times.
 Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe Programmes.
 
       Non-Teaching of same.
·         The school implements SPHE, RSE and Stay Safe in full.
 
 
 
 
 
 
     Use of the Internet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Risk of harm to the child through the improper use of the Internet
·         The school has an Internet Acceptable Use Policy.
·         Access to online content on the internet is restricted in accordance with our Acceptable Use Policy and the DES Policy on internet use through its agency – the National Centre for Technology in Education.
·         A filtering system has been applied and is a safety precaution for children when using the internet.
·         Internet sessions are supervised by a teacher and are used for educational purposes only.
·         The children are not allowed use chatrooms.
·         The senior classes take part in workshops on Internet Safety organised by trained personnel.
 
 
           
 
 
 
Lunch times – wet days.
 
 
Risk of anti-social behaviour.
 
Bullying.
 
Relationship issues.
 
Risk of harm to the child from watching DVD’s that are not age-appropriate.
·         The same Code of Behaviour applies when the children are in class at lunchtimes on wet days.
·         The school has a licence from the MPLC to show suitable DVD’s at lunchtimes.
·         Only U-rated DVD’s may be shown in the school in all classes.
·         Children also have access to board games and books at lunchtime.
 
 
Special Education.
 
 
Risks associated with one-to-one teaching.
Harm by school personnel
·         Glass panels in the doors of the Learning Support rooms or doors open.
·         Table between teacher and pupil.
 
Toileting and intimate care needs.
Harm by school personnel.
 
Intimate care issues.
 
Misinterpretation of essential physical contact. 
·         A policy on Intimate Care is in place in the school.
·         Special Needs Assistants always work in two’s when looking after the toileting needs of a young child or the intimate care needs of an older child with special needs.
·         Parents are involved in planning for toileting and intimate care needs.
 
Administration of Medicine and First Aid
Risk of harm to the child from an error in the administration of medication or first aid.
·         Policy and procedures in place for the Administration of Medicine and dealing with accidents.
 
Critical Incidents.
Risk of trauma to the child in the event of a critical incident.
 
·         Policy in place for the management of Critical Incidents.
             
 
 
   Photographs and videos.
 
Direct and indirect risks to children when photographs are shared on the websites.
 
Children may be identifiable when a photo is shared with personal information.
 
Risk to the child if photographs are distributed without the consent of the parents/guardians.
 
Risk to the child of another child taking her photo and uploading it onto social media
 
·         It is noted in this risk assessment that parents taking photos or videos for purely personal, family, household, or recreational purposes does not come within GDPR Regulations.
·         Parental permission is obtained before the school publishes photographs in the newspapers etc.
·         Personal details or full names of children are not included with photos or videos of children on the school website.
·         Explicit consent (signature) must be obtained from the parents/guardians.
·         The school adheres to the ‘best practice’ guidelines as outlined by the INTO and which are in compliance with GDPR.
·         Photographers are not allowed to have unsupervised access to the children.
·         Policy on Use of Mobile Phones in place
 
 
          
         Mobile Phones.
 
 
 
               Bullying.
 
Risk to the child from access to social media either by herself or others
·         There is a policy on the use of mobile phones in school.
·         Children may not bring mobile phones unless in exceptional circumstances and with the express agreement of the Principal or Deputy Principal in her absence.
Swimming.
 
Risk of the child coming in contact with an unknown person.
·         Swimming Policy in place.
Children travelling in teachers’ cars.
 
Risk of an accident.
 
Harm by school personnel
·         The Principal is insured to carry children in her car in the case of an emergency.
 
Managing challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint.
 
 
 
 
 
Injury to pupils and staff.
·         School Policy on Physical Intervention.
·         Code of Behaviour.
·         Anti-Bullying Policy.
·         Advice from National Educational Psychological Services
·         Advice from Special Education Support Services.
 
LGBT children/Pupils perceived to be LGBT.
 
 
Bullying, isolation or harassment.
 
·         Issues arising will be dealt with through the code of Behaviour and the Anti-Bullying Policy.
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 was completed by the Board of Management on the 5th February 2018. It will be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.
A review of this risk assessment was undertaken at a BoM meeting on the 22nd October 2018.
Fr. Gerard Chestnutt                                                                                                     Marian Hayden
Chairperson, Board of Management                                                                                          Principal/Secretary, Board of Management