Child Safeguarding Statement 2018
Columba College is a post-primary school providing post-primary education to pupils from First Year to Leaving Certificate Year
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 Columba College has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.
- The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement
- The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Dermot Brady Principal
- The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP) is Magaret Coady Deputy Principal
- 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 additional vulnerability.
- The following procedures/measures are in place:
- In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website.
- In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website.
- In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school-
- Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
- Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
- Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
- Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
- The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training
- In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015.
- In this school the Board has appointed the abovenamed DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the s child safeguarding statement.
- All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015.
- In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures.
- The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school.
Note: The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management shall also include in this section such other procedures/measures that are of relevance to the school in question.
- This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association (if any) and the patron. It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.
- This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers.
This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management in September 2019.
Columba College Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment
Written Assessment of Risk of Columba College
In accordance with section 11 of the Children First Act 2015 and with the requirement of Chapter 8 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, the following is the Written Risk Assessment of Columba College College.
List of school activities:
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.
School Activities in Columba College
- Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils
- Recreation breaks for pupils
- Classroom teaching
- One-to-one teaching
- One-to-one counselling
- Outdoor teaching activities
- Sporting Activities
- School outings
- School trips involving overnight stay
- School trips involving foreign travel
- Use of toilet/changing areas in schools
- Use of canteen facilities
- Annual Sports Day
- Fundraising events involving pupils
- Use of off-site facilities for school activities
- School transport arrangements and delivery
- Care of children with additional educational needs, including those with other vulnerabilities where needed,
- Care of any vulnerable adult students, including intimate care where needed
- Management of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint where required
- Administration of Medicine
- Administration of First Aid
- Curricular provision in respect of SPHE & RSE
- Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils
- Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school
- Students participating in work experience in the school
- Students from the school participating in work experience elsewhere
- Recruitment of school personnel including:-
- Teachers/SNAs/Sports coaches/Caretaker/Secretary/Cleaners
- Use of external personnel to support sports and other extra-curricular activities and to supplement the curriculum:-
- External Tutors/Guest Speakers
- Volunteers/Parents in school activities
- Use of video/photography/other media to record school events
- Use of student images for PR purposes
- Student teachers undertaking training placement in school
- After school use of school premises by other organisations
- Use of school premises by other organisation during school day
- Non Curricular related visitors/contractors present during school hours
- Homework club/evening study
- Non curricular related visitors/contractors present during after school activities
- Training of school personnel in child protection matters
- School Productions. These include :-
- Transition year play
- Lunchtime activities. These include :-
- Chess Club
- Ukulele Club
- Anime Club etc.
- Care of pupils with specific vulnerabilities/ needs such as
- Pupils from ethnic minorities/migrants
- Members of the Traveller community
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) children
- Pupils perceived to be LGBT
- Pupils of minority religious faiths
- Children in care
Risks of Harm in Columba College College
1 Risk of harm not being recognised by school personnel
2 Risk of harm not being reported properly and promptly by school personnel
3 Risk of child being harmed in the school by a member of school personnel
4 Risk of child being harmed in the school by another child
5 Risk of child being harmed in the school by volunteer or visitor to the school
6 Risk of child being harmed by a member of school personnel, a member of staff of another organisation or other person while child participating in out of school activities e.g. school trip, swimming lessons
- Risk of harm due to bullying of child
- Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in school
- Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children while attending out of school activities
- Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationship/communications between child and another child or adult
- Risk of harm due to children inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media, phones and other devices while at school
- Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerabilities
- Risk of harm to child while a child is receiving personal care
- Risk of harm due to inadequate code of behaviour
- Risk of harm in one-to-one teaching, counselling, coaching situation
- Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel communicating with pupils in appropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
- Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
Procedures to address risks of harm in Columba College
- All school personnel are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
- The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 are made available to all school personnel
- School Personnel are required to adhere to the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and all registered teaching staff are required to adhere to the Children First Act 2015
- The school implements in full the SPHE curriculum
- The school implements in full the Wellbeing Programme at Junior Cycle
- The school has an Anti-Bullying Policy which fully adheres to the requirements of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools
- The school has a yard/playground supervision policy (S&S) to ensure appropriate supervision of children during, assembly, dismissal and breaks and in respect of specific areas such as toilets, changing rooms etc.
- The school has in place a policy and clear procedures in respect of school outings
The school has a Health and safety policy
- The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda vetting legislation and relevant DES circulars in relation to recruitment and Garda vetting
- The school has a codes of conduct for school personnel (teaching and non-teaching staff)
- The school complies with the agreed disciplinary procedures for teaching staff.
- The school has a Special Educational Needs Policy.
- The school has an intimate care policy/plan in respect of students who require such care
- The school has in place a policy and procedures for the administration of medication to pupils
- The School –
- Has provided each member of school 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
- Maintains records of all staff and board member training
- The school has in place a policy and procedures for the administration of First Aid
- The school has in place a Code of Behaviour for pupils.
- The school has in place an ICT policy in respect of usage of ICT by pupils
- The school has in place a mobile phone policy in respect of usage of mobile phones by pupils
- The school has in place a Critical Incident Management Plan
- The school has in place Home School Liaison Policy and related procedures.
- The school has in place a policy and procedures for the use of external persons to supplement delivery of the curriculum
- The school has in place a policy and procedures for the use of external sports coaches
- The school has in place a policy and clear procedures for one-to-one teaching activities
- The school has in place a policy and procedures for one-to-one counselling
- The school has in place a policy and procedures in respect of student teacher placements
- The school has in place a policy and procedures in respect of students undertaking work experience in the school
- The school has in place a policy and procedures in respect of pupils of the school undertaking work experience in external organisations
Columba College implements all directives of DES and LWETB in relation to Health & Safety and Child Protection with a view to safeguarding all students
- Columba College has a policy of discussion in relation to Child Protection and it is discussed at all Staff meetings and updates are regularly shared in relation to same.
- The Parents Association of Columba College and BOM of Columba College discuss Child Protection with management on a regular basis.
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 in September 2019 . It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.
Date of review: