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Child Safeguarding Statement and Child Protection Risk Assessment

Bunscoil Bhríde, Rathangan

Bunscoil Bhríde 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 Bunscoil Bhríde has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

  1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for primary and post-primary Schools 207 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement.
  1. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is: Maria Rogerson
  1. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is: Rós O’Sullivan
  1. The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. The school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare.  The school will:
  1. recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations
  2. fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children
  3. fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
  4. 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
  5. develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and
  6. fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters

The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.

  1. The following procedures/measures are in place:
  1. 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 
  2. 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
  3. 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:
    1. Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
    2. Ensures all new staff  are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
    3. Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
    4. Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
    5. The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training.
  4. 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
  5. 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 school’s child safeguarding statement.
  1. All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association and the patron.  It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.
  1. This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers

This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on 12th March 2018 and reviewed in April 2019

Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment
(of any potential harm)

List of School ActivitiesThe School has identified the following Risk of Harm The School has the following Procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment
Training of school personnel in Child Protection mattersHarm not recognised or reported promptlyChild Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staffDLP & DDLP have attended PDST face to face training
All Staff have viewed Túsla training module & the online training offered by PDST 
One to one teachingHarm by school personnelSchool has put policy in place for one to one teaching
All classroom doors have a glass panel
Care of Children with special needs, including intimate care needsHarm by school personnelPolicy on intimate care
All school personnel Garda vetted
SNAs maintain a log of all intimate care procedures carried out 
Toilet areasInappropriate behaviourChildren will be encouraged to use the toilet before going out to the yard. Visits in to the toilet from the yard are strongly discouraged.
When necessary, children will go in to toilet in pairs from yard
Only two children will go in to the toilet at any one time – they will be given clothes pegs by teacher on yard duty for this purpose 
Curricular Provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay safe.Non-teaching of sameSchool implements SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe in full   
Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupilsBullyingAnti-Bullying Policy
Code of Behaviour
Daily arrival and dismissal of pupilsHarm from older pupils, unknown adults around the playgroundReception, Assembly and Dismissal of Pupils Policy
Arrival and dismissal supervised by Teachers for 10 minutes
Children who are not collected remain inside the gate with the teacher
Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraintInjury to pupils and staffHealth & Safety PolicyCode Of Behaviour
Sports CoachesHarm to pupilsAll coaches to be Garda vetted
Teacher is present when coach is working with children
Students participating in work experienceHarm by studentConfidentialityWork experience Policy
Child Safeguarding Statement.
All individuals on work experience in the school are Garda vetted
Students are never on their own with children
Recreation breaks for pupilsInappropriate behaviour, bullyingAnti-bullying policy
Code of Behaviour
Supervision Policy
Classroom teachingHarm by school personnelAll school personnel Garda vetted
Glass in doors
Outdoor teaching activities Harm by school personnelAll school personnel Garda vetted
Sporting Activities Harm by school personnel / volunteers, exposure to unknown adults, loss of pupilsPolicy on School Tours / Excursions
All school personnel and parent volunteers Garda vetted
School outings Harm by school personnel / volunteers, exposure to unknown adults, loss of pupils, bullyingPolicy on School Tours / Excursions
All school personnel and parent volunteers Garda vetted
Anti-bullying PolicyCode of Behaviour 
Annual Sports Days Bullying, loss of pupilsAnti-bullying Policy
Code of Behaviour
Teachers work with smaller group sizes during Sports Days
Administration of MedicineAdministration of First Aid Harm by school personnel, injury to pupilAdministration of Medication Policy
Supervision Policy
All school personnel Garda vetted 
Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum Harm to pupilsAll external personnel engaged within the school are Garda vetted
Pupils are always supervised by class teacher when engaging with an external teacher
Care of pupils with specific vulnerabilities/ needs such as Pupils from ethnic minorities/migrantsMembers of the Traveller communityPupils of minority religious faiths  BullyingAnti-bullying Policy
Code of Behaviour
Stay Safe implemented in full
SPHE lessons on bullying at all class levels
Friendship Week held annually
‘Friends’ Programme implemented in Third Class annually
Recruitment of school personnel including -TeachersSNA’sCaretaker/Secretary/CleanersSports coachesExternal Tutors/Guest SpeakersVolunteers/Parents in school activitiesVisitors/contractors present in school during school hoursVisitors/contractors present during after school activities Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reportedChild Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff
Staff to view Tusla training module & any other online training offered by PDST
Vetting Procedures
Parent / Volunteer Policy
School Visitors Policy
All visitors must sign in and out at reception
Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school BullyingICT Acceptable Use Policy
Anti-Bullying Policy
Code of Behaviour
Mobile Phones, Tablets and Electronic Games Policy
Student teachers undertaking training placement in school Harm by studentsConfidentialityWork experience Policy
Garda vetting of all student teachers undertaking placement in the school
Student teachers are always supervised by class teacher when in the presence of children
Use of video/photography/other media to record school events Inappropriate use / sharing of images of pupilsMobile phones, Tablets and Electronic Games Policy
Parental consent for photographs and recordings to be used within the school received on enrolment.
All school events taking place in the school will be photographed by teachers and placed on the school website
Parents are asked not to put photographs of school concerts / school events on social media
After school use of school premises by other organisations Harm by after-school provider, harm by unknown adultsHire and Use of the School Policy
Garda vetting of all providers of after-school activities in the school
All after-school providers have supplied the Board of Management with a Child Protection Policy
SwimmingHarm by  pool employee / unknown adults, loss of pupils, use of video / photography / other media to record childrenSwimming Policy
Parent volunteers are Garda vetted
Mobile Phones, Tablets and Electronic Games Policy
Teachers and parent volunteers present and supervising children at all times
Changing of clothes for events e.g. concerts, Communion photographHarm by school personnel / parent volunteersAll school personnel and parent volunteers are Garda vetted
Only Garda vetted parents help with clothes changing
Always two or more adults present when children in class are changing

Important Note:  It should be noted that risk in the context of this risk assessment is the risk of “harm” as defined in the Children First Act 2015 and not general health and safety risk.  The definition of harm is set out in Chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary  Schools 2017

In undertaking this risk assessment, the board of management has endeavoured to identify as far as possible the risks of harm that are relevant to this school and to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to manage all risks identified.  While it is not possible to foresee and remove all risk of harm, the school has in place the procedures listed in this risk assessment to manage and reduce risk to the greatest possible extent.

This risk assessment has been completed by the Board of Management on 12th March 2018 and was reviewed on 9th April 2019.  It will be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.