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 Child Protection Guidelines for Schools

The Department of Education circular 0081/2017, has been issued in relation to Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017.

(i) This document must be adopted in its entirety by the Board and by all school personnel in their interactions with children.

(ii) All fully qualified teachers, registered with the Teaching Council are now Mandated Persons and are obliged to report any Child Protection Concerns they have with the assistance of the DLP or Deputy DLP to Túsla using standard reporting forms.

(iii) All teachers are designated Mandated Persons under the Children First Act 2015. Mandated persons have two main legal obligations under the Children First Act 2015. These are:
A.  To report the harm of children above a defined threshold to Tusla;
B.  To assist Tusla, if requested, in assessing a concern which has been the subject of a mandated report

(iv) Under the new DES Child Protection Procedures 2017, the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) or Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP) remains the first point of contact for all allegations or suspicions of child abuse in the school. At each board of management meeting, the principal’s report to the board shall include a Child Protection Oversight Report containing information under 4 headings as follows:
a. Allegations of abuse made against a member of the School Staff since the last BoM meeting.
b.Other child protection concerns in respect of pupils in the school (i.e. concerns that do not involve any allegation of abuse against a member of the School Staff)
c. Child protection concerns arising from alleged bullying behaviour among pupils and
d.Summary data in respect of reporting

(v) The Act requires all BoMs to carry out a Risk Assessment in preparation for the drafting of a Child Safeguarding Statement. This assessment outlines and highlights the potential for harm to children while in the school. It should be noted that risk in this context is the risk of abuse and not general health and safety risk.

(vi) Once the Risk Assessment has been completed, the BoM can now proceed to develop a Child Safeguarding Statement