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Harold Boys’ National School,

St. Patrick’s Road,

Dalkey,

Co.Dublin

Phone/Fax: 2856193

Email: info@haroldboysdalkey.ie   www.haroldboysdalkey.ie

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Harold Boys’ National School,

St. Patrick’s Road,

Dalkey,

Co.Dublin

Phone/Fax: 2856193

Email: info@haroldboysdalkey.ie   www.haroldboysdalkey.ie

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

 

1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Harold Boys’ School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.

 

2. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

 

(a) A positive school culture and climate which

  • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
  • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
  •  promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

(b)        Effective leadership

(c)        A school-wide approach

(d)        A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact

(e)        Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-

  • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
  • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying;

(f)        Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils

(g)        Supports for staff

(h)        Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and

(i)         On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

 

3. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

 

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

 

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
  •  cyber-bullying and
  •  identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

Examples of bullying behaviours

 

General  behaviours which apply to all types of bullying

 

  • Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.
  • Physical aggression
  • Damage to property
  • Name calling
  • Slagging
  • The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person
  • Offensive graffiti
  • Extortion
  • Intimidation
  • Insulting or offensive gestures
  • The “look”
  • Invasion of personal space
  • A combination of any of the types listed.

 

 

Cyber

 

  • Denigration: Spreading rumours, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation
  • Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual
  • Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name
  • Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight
  • Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online
  • Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images
  • Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group
  • Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety
  • Silent telephone/mobile phone call
  • Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls
  • Abusive text messages
  • Abusive email
  • Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/ Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles
  • Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures
  • Abusive posts on any form of communication technology
Identity Based Behaviours

Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation  (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community).

 

Homophobic and Transgender

 

  • Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation
  • Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation
  • Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian…used in a derogatory manner
  • Physical intimidation or attacks
  • Threats
 

Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller  community

 

  • Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background
  • Exclusion on the basis of any of the above
 

 

 

Relational

 

This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:

  • Malicious gossip
  • Isolation & exclusion
  • Ignoring
  • Excluding from the group
  • Taking someone’s friends away
  • “Bitching”
  • Spreading rumours
  • Breaking confidence
  • Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear
  • The “look”
  • Use or terminology such as ‘nerd’ in a derogatory way
Sexual
  • Unwelcome or inappropriate  sexual comments or touching
  • Harassment

 

Special Educational Needs,

Disability

  • Name calling
  • Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs
  • Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying
  • Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues.
  • Mimicking a person’s disability
  • Setting others up for ridicule

 

 

 

 

4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is (are) as follows: (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):

Refer to section 6.8.3. and 6.8.4 in the Procedures.

 

 

The Relevant Teachers in this school are:

 

Primary School
Principal

Deputy Principal

All class teachers

 

Any teacher may act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it.

 

 

 

 

5. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber-

bullying, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows

 

Education and Prevention Strategies

School-wide approach

  • A school-wide approach to the fostering of respect for all members of the school community.
  • The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour.
  • The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extracurricular activities. Pupils will be provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions.
  • Staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all staff develops an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives and the need to respond to it-prevention and intervention.
  • School wide awareness raising and training on all aspects of bullying, to include pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s) and the wider school community.
  • Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra- curricular activities. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring student use of communication technology within the school.
  • Buddy system, mentoring, Lunchtime Pals and other student support activities that can help to support pupils and encourage a culture of peer respect and support.
  • The school’s anti-bullying policy is discussed with pupils and all new parent(s)/guardian(s)s are given a copy as part of the Code of Behaviour of the school.
  • The implementation of regular (e.g. per year/per term/per month/per week) whole school awareness measures e.g SPHE Programme
  • Encourage a culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.
  • Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g.:
    • Direct approach to teacher at an appropriate time, for example after class.
    • Hand note up with homework.
    • Make a phone call to the school or to a trusted teacher in the school.
    • Get a parent(s)/guardian(s) or friend to tell on your behalf.
    • Ensure bystanders understand the importance of telling if they witness or know that bullying is taking place.

 

 

  • Encourage parent(s)/guardian(s) to approach the school if they suspect that their child is being bullied.
  • The development of an Acceptable Use Policy in the school to include the necessary steps to ensure that the access to technology within the school is strictly monitored, as is the pupils’ use of mobile phones.

 

 

Implementation of curricula

  • The full implementation of the SPHE curricula and the RSE and Stay Safe Programmes.
  •  Continuous Professional Development opportunities for staff in delivering these programmes.
  • School wide delivery of lessons on bullying from evidence based programmes, e.g. Stay Safe Programme, The Walk Tall Programme.
  • School wide delivery of lessons on Relational aggression (Stay Safe), Cyber Bullying (Web Wise Primary teachers’ resources). The school has a list of every resource related to the SPHE curriculum.
  • Delivery of the Garda SPHE Programmes at primary level. These lessons, delivered by Community Gardaí, cover issues around personal safety and cyber-bullying
  • The school will specifically consider the additional needs of SEN pupils with regard to programme implementation and the development of skills and strategies to enable all pupils to respond appropriately.
  • The school will implement the advice in “Sexual Orientation advice for schools” (RSE Primary, see Appendix 1).

 

               Links to other policies

  • The school policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to bullying are Code of Behaviour, Child Protection policy, Acceptable Use policy.

 

 

6. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and  the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying  behaviour are as follows:

 

Procedures for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying

 

The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame);

 

The school’s procedures must be consistent with the following approach.

Every effort will be made to ensure that all involved (including pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s)) understand this approach from the outset.

 

 

 Reporting bullying behaviour

 

  • Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school.
  • All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), caretaker/cleaner must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher;

 

Investigating and dealing with incidents: Style of approach – A variety of methods including the following can be used:

  • In investigating and dealing with bullying, the (relevant)teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved;
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible;
  •  Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach.
  • Where possible incidents should  be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved;
  •  All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way;
  • When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner;
  •  If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements;
  •  Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after the interview by the teacher;

It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)

  •  In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). The school should give parent(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils;
  •  Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him how he is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied;
  •  It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parent(s)/guardian(s)) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school;

 

Follow up and recording

 

  • In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:

- Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;

- Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;

-Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable;

-Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s)s or the school Principal or Deputy Principal

  •  Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.
  • Where a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent(s)/guardian(s) must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
  • In the event that a parent(s)/guardian(s) has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

 

Recording of bullying behaviour

 

It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner.

 

The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:

 

       Informal- pre-determination that bullying has occurred

  • All staff must keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them. Consideration needs to be given to where the records will be made e.g. incident book. All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher
  • While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher must keep a written record of the reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same
  • The relevant teacher must inform the principal of all incidents being investigated.

 

       Formal Stage 1-determination that bullying has occurred

  • If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
  • This information is recorded on pupils’ A4 behaviour sheets which are transferred to their file at the end of June.  These records are stored in the Principal’s Office

 

Formal Stage 2-Appendix 2 (From DES Procedures)

 

The relevant teacher must notify the Principal immediately and use the recording template at Appendix 2 to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:

 

a) in cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred; and

b) The school has decided as part of its anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.

The behaviours that must be recorded and reported immediately to the principal are in line with the school’s code of behaviour e.g.

 

  • Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g.
  • Sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.
  • Physical aggression
  • Damage to property
  • Offensive graffiti
  • Extortion
  • Intimidation

 

When the recording template is used, it must be retained by the relevant teacher in question and a copy maintained by the principal. These records will be kept in the Principal’s office where Principal, Deputy Principal and Secretary have access to them and retained for 21 years.

 

Established intervention strategies

  • Teacher interviews with all pupils
  • Negotiating agreements between pupils and following these up by monitoring progress. This can be on an informal basis or implemented through a more structured mediation process
  • Working with parent(s)/guardian(s)s to support school interventions
  • No Blame Approach
  • Circle Time
  • Implementing sociogram questionnaires (Cool Schools)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows

(see Section 6.8.16 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) :

 

 

  • All in-school supports and opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected by bullying to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop friendships and social skills and build resilience e.g.
  • Buddy System
  • Group work such as circle time

 

  • If pupils require counselling of further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies to organise same. This may be for the pupil affected by bullying or involved in the bullying behaviour.
  • Pupils should understand that there are no innocent bystanders and that all incidents of bullying behaviour must be reported to a teacher.

 

8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

 

The following Prompt Questions may be useful in considering this aspect of the policy:

 

  • Are there agreed appropriate monitoring and supervision practices in the school?
  • Have bullying danger spots been identified? (Yard, Toilets, Corridors, Square)
  • In relation to Acceptable Use Policy in the school are the following issues addressed:
    • Are all Internet sessions supervised by a teacher?
    • Does the school regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage?
    • Have pupils been instructed to use only approved class accounts for email purposes and to use these only under teacher supervision?

(Note that the Schools Broadband Programme has blocked all social networking sites on the basis that they waste time and take up too much of the bandwidth which is been provided for educational purposes only).

 

 

9. Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations  under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the  sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine  grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual  orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

 

10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ________________

 

11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

 

12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

 

 

 

Signed: Liam Guidera  (Chairperson of Board of Management)      Teresa Buckley  (Principal)

 

 

Date: 16th April 2015                                                                          Date: 16th April 2015

 

 

Date of next review: April 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1

 

Sexual Orientation – Advice for Primary Schools

 

General Points

 

  • If children use the word ‘gay’ in a negative fashion it is better not to ignore it in the hope that it will go away.  The same advice would apply for any instance of bullying.
  • The strategy for responding to children who have questions about sexual orientation or who are taunting others about being gay is as follows.  This is done in the context of the school’s ethos and RSE Policy and with the awareness that primary school children are probably too young to engage in any detailed discussion of sexual identity.

 

Practical Suggestions

 

  • Depending on the context and the age group of the children, the teacher could ask a child or a class group what they mean by the word ‘gay’
  • A response to this question can be, ‘The majority of people are attracted to people of the opposite sex.  This is called being heterosexual.  Some people are attracted to people of the same sex.  This is call being homosexual or gay’
  • To give factual information like this in an open and straightforward way may help to remove the secrecy which is necessary for any bullying to flourish.
  • Homophobic insults should be treated in exactly the same way as racist or other insults – the teacher can calmly explain to the child that such insults are hurtful to the other person and are not acceptable.
  • The school promotes a culture of communication which actively discourages abusive name calling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 2  -  Template for Recording Bullying Behaviour

 

1.  Name of pupil being bullied and class group

 

Name ________________________  Class __________________

 

2.  Name(s) and Class(es) engaged in bullying behaviour

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Source of Bullying concern/report (tick relevant boxes)      4.  Location of incidents (tick relevant boxes)

 

Pupil concerned  
Other Pupil  
Parent  
Teacher  
Other  
Playground  
Classroom  
Toilets  
Corridor  

 

 


5.  Name of Person(s) who reported the bullying concern

 

 

6.  Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es))

 

Physical Aggression   Cyber-bullying  
Damage to Property   Intimidation  
Isolation/Exclusion   Malicious Gossip  
Name Calling   Other (specify)  

 

7.  Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

 

Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community Other (specify)
         

 

8.  Brief  Description of bullying behaviour and its impact.

 

 

 

9.  Details of Actions taken

 

 

 

Signed: _____________________ (Relevant Teacher)  Date: ________________________

 

Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal  _________________

 

Appendix 3

Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation

 

The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. The checklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list. In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school’s anti-bullying policy will be required.

 

Yes/No

Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools?  
Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association?  
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?  
Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?  
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?  
Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?  
Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?  
Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?  
Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?  
Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?  
Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?  
Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?  
Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?  
Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?  
Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?  
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?  
Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?  

 

Signed: _____________________________________   Date: ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

Signed: _____________________________________   Date: ________________

Principal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child Protection Policy

 

 

This document is a response to recent changes in legislation and takes account of the provisions of each of the following pieces of legislation

 

  • Freedom of Information Act 1997
  • The Education Act 1998
  • The Child Welfare Act 2000
  • Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011.

 

The new procedures are based on the recently published Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011. (Appendix 1)

 

References

  • ‘Children First’ (Department of Health and Children 1999)
  • ‘Our Children Our Church’ (CORI 2005)
  • ‘Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures’ (Department of Education and

Science 2001)

  • Policy Sources accessed through Internet

 

 

The Board of Management (BoM) 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 BoM of Harold Boys’ National School has agreed the following child protection policy:

 

The BoM 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.

 

The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Teresa Buckley.

 

The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Ciara Costello.

 

In its policies, practices and activities, Harold Boys’ National 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 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
  • 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

 

Certain policies such as Harold Boys’ National School Code of Behaviour/Anti-bullying Policy, Pupil Attendance Policy and the Supervision of Pupils Policy will take particular account of this Child Protection Policy. This policy will also be considered with reference to the participation by pupils in sporting activities, other extra-curricular activities and school outings. Other practices and activities, where child protection might have particular relevance, will take due consideration of the procedures outlined within this policy.  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.

This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. A copy of this policy will be made available to the DES and the patron if requested.

 

Designated Liaison Person (DLP)

In Harold Boys’ National School, the Principal, appointed by the BoM, is the DLP. Ciara Costello acts as Deputy DLP. Both teachers will undertake training from the Child Abuse Prevention Programme at the earliest opportunity. CAPP provides training to the whole school community (staff, parents and Boards of Management) on the stay Safe Programme.

 

The DLP has specific responsibility for child protection and will represent the school in all correspondence with Health Boards, An Garda Siochana and other parties in connection with allegations of abuse. All matters pertaining to the processing or investigation of child abuse should be processed through the DLP.

 

Further information on the responsibilities of the DLP can be referred to on page 8, section 2.2 of ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001).

 

The DLP acts in cases where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion or where an allegation has been made, as referred to in ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, pages 11-12).

 

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 giving of information to those who need to have that information is not a breach of confidentiality. This procedure exists for the protection of a child who may have been or has been abused. The DLP who is submitting a report to the Health Board or An Garda Siochána 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 Siochána 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 Siochána, see ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, page 6).

 

Qualified Privilege

People making a report to the DLP in good faith have ‘qualified privilege’ under common law, see ‘Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures’ (DES 2001, page 6).  Reports made to Health Boards may be subject to provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997. This act 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.

 

 

Definition and Recognition of Child Abuse

Child abuse can be categorised into four different types:

  • Neglect
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse

 

Each of these categories is defined in full in ‘Children First’ (Dept Health and Children 1999, pages 31-33) but for the purpose of this policy attention is drawn to the stated definition of ‘neglect’.

 

Neglect can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults and medical care.

 

Guidelines for Recognition of Child Abuse

A list of child abuse indicators is contained in Appendix 1 ‘Children First’ (DHC 1999, pages 31-33). This policy draws particular attention to ‘persistent evidence’ of neglect, including indicators such as no lunch, lack of uniform, no homework done, poor attendance, persistent health problems, lack of sleep indicating inappropriate television viewing late at night and any other evidence that would indicate lack of supervision in the home. All signs and symptoms must be examined in the total context of the child’s situation and family circumstances.

 

There are commonly three stages in the identification of child abuse:

1. Considering the possibility

2. Looking out for signs of abuse

3. Recording of information

 

Each of these stages is developed in ‘Children First’ (DHC 1999, pages 34-35).

 

Handling Disclosures from Children

‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, page 9) gives comprehensive details of how disclosures should be approached. Staffs are advised to deal with each situation sensitively, reassure the child but not to make promises that cannot be fulfilled.

 

The adult should not ask leading questions or make suggestions. They should explain that further help may have to be sought. The discussion should then be recorded accurately.

 

The record should include reference to what was observed with sketches of physical injury where necessary. It should also record when the alleged incident took place. Records should be kept in a secure place. The information should then be conveyed to the school DLP.

 

If the reporting person and the DLP are satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion/allegation, the procedures outlined in ‘Children First’ (DHC, page 38) will be adhered to. Standardised reporting forms should be used (Appendix 3). The content of the report should follow the guidelines on page 39 of ‘Children First’.  The Chairperson of the BoM will be informed before the DLP makes contact with the relevant authorities.

 

Allegations or Suspicions in relation to School Employees

The Chairperson and the DLP are primarily concerned with the protection of the children in their care. However, employees must be protected against false and malicious claims.

Legal Advice should be sought by the board in relation to the employee.  If the allegation is against the DLP, the BoM Chairperson will assume the responsibility for reporting the matter to the Health Board.

 

Reporting

When an allegation of abuse is made against a school employee, the DLP should act in accordance with the procedures outlined in ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, page 11).  A written statement of the allegation should be sought from the person/agency making the report. A parent/guardian may make a statement on behalf of a child.  The DLP should always inform the Chairperson of the BoM.

 

School employees, other than the DLP, who receive allegations against another school employee, should immediately report the matter to the DLP.  School employees who form suspicions regarding conduct of another school employee should consult with the DLP. The procedures outlined in ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, page 16) should be referred to.

 

The Chairperson and the DLP should make the employee aware privately:

 

a. That an allegation has been made against him/her

b. Of the nature of the allegation

c. Whether or not the Health Board or Gardaí has been informed.

 

The employee should be given a copy of the written allegation and any other relevant documentation. The employee should be requested to respond to the allegation in writing to the BoM within a specified period and told that this response may be passed to the Gardaí, Health Board and legal advisers.

 

The Chairperson must take the necessary steps to protect the child and may consult the BoM in this matter. The BoM may direct that the employee take administrative leave with pay and avoid suspension, thus removing any implication of guilt.  The DES should be immediately informed.

 

Further follow-up procedures should be observed as outlined in ‘Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures’ (page 17).

 

 

School Measures Taken to Protect the Children in Our Care

There are a number of areas where common sense in our school should prevail in order to protect the children in the school and the staff who care for them.  In relation to this, certain points should be noted:

 

1. Harold Boys’ National School will fully implement the Stay Safe programme

2.A copy of the school’s child protection policy, which includes the names of the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Deputy DLP, will be made available to all school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request

3. The name of the DLP and other relevant support services are displayed in a prominent position near the main entrance to the school

4. In addition to informing the school authority of those cases where a report involving a child in the school has been submitted to the HSE, the DLP shall also inform the school authority of cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report was made. At each BoM meeting, the Principal’s Report shall include the number of all such cases and this shall be recorded in the minutes of the board meeting.

5. Harold Boys’ National School will undertake an annual review of its Child Protection Policy and its implementation by the school. A checklist, to be used in undertaking the review is included at (Appendix 2). The school has put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement which might be identified in the annual review. The Board of Management shall make arrangements to inform school personnel that the review has been undertaken. Written notification that the review has been undertaken shall be provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome shall be made available, if requested, to the patron and the DES.

 

It should be noted that children with disabilities may be more at risk of abuse due to a number of reasons (see list outlined on page 99 of ‘Children First Guidelines’).  Parents, teachers and all staff involved in services for children with disabilities need to be familiar with the indicators of abuse and to be alert for signs of abuse.

 

 

Child Protection Practices

The staff and BoM of this school have identified the following as areas of specific concern in relation to Child Protection. Following discussion and consultation, the staff and BoM have agreed that the following practices be adopted:

 

  • Physical contact between school personnel and the child should always be in response to the needs of the child and not the needs of the adult.

 

While physical contact may be used to comfort, reassure or assist a child, the following should be factors in determining its appropriateness:

 

  • It is acceptable to the child
  • It is open and not secretive
  • The age and developmental stage of the child

 

School personnel should avoid doing anything of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

 

School personnel should never engage in or allow:

 

  • The use of inappropriate language or behaviours
  • Physical punishment of any kind
  • Sexually provocative games or suggestive comments about or to a child
  • The use of sexually explicit or pornagraphic material

 

All media products (CDs, DVDs etc. should be checked for their appropriateness with regard to age and suitability.

 

Visitors/Guest Speakers

 

Visitors/Guest speakers should never be left alone with pupils. The school (principal/ teachers) has a responsibility to check out the credentials of the visitor/guest speaker and to ensure that the material in use is appropriate.

 

One to One Teaching – pupils must have written consent to attend one to one teaching.  One to one teaching may be provided if deemed more effective than working as part of a small group.  For some children this may be more beneficial than working as part of a small group.  Every effort is made to ensure the protection of children and staff.  It is crucial that clear boundaries are put in place regarding physical environments (e.g. vision panel in door), seating arrangements, proper timetabling etc.  If the Computer room is used the door is left open.

 

Games/PE and Swimming – in activities that require children to change clothing, appropriate steps are taken to ensure that reasonable protection is afforded to the children and staff members involved.

Due regard is given to the potential health, safety and abuse concerns.  To that end the Board of Management ensures that:

 

  • A balance is struck between the child’s right to privacy and adequate supervision with due regard to gender issues.
  • Where children need assistance with changing agreement should be reached between parents and staff as to how best those needs can be met.
  • Staff should avoid assisting children with anything of a personal nature that the child can do for himself.
  • A report of any incident be made to the principal, parents and Board of Management, as appropriate.

 

It is good practice to have at least two adults present while children are changing for swimming or at any ‘out-of-school’ event.  In this instance parents are not to go into the changing room.  The supervising teacher stands ‘half in and half out of the changing room.

 

Toileting.

 

Children with Specific Toileting/Intimate Care Needs:

  • In all situations where a pupil needs assistance with Toileting/Intimate Care, a meeting will be convened, after enrolment and before the child starts school.
  • Parents, Guardians, Principal, Class Teacher, SNA and if appropriate, the pupil, will attend.
  • The specific care needs of the child, and how the school will meet them, will be clarified.
  • Personnel involved in this care will be identified.
  • Provision for occasions when staff are absent will be outlined. (e.g. Substitute SNA’s will not generally be involved in intimate care.  Any change of personnel will be discussed with the pupil, if appropriate.
  • If a child needs to go to the toilet when his SNA is at break, she will be sent for.
  • A member of staff (SNA) will be present when dealing with intimate care needs.
  • Any changes will be discussed with parent/guardian and pupil and noted in writing to the pupil’s file.
  • As far as possible the pupil will be involved in identification of his personal requirements, wishes, changes etc.
  • A written copy of the arrangements will be kept on the pupil’s file.
  • Parents will be notified of any changes from agreed procedures.
  • At all times the dignity and privacy of the pupil will be paramount in addressing intimate care needs.
  • Staff will wear protective gloves.

 

Toileting Accidents

 

  • A supply of clean underwear, wipes, track-suit bottoms etc. will be kept in the school.
  • In the first instance, the pupil will be offered fresh clothing to clean and change themselves.
  • If, for any reason, the child is unable to clean or change themselves, the procedure outlined by parents will be followed.
  • If staff must clean/change the child, two SNAs, familiar to the child will attend to him.
  • Parents will be notified of these accidents.
  • A record of the incident should be kept.

 

 

It should be noted that children with disabilities may be more at risk of abuse due to a number of reasons (see list outlined on page 99 of ‘Children First Guidelines’).  Parents, teachers and all staff involved in services for children with disabilities need to be familiar with the indicators of abuse and to be alert for signs of abuse.

 

 

Accidents

While every precaution will be taken under our Health and Safety Statement to ensure the safety of children, we realise that accidents will happen. Accidents will be noted in our Incident book and will be addressed under our Accident Policy as part of Health and Safety.

 

Attendance

Our school attendance will be monitored as per our attendance policy. With regards to child protection, we will pay particular attention to trends in non-attendance. We will also monitor non-attendance in correlation with signs of neglect/physical/emotional abuse.

 

Behaviour

Children are encouraged at all times to play co-operatively and inappropriate behaviour will be addressed under our Code of Behaviour. If an incident occurs which we consider to be of a sexualised nature we will notify the DLP who will record it and respond to it appropriately.

 

Bullying

Bullying behaviour will be addressed under our Anti-Bullying policy. If the behaviour involved is of a sexualised nature or regarded as being particularly abusive, then the matter will be referred to the DLP.

 

Children travelling in staff cars

Members of the school staff will not carry children alone in their cars at any time.

 

Communication

Every effort will be made to enhance pupil-teacher communication. If pupils have concerns they will be listened to sympathetically. The SPHE/Oral Language/RE programmes allow for open pupil-teacher communication, which is hoped will aid the pupil-teacher relationship. If teachers have to communicate with pupils on a one-to-one basis, they are requested to leave the classroom door open or request a colleague to attend. Further details on communications are found in the school’s Communication Policy.

 

Induction of Staff

The DLP will be responsible for informing all new teachers and ancillary staff of the Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures (DES, 2001) and Children First Guidelines (1999), but particularly the recently published Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011). The DLP will give a copy of the Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures, Chapters 3 & 4 and Appendix 1 of Children First and this Child Protection Policy to all new staff. All new teachers are expected to teach the designated SPHE objectives for their class. A member of staff, will be responsible for the mentoring of new teachers and will be responsible for supporting new teachers as they implement the SPHE objectives. Harold Boys’ National School is responsible for ensuring that new teachers know how to fill in the roll book correctly, and also informing the teacher of record keeping procedures within the school.

 

Induction of Pupils

All parents and children will be made aware of attendance rules and their implications as laid down in the Education Welfare Act (2000). All parents will be informed of the programmes in place in the school that deal with personal development e.g. RSE, Walk Tall, Stay Safe and SPHE. All new parents will be given a copy of the school’s enrolment policy, which outlines the procedures parents and children should use when contacting the school if there are absences or concerns of an educational/personal/family matter. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the class teacher/principal if they wish to discuss their child’s progress. All parents will be given a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies.

 

Internet Safety

It is the intention of the Principal and Staff at Harold Boys’ National School to ensure that child protection concerns will be addressed in the school’s Acceptable Use Policy as part of its Information and Communication Technology policy. The Stay Safe lessons in each classroom will be supplemented with a lesson from the Webwise resource pack recently made available to schools.

 

Rang 2 Chapter 2, 3 & 4
Rang 3 Chapter 6
Rang 4 Chapter 7
Rang 5 & 6 Chapter 8

 

 

Record Keeping

Teachers will keep records on each child’s reports using Harold Boys’ National School Record Keeping Sheets. These records are kept in the drawer of each teacher’s desk. Roll books will be updated daily. Sensitive information regarding children will be shared on a need-to-know basis. All educational files of pupils who no longer attend this school are kept in the Record Store. Further details on record keeping will be found in the school’s Record Keeping Policy.

 

Supervision

There is comprehensive supervision of children at all breaks. A rota will be displayed to cover 10.50 a.m. and lunchtime breaks.

 

 

Visibility

Children will not be allowed to spend time in classrooms, toilets or sheds where they would not be under adult supervision. They are not to leave the school playground or to engage with adults who are outside of the school playground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1: Template Child Protection Policy Template Child Protection Policy of [School Name]

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 [insert school name] 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.

2. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is _________________________________________________________

3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is _______________________________

4. In its policies, practices and activities, [insert school name] 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 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.

5. This section of the child protection policy should be used to list school policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to child protection (e.g. the Code of Behaviour/Anti-bullying Policy, Pupil Attendance Strategy, Supervision of Pupils, Sporting Activities/School Outings/Pupil Work Placements at post primary etc.)

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.

6. This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parents’ Association (if any) 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.

7. 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_______________ [date]

 

Signed:  __________________________                                       Signed:              __________________________

 

Chairperson of Board of Management                                          Principal

Date: _________________________                                          Date: ____________________________

Date 0f Next Review: _________________
Appendix 2: Checklist for Annual Review of the Child Protection Policy

The Board of Management must undertake an annual review of its child protection policy and the following checklist shall be used for this ??????.

The checklist is designed as an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management may wish to include other items in the checklist that are of particular relevance to the school in question.

As part of the overall review process, Boards of Management should also assess other school policies, practices and activities vis a vis their adherence to the principles of best practice in child protection and welfare as set out in the school’s child protection policy.

Yes/No

Has the Board formally adopted a child protection policy in accordance with the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?

As part of the school’s child protection policy, has the Board formally adopted, without modification, the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?

Are there both a DLP and a Deputy DLP currently appointed?

Are the relevant contact details (HSE and An Garda Síochána) to hand?

Has the DLP attended available child protection training?

Has the Deputy DLP attended available child protection training?

Have any members of the Board attended child protection training?

Has the school’s child protection policy identified other school policies, practices and activities that are regarded as having particular child protection relevance?

Has the Board ensured that the Department’s “Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools” are available to all school personnel?

Has the Board arrangements in place to communicate the school’s child protection policy to new school personnel?

Is the Board satisfied that all school personnel have been made aware of their responsibilities under the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?

Since the Board’s last annual review, was the Board informed of any child protection reports made to the HSE/An Garda Síochána by the DLP?

Since the Board’s last annual review, was the Board informed of any cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report to the HSE was made?

Is the Board satisfied that the child protection procedures in relation to the making of reports to the HSE/ An Garda Síochána were appropriately followed?

Were child protection matters reported to the Board appropriately recorded in the Board minutes?

Is the Board satisfied that all records relating to child protection are appropriately filed and stored securely?

Has the Board ensured that the Parents’ Association (if any), has been provided with the school’s child protection policy?

 

Yes/No

Has the Board ensured that the school’s child protection policy is available to parents on request?

Has the Board ensured that the Stay Safe programme is implemented in full in the school? (applies to primary schools)

Has the Board ensured that the SPHE curriculum is implemented in full in the school?

Is the Board satisfied that the Department’s requirements for Garda Vetting have been met in respect of all school personnel (employees and volunteers)? *

Is the Board satisfied that the Department’s requirements in relation to the provision of a child protection related statutory declaration and associated form of undertaking have been met in respect of persons appointed to teaching and non-teaching positions?*

Is the Board satisfied that, from a child protection perspective, thorough recruitment and selection procedures are applied by the school in relation to all school personnel (employees and volunteers)?*

Is the Board satisfied that the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’ are being fully and adequately implemented by the school?

Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s child protection policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?

Has the Board put in place an action plan containing appropriate timelines to address those aspects of the school’s child protection policy and/or its implementation that have been identified as requiring further improvement ?

Has the Board ensured that any areas for improvement that that were identified in any previous review of the school’s child protection policy have been adequately addressed?

*In schools where the VEC is the employer the responsibility for meeting these requirements rests with the VEC concerned. In such cases, this question should be completed following consultation with the VEC.

 

 

Signed_________________________________________________ Date

Chairperson. Board of Management

Signed_________________________________________________ Date

Principal

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the child protection policy

To:___________________________________

The Board of Management of__________________ wishes to inform you that:

  •  The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s child protection policy was completed at the Board meeting of_____________________________ [date].
  •  This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 2 of the Department’s ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’

Signed__________________________________________________ Date

Chairperson. Board of Management

Signed_________________________________________________ Date

Principal

 

 

Appendix 3

 

Reporting Form for Child Protection and Welfare Concerns to a Health Board

  1. Date of Report
  2. Name of person reporting
  3. Address of person reporting
  4. Relationship of reporting person with the child concerned
  5. Method of report (telephone call, personal call to office)
  6. Family Details

 

Details of Child Concerned

 

Surname

Forename

DOB

Male/female

Alias (known as)

Address:

 

 

Correspondence address (if different)

 

 

Telephone number

 

 

  1. State whether you consider your report to indicate (a) suspected or actual child abuse or (b) need for family support, giving reasons

 

Physical

Abuse

Sexual

Abuse

Emotional

Abuse

Neglect

Suspect

ÿ

ÿ

ÿ

ÿ

Actual

ÿ

ÿ

ÿ

ÿ

 

 

  1. Details of other family members/household members

 

 

Name

 

Age

Relationship to child

 

Employment/School

 

Location

In cases of emergency, or outside Health Board hours, reports should be made to An Garda Síochána.

 

 

 

  1. Name of Other Professionals Involved with Child/ren and/or Parents/Carers.

 

Public health nurse:

School:

 

General practitioner:

 

Any other agency or professional involved (please describe the nature of any involvement):

 

Report Details.

 

10. Describe, as fully as possible the nature of the problem or incident being reported, giving details of times and dates of individual incidents, the circumstances in which they occurred, any other persons who were present at the time, and their involvement

 

 

 

 

11. Has any explanation been offered by the child, and/or parents/carers, which would account for the current problem or incident? (Details)

 

 

 

 

12. As far as possible, describe the state of the child/ren’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.

 

 

 

 

13. If child abuse is being alleged, who is believed to be responsible for causing it?

 

Include (if known)

 

Name:

 

Address:

 

Degree of contact with child:

 

Degree of contact with other children:

 

 

14. Describe (in detail) any risks to which the child/ren in this situation is/are believed to be exposed.

 

 

 

15. How did this information come to your attention

 

 

 

 

16. What has prompted you to report your concern at this time?

 

 

 

 

17. What evidence of harm exists at present?

 

 

 

 

18. Are there any factors in the child and/or parents/carers’ present situation, which may have relevance to the current concern? (for example, recent illness, bereavement, separation, addiction, mental health problem or other difficulty)

 

 

 

 

19. Are there any factors in the child and/or parents/carers’ situation which could be considered protective or helpful (for example, extended family or community support)?

 

 

 

20. Has any action been taken in response to the current concern or incident (Details)

 

 

21. Are the child’s parents/ carers aware that this concern is being reported to the health board?

 

 

 

22. Is there a need for urgent protective action at this point?

 

 

 

23. Any other comments.

 

 

 

 

Signed: ____________________

Date: ____________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 4

 

Letter posted to all parents in September.

 

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

In recent years, as a society, we have become very aware of the problem of child abuse through neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

 

Each one of us has a duty to protect children and Children First, the National Guidelines, for the Protection and Welfare of Children noted that teachers, who are the main care givers to children outside the family, are particularly well placed to observe and monitor children for signs of abuse.

 

In response to this, the Department of Education and Skills published Guidelines and Procedures for all schools in relation to child protection and welfare. These guidelines promote the safety and welfare of all children and are to be welcomed.

 

The Board of Management of Harold Boys’ National School has adopted these guidelines as school policy. Consequently, if school staff suspect or are alerted to possible child abuse, they are obliged to refer this matter to the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE will then assess the situation and provide support for the child concerned.

 

Children First, the National Guidelines for the Protection of Children may be assessed on the website of the Department of Health and Children (www.dohc.ie) and the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Guidelines can be read on the Department’s website (www.education.ie).  Parents/Guardians are also welcome to look through the guidelines here at the school.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Principal

 

 

 

 

 

HAROLD BOYS’ NATIONAL SCHOOL – CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

This policy is a collaboration between Principal, teachers, parents and Board of Management of Harold Boys’ National School, Dalkey, Co. Dublin.  It was reviewed and reformulated in April 2005 and further updated in February 2010 in the light of the NEWB  guidelines “Developing a Code of Behaviour – Guidelines for Schools”.

The purpose of this policy is to promote positive student behaviour and to allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way.  It is also to enhance the learning environment where children can make progress in all aspects of their development.  It relates to the ethos of the school in that it nurtures each child to develop his potential in a caring environment where the talents of each child are valued.  This is achieved by a high level of respect and co-operation between staff, parents and pupils.

AIMS

  • To allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way
  • To enhance the learning environment where children can make progress in all aspects of their development
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others
  • To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community
  • To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the Code of Behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner

GUIDELINES

  • A strong sense of community and co-operation is required from staff, pupils and parents to implement the code
    • There is recognition of the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR BEHAVIOUR

  • Each child is expected to be well behaved and to show consideration for other children and adults.
  • Each child is expected to show respect for the property of the school, other children’s belongings and their own belongings.
  • Each child is expected to do his best both in  school and for homework
  • Mobile phones, I-pods and electronic games/devices should not be visible or audible at any time in the school building or school grounds.

STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL AND CLASSROOM

  • All staff share our school ethos, which emphasises care, respect and responsibility and understanding.
  • We regularly have school assemblies where success is acknowledged, rewarded and celebrated.
  • Staff encompass a welcoming attitude to parents and consult with them where necessary/beneficial.
  • We acknowledge positive behaviour through the use of a note in the homework journal, by praising/commending children on their behaviour and by rewarding them. Rewards include, stars, stickers, homework passes, and class rewards such as extra break and chess/board games
  • Teachers ensure that the class timetable is as varied as possible and present a balanced educational programme for the pupils.
  • Problems are noticed and dealt with as soon as possible.
  • ‘Quiet time’ on a daily basis (e.g. D.E.A.R. (Drop everything and Read)Time/Pupils working silently for a given time on a particular activity).

 

  • Developing clear and simple classroom rules in discussion with the children. Each class will embrace five to seven rules stated in terms of observable behaviours.

 

  • Staff treat pupils with respect and build up positive relationships with them.
  • Children are aware that misbehaviour and failure to adhere to school and class rules will incur clear, consistent consequences.
  • SPHE is used as a structure within which to address the teaching of social skills.

SCHOOL  EXPECTATIONS FOR PUPILS

The following outline of procedures for the classroom, yard and school environment set a positive atmosphere in relation to pupil learning, behaviour and achievement.  There is a greater emphasis on rewards rather than sanctions.

Mornings:

  • Pupils should be in school by 8.50am.  Pupils should not enter the school building before 8.50am.
  • Pupils should wear the school uniform each day.  This consists of a pale blue shirt and dark blue v-neck jumper, tie, trousers as well as dark coloured shoes.  The school crest is a vital part of the uniform. On PE days the school navy blue tracksuit should be worn. All parts of uniform should be clearly marked with child’s name. Parents are notified if children are wearing the incorrect uniform. This form must be signed by the parent and returned to the class teacher. A formal letter will be sent home in the event of a child consistently not wearing the correct uniform.
  •  If a pupil cycles to school the bicycle should be locked to the black gate in the car park. Pupils may not cycle within the school grounds.  No pupil may touch a bicycle belonging to another boy.

At Break Times:

  • Boys are encouraged to play games such as football and basketball during play times.
  • Rough play and climbing walls, fences or picnic tables is not allowed.
    • Each class should play in their own area of the school yard.
    • If a football from one class comes into another yard area the ball should be handed back.
    • Our school is a bully free zone.  Boys are encouraged to tell the teacher in the yard if they feel they are being bullied. (See Anti Bullying Policy)
    • Healthy lunches are promoted within the school. Lunches are eaten in classrooms and children are asked not to bring food or drink into the yard. Pupils may have bars on a Friday.  Chewing gum, crisps and fizzy drinks are not allowed at anytime.
    • Pupils may not leave the school grounds for any reason without permission in writing from their parents/guardians.
    • Boys are expected to line up quietly when the bell goes at the end of each break.
    • Harold Boys’ NS is a Green School. Boys are expected to keep their classrooms clean and tidy and put all waste in the correct bins. Uneaten food should be taken home.
    • Name calling or bad language is not allowed in the school.
    • Pupils must not damage school property.
    • When children are playing on the yard physical contact (e.g. pushing, pulling, slide tackling, kicking) is not allowed.  Pupils are advised to go to the teacher on yard if there is a problem.
      •  Sharp objects that could cause injury to others should not be brought to the yard.

Toilets:

  • Pupils treat all toilet facilities and drinking fountains in the school with respect and must not damage them in any way.
  • Pupils must not waste toilet paper or toilet soap.
  • Pupils are encouraged to wash their hands after going to the toilet and dry them in the hand towels provided.

In Class:

  • Each boy is expected to have all of the text books and equipment necessary for his particular class.
  • Tippex is not allowed.
  • Each boy must do his homework in a neat and tidy manner and must bring in a note from parents to his teacher if homework is not done.
  • Boys must treat all staff members and visitors with respect.
  • All classes will participate in the development of their class rules and agree to keep them. Boys should not upset the smooth running of the class. (Boys may be suspended from the school for repeatedly disrupting the class and for showing disrespect for the teacher.)

Substance Use (See Substance Use Policy)

Children must not  under any circumstances bring illegal drugs, cigarettes or alcohol to school.

STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR 

The degree of misbehaviour (i.e. minor serious or gross) will be decided by the teachers on the basis of their professional judgement and based on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of the misbehaviour.

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH MINOR MISBEHAVIOUR

A staged approach is envisaged in dealing with minor incidents of unacceptable behaviour

·            Reasoning with the pupil
  • Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
  • Child moved to somewhere else in the classroom or required to work away from others

 

  • Parents/guardians informed generally by letter or by a note in homework diary
  • Prescribing additional work at break-times under the supervision of the teacher on yard duty
  • Loss of Privileges
  • Referral to Principal

 

 

 

  • Parents requested to meet class teacher

 

  • Behaviour noted in pupil’s annual report

 

 

 

STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH MISBEHAVIOUR IN CLASS

 

 

 

  • In the case of a serious incident of misbehaviour, providing for ‘time out’ may be useful. (The child goes to a particular place in the classroom designated as the time out or cool down area).

 

  • Exiting a child from the classroom may be necessary where the classroom is significantly disrupted. The pupil will be escorted to a designated teacher(s) classroom e.g. Deputy Principal or Special Duty Post Holder for a period of time to assist the pupil in getting ready to amend the behaviour so that the pupil may return to their classroom as soon as possible. It will be anticipated that the pupil, on returning to their class, will resume without causing further disruption.
  • Utilising a Behaviour Plan (see Understanding Behaviour below) may be considered when a child consistently exhibits challenging and disruptive behaviour. A Behaviour Plan will focus on one behaviour at a time and the achievement of the targets will be reinforced positively.  It is envisaged that the child will be involved in the setting of targets. If a child is entitled to a support teacher on the basis of their behavioural needs, the support teacher may set targets in consultation with the child, the class teacher and the parents.

STRATEGIES TO DEAL WITH CONTINUOUSLY DISRUPTIVE PUPILS and/or SERIOUS INCIDENTS OF MISBEHAVIOUR ARE AS FOLLOWS –

  • The pupil will be warned officially to stop offending.
  • The parents/guardians will be informed.
  • Prescribing additional work at break-times under the supervision of the teacher on yard duty
  • Loss of Privileges
  • The parents will be invited to meet either the class teacher, the Principal and/or the chairperson to discuss serious incidents of misbehaviour.
  • The Board of Management may exclude the pupil from the school premises at break and/or lunch times.
  • The Board of Management may arrange for the pupil to be escorted to and from the school premises at assembly and dismissal times.
  • In the event of a serious incident of misbehaviour or where a pupil is continuously disruptive the Board of Management may suspend him for a minor fixed period (one to three school days).
  • A programme of intervention will also be formulated to enable the child manage and change his behaviour.

In the event of gross misbehaviour by a pupil the Principal/Chairperson/Board will be notified. The Principal/Board will examine the issues. The Principal/Board may consider sanctions including immediate suspension pending discussion with the parents/guardians (see below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITY

The people who have particular responsibility for aspects of the policy are

  • Board of Management
  • Principal
  • Class teacher
  • Parents
  • Pupils

The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the Principal.

However the Board of Management has ultimate responsibility for discipline under its management and a duty to ensure that a fair code of discipline applies therein.

IMPLEMENTATION  DATE

This policy will apply from February 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child Protection Contacts

 

 

Designated Liaison Person

 

Teresa Buckley

 

 

 

 

Deputy DLP

 

Ciara Costello

 

 

Garda Station

Telephone:  6665000

 

 

 

 

Local Contact For

‘The Children and Family Social Services of the HSE’

 

 

TELEPHONE:  6637300

 

Address:    Our Lady’s Clinic,

                                                        Patrick St.,

                                                        Dun Laoghaire,

                                                        Co.Dublin

 

 

 

 

 

Harold Boys’ National School,

St. Patrick’s Road,

Dalkey,

Co. Dublin.

Ph. / Fax: (01) 2856 193

E-mail: info@haroldboysdalkey.ie     www.haroldboysdalkey.ie

 

 

 

 

Harold Boys’ National School Enrolment Policy

Aims:

The school shall have in place appropriate channels of communication and procedures:

  • To inform parents about the school, its programmes, activities and procedures.
  • To enable applications for admission to the school to be handled in an open, transparent manner.
  • To put in place criteria under which applications shall be considered.
  • To ensure that these criteria are informed by our Ethos, our Mission Statement and current legislation.
  • To specify what information is required by the school at the time of application.

 

Total Number of teachers in the School:  6 full-time teachers – this includes one Principal, 3 Class Teachers, 1 Special Education Teacher, 1 Learning Support teacher.

Range of Classes Taught:  H.B.N.S.  has a full range of classes from Second class to Sixth Class.  The School is national and caters for boys.

Curriculum Offered:  The Primary School Curriculum (Department of Education & Skills) is taught.

Opening Hours:   8.50 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. (Second Class to Sixth)

Morning Break              10.50 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Lunch Break                                 12.30 to 1 p.m.

 

Funding:  The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills and it operates within the regulations laid down by the Department.  School policy operates within the confines of resources and funding available.

 

The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998 and the Education Welfare Act.

 

Within the context and parameters of Department regulations and programmes, the rights of the patron as set out in the Education Act (1998) and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of:-

  • inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need;
  • equality of access and participation in the school;
  • parental choice in relation to enrolment; and
  • respect for diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

 

Application Procedure:

 

Parents/Guardians should apply for enrolment by completing an application form.

 

A completed application must include: an enrolment form, a birth certificate, a baptismal certificate (where the pupil is catholic), signed form agreeing to the Code of Behaviour and to the policies on Bullying, Enrolment and Mobile Phones.

Completed applications must be returned to the school by October 20th for pupils enrolling for the following September.

 

Parents/Guardians must as a condition of so registering a child require his Parents/Guardians to confirm in writing that the Code of Behaviour so provided is acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the child.

 

The Board is bound by the Department of Education & Skills’ rules for National Schools which provides that pupils may only be enrolled by the age of 7 and upwards on their first day in 2nd Class.

 

The Board will make a decision in respect of an application within 21 days of receipt of such application.  Where a school reasonably requires further information, the application will not be treated as being complete until such time as all requested information has been received.

 

Late applications may be made for all classes throughout the year.

 

Decision Making Process:

Decisions will be given in writing within 21 days of receiving a complete application.

 

Enrolment Criteria:

In regard to criteria for enrolment, the priority order in which boys will be accepted, in situations where the school may be oversubscribed is as follows:

 

  1. Boys transferring from 1st class, Loreto Primary School, Dalkey
  2. Brothers of pupils currently in the school or who have attended the school.
  3. Catholic boys living within the Parish.
  4. Sons of past pupils.
  5. Other boys within the Parish.
  6. Other boys living outside the Parish.

 

 

In the event that there are more applicants within any category than there are available places, priority will be given to children within the particular category in order of age, starting with the oldest.

 

Enrolment of Children with Special Needs

In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, the Board of Management will request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or where such a report is not available, will request that the child be assessed immediately.  The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational needs of the child relevant to his/her special needs and to provide the support services required.

Following receipt of the report, the Board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report.  Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will request the Department of Education and Skills to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the psychological and/or medical report.  These resources may include, for example, access to or the provision of any or a combination of the following:  visiting teacher service, resource teacher for special needs, special needs assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, transport services or other.

The school will meet with the parents of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability or capability in meeting those needs.  Where necessary, a full case conference involving all parties will be held, which may include parents, principal, learning support teacher, special class teacher, resource teacher for special needs, special needs assistant (SNA) or psychologist, as appropriate.

 

Refusal to enrol on grounds of “Exceptional Circumstances”

The school reserves the right to refuse enrolment to any pupil in exceptional circumstances, e.g.

  1. The pupil has needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the pupil with an appropriate education or
  2. In the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, to school staff or to school property.

Right of Appeal

The Board of Management is also obliged under section 19(3) of the Educational Welfare Act 2000 to make a decision in writing in respect of an application for enrolment within 21 days and to inform the parents in writing of that decision.

Where the Board of Management refuses to enrol a student in the school, a parent of the student, following the conclusion of any appeal procedures at school level, has a statutory entitlement under section 29 of the Education Act (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007, to appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.  A committee is established to hear the appeal with hearings conducted with a minimum of formality.  In most cases appeals must be dealt with within 30 days.  Where appropriate, the Secretary General must give whatever directions to the Board of Management that are considered necessary to remedy the matter complained of.

Details on appealing decisions on enrolment  under section 29 of the Education Act (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007, are available on the Department’s website at www.education.ie

The Chairperson of the Board will inform parents/guardians of their entitlement to appeal a decision of the Board of Management in relation to suspension or expulsion.  Parents will be given a copy of Circular 22/02 and related forms.

The Chairperson of the Board will prepare a response if and when an appeal is being investigated by the Department of Education & Skills (Section 12, Circular 22/02 – Processing of an Appeal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             Attendance  Policy

 

 

Introductory Statement  

This statement was formulated by teachers, parents and Board of Management of Harold Boys’ National School Dalkey in December 2007.

 

Rationale

It was necessary to devise an attendance strategy statement at this time.

?           It is a requirement under Education Welfare Act 2000

?           School needs to encourage pupils to be in attendance..

 

Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school

The school’s philosophy and ethos promotes the welfare of pupils.

 

Aims

The school ideally hopes:

?           To raise awareness of importance of school attendance

?           To identify pupils at risk of school leaving early

?           To comply with requirements under Education Welfare Act  2000/

Guidelines form NEWB

 

Guidelines (content of statement)

Defining and Recording Non-Attendance

?             Non-Attendance is defined as absence on each day that the school is open for instruction.

?             Non-attendance is recorded by the class teacher in the roll book.

Notes of reasons for non-attendance are kept by the class teacher.

Principal reports certain non-attendance matters to NEWB (i.e. pupils

absent for 20 days or more or where a Principal is concerned about a

pupil’s attendance).

?           We communicate the non-attendance of pupils and the effects that it has on pupil learning to parents by letter at the beginning of 2nd Class

?           The Education Welfare Act requires a parent to notify the school when a child is absent for part of a school day, a school day or more than a school day in writing.

?           Strategies in event of non-attendance

(The school must inform the Education Welfare Officer in writing where a child is suspended or expelled for 6 days or more, where the child has missed 20 or more days in a school year, where attendance is irregular and when the pupil is removed from the school register)

 

?           The principal of the current school must notify the principal of the child’s last school attended that the child is now registered in their school “as soon as may be”.  When a ?principal receives notification that a child has been registered elsewhere he must notify the principal of the pupil’s new school of any problems in relation to attendance at the pupil’s former school and of such matters relating to the child’s educational progress as he or she considers appropriate.

 

                                    Annual  Report

The Principal completes the annual report form for NEWB.

 

Success  Criteria

?  The class teacher monitors attendance and notifies the Principal at the end of each term of

of the pupils who have missed 20 days or any other concerns regarding attendance.

?  The Principal will communicate the relevant information to the NEWB

?  Attendance in Harold Boys’ National School is good in general and is constantly being

monitored by teachers and Principal.

 

Roles and Responsibility

The people who have particular responsibilities for aspects of the statement are

Principal

  ?  Class teachers

Parents

  ?  Pupils

  ?  Education Welfare Officer

  ?   Board of Management

 

Implementation Date

This statement will apply from February 2008

 

Timetable for Review

The operation of the new statement will be reviewed and, if necessary, amended in February 2010.

 

Ratification & Communication

The Board of Management officially ratified the statement in February 2008

 

                                                

 

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