Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment

 

Written Assessment of Risk of Loughmore NS
In accordance with section 11 of the Children First Act 2015 and with the requirement of Section 8.8 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, the following is the Written Risk Assessment of Loughmore NS.

  1. List of school activities

 

Swimming

Lunch Time training

Afterschool training or leagues

Gaelic Football

Hurling/Camogie

Basketball

Soccer

Tag Rugby

Athletics

Gymnastics

Dance

Cycling

Concert/School performances

Homework Club

Infant Afterschool Club

Assembly

Church visits/mass/sacramental preparation

Tidy School’s Annual Clean Up

Active School Week

Invited guests

Visits to library

Visits to Templemore Park

School Tours

Field Trips

Sports Day

Fundraising events

Paired Reading/Buddy Reading

Caras

Open Night

Student Council

Detention

Yard Supervision

Band Practice

Bin wardens/Monitors

Work Experience

Placement

Substitute Teachers

Administration of Medicine

Wet Day Supervision

Computers/Internet Access

Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe

Management of challenging Behaviour

Movement breaks for SEN pupils

Sensory Breaks for SEN pupils

Toileting/Intimate care for SEN pupils

Bullying

School building and environs

Collection times to and from school

Road Safety at collection times

Walking into and out of school building in the morning, at breaks and at home time

Changing in the porta cabins for training

Integration to and from ASD Unit

Movement to and from SET classes

Sensory Room

Timeout

Seclusion

Activity room

Altar Serving for funerals

Transport to and from sporting activities

Solas social trips

Santa Visits

Caretaking

Access to school exits for flight risk pupils

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities:

 

·         A. Risk of harm due to challenging behaviour of pupils.

·         B. Risk of harm to ‘flight-risk’ pupils on the school yard.

·         C. Risk of harm due to children inappropriately accessing and using computers/ipads.

·         D. Risk of harm due to supervision of children while changing for training in the school porta cabins.

·         E. Risk of child being harmed in the school by visitors to school.

·         F. Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerabilities.

·         G. Risk of harm to pupils with medical needs.

·         H. Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe.

·         I. Risk of harm to children at drop-off/collection times due to traffic and not enough due care taken by parents at these times.

·         J. Risk of harm to children during changing times at swimming.

·         K. Risk to children due to storage or publication of photos.

·         L. Risk to children who are withdrawn from class for SET/breaks.

·         M. Risk to children in relation to poor school attendance.

·         N. Risk of harm to children from accidents and injuries on site.

·         O. Risk of harm to children from bullying behaviour.

 

 

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

 

  A. The school has developed a ‘Positive Handling Policy’ for dealing with challenging behaviour. Pupils with physical or aggressive behaviour have a ‘Positive Handling Plan’ as an appendix to their Student Support Plan. The staff have also engaged with extra and specific training in relation to managing pupils with challenging behaviour, most recently ‘Optima’ whole staff training in August 2017, and SESS targeted support in this area in February 2018. Social stories and pro-social behaviour systems are in place across the school. Positive reinforcement is our guiding principle in this regard. The school also has a Critical Incidents Policy in place.

B. Yard duty rota has been carefully modified to ensure maximum supervision at all break times and also in the morning and at home time. Plans have been made to build a further fence on the senior school yard when funding becomes available. This is a priority for 2018.

C. The school has developed an ICT Policy (Acceptable Usage Policy) which parents and pupils have signed up to. We have also enlisted the training and support of forensic psychologist Maureen Griffin to educate pupils and parents around the dangers of the internet, social media, gaming and screen-time in 2017.

The teachers will have regular discussion around usage of computers in class and during assembly. Anti-virus software and filtering software is updated regularly by our IT technician Martin Ryan (Orion Services).

D. Strict rules have been put in place regarding changing in the porta cabins. Staff supervision is in place from the steps outside of the ports cabins, the doors remain open at all times and pupil monitors are in place to alert staff to any issues at changing times also. Strict sanctions are in place for any misbehaviour. The staff can hear what is happening in the changing rooms at all times and can check at any time.

E. After-school facilities are carefully supervised by suitably qualified and insured professionals.

Out of school Activities: The SNA (s) will accompany class teachers on all outings. A risk assessment is conducted before each school tour or trip and procedures put in place to minimise risk to children. A policy was recently adopted by the BOM stipulating that pupils must travel by bus to all school outings.

The school has a very thorough Supervision Policy in place.

School visitors: The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda vetting legislation and relevant DES circulars in relation to recruitment and Garda vetting. All visitors to the school must sign in and out in a book in reception. A fob access system was fitted in 2014 to limit access to the school building beyond the reception area during school hours. Persons administering external programmes in school must provide the school with a copy of their Garda Vetting and insurance if relevant.

F. The teachers will have regular discussions, planning and collaboration re. SEN. A new SEN provision policy has recently been devised and a new SET system has been planned and is being implemented at present. This is reviewed regularly. Children with additional or special needs are provided with additional support through the Continuum of Needs Model. Pupils have a student support file in place to record this support.

The school will celebrate World Autism Day.

G. An Administration of Medication Policy is in place for pupils with medical needs.

H. Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe. The Special Education material is age/ability appropriate and this material is taught across all class levels. The school implements in full the Stay Safe Programme The school implements in full the SPHE curriculum.

I. The BOM have communicated very regularly with parents re. drop-off and collection times. The County Council have put flashing ‘children crossing lights’ in place at either end of the school road in 2012, they have also been contacted about re-painting the traffic zone outside of the school gates.

Teachers and snas have a supervision rota in place for the school yard and gate in the morning and evening. A lining-up sytem is in place inside the school gate and turn-stile in the evening time. Names and contacts of adults who have permission to collect a child are provided by parents at the beginning of each school year. If an unknown adult comes to collect a child their parents must confirm this arrangement before the child is permitted to leave the school grounds. If an adult appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs the child will not be released to them and the DLP or DDLP will be notified immediately. No child is permitted to walk home. Late arrivals and early leavers must be signed in and out of the book in reception area also. Parents must collect or drop the pupils to their classroom via reception.

J. Supervision is maximised for swimming classes. An adult from the school Supervises in each changing room (boys and girls) insofar as is possible.

K. Written parental consent to take photos of children is obtained from parents upon their child’s enrolment in the school. Photos taken by staff are removed from personal devices at the end of the school week and stored on the school online storage space/school’s designated computer or external hard drive. Children’s names are never published with their photo on the school’s website. Children are not permitted to take photos on the school ICT devices unless under the specific direction of the teacher. Pupil phones are not permitted in school at on school trips. We have a Data Protection Policy in place regarding record keeping, confidentiality etc.

L. Glass panels are installed in the classroom doors. The door remains open for one-to-one tuition in the only room without a glass panel at present. This has been prioritised for installing a glass panel asap. Parents are informed if their child is to be withdrawn for SET tuition. Children who need assistance with toileting are accompanied by two adults where possible. Otherwise the adult supervises from outside of the bathroom door. We have an Intimate Care Policy in place for such occasions. Children who use the toilet during break time are accompanied by an adult and another pupil. They use the toilet in the classroom nearest to the junior yard. They have no access from here to the rest of the school at this time.

M. Significant concerns regarding a child’s timekeeping or attendance will be reported to the Education Welfare Officer. A strict record of attendance and reasons for a child’s absence are recorded in the school’s electronic ‘Aladdin Schools’ Roll book system. Absence notes are required. The school has an Attendance Strategy in place. Mandatory attendance reports are sent to Tusla.

N. The school grounds and facilities are maintained and monitored to the best of the BOM ability and school resources. Staff are vigilant to monitor and report any health and safety risks to the Principal and must also note their concern in the school maintenance book. Regular audits of the school Health and Safety Statement are conducted by the BOM. The school also has an Accident and Injury Policy in place.

O. Bullying: The school has a Code of Behaviour and an Anti-Bullying Policy in place. This is regularly revised and restorative practices are implemented throughout the school to investigate and resolve conflict. A culture of inclusion, respect and openness is promoted and nurtured in the school.

 

 

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 risks of harm, the school has in place the procedures listed in this risk assessment to manage and reduce risk to the greatest possible extent.

Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service:

  • Minor complaints about staff are managed in line with our Parental Complaints Procedure as outlined in our Parental Complaints Policy.
  • Allegations against a staff member of abuse or misconduct are managed according to the school’s Child Protection Policy.

Procedure for the recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children:

  • Only teachers who are Garda Vetted are employed. All teachers are registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland.
  • All SNAs who are employed in the school in a temporary or permanent capacity are Garda Vetted through the Diocese of Cashel and Emly. Substitute SNAs will present with Garda Vetting.
  • Parents and volunteers who work with children on a long-term/consistent basis are Garda vetted through the Diocese of Cashel and Emly.
  • References from previous employers are obtained before employment in the school.
  • Form of Undertaking and Statutory Declaration are completed/presented before employment in the school.

Procedure for the provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including identification of the occurrence of harm:

  • Staff are informed of the school child-protection and anti-bullying procedures during staff induction at the beginning of the school year.
  • School policies are made available to all staff and discussed regularly. Staff are informed of the relevant person to direct queries for each policy.
  • All staff will be trained in the recognition of signs of abuse and reasonable grounds for concern and provided with a copy of the relevant sections of Children First during staff induction each September. All new members of staff hired after this induction will receive training as soon as possible from an appropriate member of staff.
  • Staff are informed of reporting procedures and provided with a copy of the schools’ Child Safeguarding Statement.
  • The school Child Protection Policy and Anti-Bullying Policy are available to download from the school’s intranet (Aladdin Schools) and on our school website. All relevant documents/forms, or access points to the same, are also on the school intranet.
  • Child protection guidelines, including names of the DLP and DDLP are reporting procedures are displayed in every room.
  • The DLP/DDLP/BOM engage with Child Protection training through local education centres/CPSMA/IPPN/PDST or other relevant body.
  • School management stay updated on current child protection guidelines and circulars. School management will update staff and will provide any training required where appropriate.
  • The Principal will report to the BOM in her report at every BOM meeting regarding Child Protection Concerns through the Principal’s Oversight Report section of the Principal’s report.

Procedures for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla:

  • All mandated persons shall report a mandated concern to Tusla as soon as practicable in accordance with the Children’s First Act.
  • The DLP or DDLP shall act as a resource to the mandated person to ensure that reporting procedures are followed correctly and promptly.
  • On completion, a report shall be forwarded to the relevant Duty Care Social Worker by the DLP or DDLP or mandated person.
  • In the event that the report is forwarded by the DLP or DDLP, the mandated person will be informed in writing that the report has been forwarded.
  • In the event that the report is forwarded by the mandated person without the assistance of the DLP or DDLP, the mandated person shall inform the DLP or DDLP and any copies provided shall be stored in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.

Procedure for maintaining a list of the person(s) in the relevant service who are mandated:

  • All teachers in Loughmore NS are mandated persons. Mandated persons, as defined in the Children First Act 2015, have a statutory obligation to report concerns which reach a particular threshold to Tusla and to cooperate with Tusla in the assessment of mandated reports.

Procedure for appointing a relevant person:

  • The school Principal and the DLP, is the relevant person in accordance with the Children First Act 2015.
  • The DDLP will deputise in her absence.
  • The name and contact details of the current DLP and DDLP will be displayed in the school reception area, staffroom, in every classroom and on the school website.

This risk assessment has been completed by the Board of Management of Loughmore NS on 08/03/2018.  It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.

 

 

Child Safeguarding Statement

 

Loughmore NS 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

Loughmore NS has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

 

  1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement
  2. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Angela Dunne (Principal).
  3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Nina Scott.
  4. The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. In its policies, procedures, practices and activities, the school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

The school will:

  • recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
  • fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
  • fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and

welfare matters

  • adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;
  • develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and
  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

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

 

  1. The following procedures/measures are in place:
  • In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website.
  • In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website.
  • In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school –
  • Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement.
  • Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding

Statement.

  • Encourages staff to avail of relevant training.
  • Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training.
  • The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training.
  • In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post – Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015.
  • In this school the Board has appointed the above named DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the child safeguarding statement.
  • All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015.
  • In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures.
  • The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school.

Note:

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

 

  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.

 

  1. This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on the 8th of March 2018.

 

 

Checklist for Review of the Child Safeguarding Statement

 

The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 require the Board of Management must undertake a review of its Child Safeguarding Statement and that the following checklist shall be used for this purpose. The review must be completed every year or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the Child Safeguarding Statement refers.  Undertaking an annual review will also ensure that a school also meets its statutory obligation under section 11(8) of the Children First Act 2015, to review its Child Safeguarding Statement every two years.

 

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

 

As part of the overall review process, Boards of Management should also assess relevant school policies, procedures, 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 Safeguarding Statement, the Children First Act 2015 and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017.

 

  Yes/No
  • Has the Board formally adopted a Child Safeguarding Statement in accordance with the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’?

Y

  • As part of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement, has the Board formally adopted, without modification, the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’’?

Y

  • Does the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement include a written assessment of risk as required under the Children First Act 2015?

Y

  • Has the Board reviewed and updated where necessary the written assessment of risk as part of this overall review?

Y

  • Has the DLP attended available child protection training?

Y

  • Has the Deputy DLP attended available child protection training?

Y

  • Have any members of the Board attended child protection training?

Y

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

Y

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

Y

  • Has the Board arrangements in place to communicate the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement to new school personnel?

Y

  • 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 2017’ and the Children First Act 2015?

Y

  • Has the Board received a Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report at each Board meeting held since the last review was undertaken?

Y

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

Y

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

Y

  • Since the Board’s last review, was the Board informed of any cases where an allegation of abuse or neglect was made against any member of school personnel?

Y

  • Has the Board been provided with and reviewed all documents relevant to the Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report?

Y

  • Is the Board satisfied that the child protection procedures in relation to the making of reports to Tusla/An Garda Síochána were appropriately followed in each case reviewed?

Y

  • Is the Board satisfied that, since the last review, all appropriate actions are being or have been taken in respect of any member of school personnel against whom an allegation of abuse or neglect has been made?*

Y

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

Y

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

Y

  • Has the Board been notified by any parent in relation to that parent not receiving the standard notification required under section 5.6  of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’

Y

  • In relation to any cases identified at question 21 above, has the Board ensured that any notifications required section 5.6 of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’ were subsequently issued by the DLP?

Y

  • Has the Board ensured that the Parents’ Association (if any), has been provided with the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?

Y

  • Has the Board ensured that the patron has been provided with the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?

Y

  • Has the Board ensured that the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement is available to parents on request?

Y

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

Y

  • Has the Board ensured that the Wellbeing Programme for Junior Cycle students is implemented in full in the school? (applies to post- primary schools)

n/a

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

Y

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

Y

  • 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?*

Y

  • 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)?*

Y

  • Has the Board considered and addressed any complaints or suggestions for improvements regarding the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?

Y

  • Has the Board sought the feedback of parents in relation to the school’s compliance with the requirements of the child safeguarding requirements of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’

Y

  • Has the Board sought the feedback of pupils in relation to the school’s child safeguarding arrangements?

Y

  • Is the Board satisfied that the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’ are being fully and adequately implemented by the school?

Y

  • Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement and/or its implementation that require further improvement?

Y

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

Y

  • Has the Board ensured that any areas for improvement that that were identified in any previous review of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement have been adequately addressed?

Y