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Safe Guarding Statement

Ballyshannon NS Safe Guarding Statement

Ballyshannon N.S. is a Catholic co-educational 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 Túsla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of Ballyshannon N.S. 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 Lisa Sullivan.


3        The Deputy Designated Liaison Person is Sinéad Harrold.


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/employee with a special vulnerability.



5        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-


Ø  Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement.

Ø  Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement.

Ø  Encourages staff to avail of relevant training.

Ø  Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training.

Ø  The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training.


·         In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Túsla, 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.



6        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 Túsla and the Department if requested. 



7        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


Signed: _________________________                            Signed: _____________________

Chairperson of Board of Management                               Principal

Date:     ______________________                                     Date:    __________________



Appendix 1: Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment


Written Assessment of Risk of Ballyshannon NS, Kilcullen.

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 Ballyshannon NS, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare.    


1.    List of school activities


Risk identified

Potential risk of harm

Procedure in place to manage risk identified

Opening/Closing Times and Break Times

Access to pupils by strangers or other adults.

Risk of harm from other pupils

Risk of harm from a parent/ adult

·         Parents to wait with children until school starts at 9.00am

·         Adequate supervision at break times

·         Teacher on yard duty walks children to gate at home time and wait with children until collected.

·         Names and contact numbers of adults who have permission to collect each child will be provided by parents at the beginning of each school year and stored in our on line data base.

·         Parents to ring or email school regarding change in normal home time collection routine. If parent does not contact school and an unknown person calls to collect a child, the class teacher will call the parent to confirm the change in routine.

·         If an adult appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they are collecting a child from school, they will not be released by the teacher. This will be reported to the DLP or Deputy DLP immediately.

·         Children from 3rd to 6th class can walk home from school on their own once written permission has been given to the school in advance.


Attendance, late drop offs, early collection, late collection

Risk of  harm due to negligence of attendance policy

Risk of harm by adult











·         Late arrivals will be noted on Success. The school discusses punctuality with children if they are regularly late.

·         Significant concerns regarding timekeeping are reported to the Education Welfare Officer

·         Children’s attendance at school will be monitored with absence notes /phone calls required for any missed days. Contact will be made with parents in instances of regular absences, with a record of such discussion stored on Success.

·         Significant absence will be discussed/ reported to the Education Welfare Officer

·         Teachers must be informed in advanced if children are to be collected early from school.


Visitors lacking awareness of child safety issues.

·         Visitors must check in to office or principals room.

·         Visitors are accompanied by a staff member at all times.

·         In the case of a visitor carrying out maintenance, teachers will be made aware of their presence and children will not be allowed to be unaccompanied by a teacher or member of  staff within their vicinity

·         Regular visitors/persons administering external programmes (e.g. GAA, P.A Credit Union and Librarian) through another body  will provide the school with a copy of  their Garda vetting and any appropriate insurance.

·         Children are closely supervised by staff members during all school events in which visitors are invited into the school, e.g. Santa’s visit, Science Week, Engineers Week, Celebration Days, Sports Day etc.

School activities held outside the school grounds, e.g. school tours, swimming lessons, sports events, concerts, etc

Access to pupils by strangers.

Inappropriate activity by pupils.

Dangers posed by unfamiliar environment

·         Adequate supervision

·         A risk assessment to be carried out before each trip

·         Pupils will be closely supervised from one area to another e.g. going to the bathroom, going to and from the bus) and when interacting with staff and/or volunteers from the establishment we are visiting.

·         Changing rooms will be closely supervised by staff when in use by children e.g. at swimming lessons and sports events.

·         Parent helpers on trips will be informed that pictures may only be taken by staff members.

·         Adequate planning and preparation by staff.

·         School Tour policy followed


Access to pupils by strangers or other adults.


·         Front door to be used as main entrance for visitors.

·         Security locks on all doors

·         The back door to be used as the main entrance to the school for parents


Swimming Lessons/Sports Events

Potential for unsupervised times in changing areas.

Access to pupils by strangers or other adults.

·         Adequate supervision provided.

·         Trained lifeguards in pool

Social Media

Potential for bullying.

Potential for grooming of pupil

Exposure to inappropriate  online content

Risk of harm caused by a member of school personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device

·         Mobile use prohibited during the day.

·         Use of electronic devices monitored by teachers, e.g. tablets, laptops and cameras

·         School internet is monitored for inappropriate content and unsuitable content is blocked.

·         In the event of inappropriate content appearing, it  will be logged and reported to internet provider

·         Anti-Bullying Policy supports our Child Safe Guarding Statement

·         Information sessions for pupils, parents and staff.

·         Implementation of Stay Safe Programme.

Withdrawal from class or yard

Potential  for harm of child by child, member of staff or visitor

Risk due to inadequate supervision

Risk of harm in one- to –one teaching

·         Glass panels are installed on doors to learning support room.

·         Parents are informed and provide written consent if children are withdrawn for learning support on a regular basis.

·         Children who need to use the toilet during break are accompanied by another child.


Unhealthy lunch

Insufficient lunch

·         Teacher to monitor children’s lunches and ensure that all children have sufficient quantity of healthy food each day.

·         If child is not provided with lunch, the school phones parent to bring in lunch. If a parent cannot be contacted the Deputy DLP or DLP are informed and the best possible lunch available will be arranged.

·         If insufficient lunch is provided on a regular basis, the class teacher will talk to parent.

·         If this situation does not improve the class teacher informs the  DDLP or DLP

Data protection

Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel circulating information

·         Confidential documents relating to children in the school are stored securely in the school:

o   Hard copies are stored in locked cabinets in the office

o   Soft copies are stored on the online database.

o   Word documents are password protected.

·         Documents are shared with staff on a need to know basis

·         Parental permission for transfer of information (i.e. between school staff, between school and previous/ prospective schools, between school and outside professionals/agencies) is obtained at the beginning of the school year

Children presenting with social. emotional, behavioural or medical needs

Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerabilities

Risk of harm due to inadequate Code of Behaviour

·         Concerns relating to social, emotional, behavioural or medical needs are communicated to parents by phone, at collection time or through formal meetings.

·         Children are provided with additional support in school through the model of Continuum of Support. This may be in the form of in class support or withdrawal from class. Staff discusses concerns and learning targets with parents and formulate a written plan, signed by the parents. Learning targets are regularly revised to track progress.

The school may recommend onward referral

Storage or publication of photos

Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device or other manner

·         Written parental permission to take photos is obtained on enrolment.

·         Class teachers are made aware of any child in his/ her class who does not have permission to be in school photos.

·         Photos taken by staff must be removed from personal devices at the end of the day.

·         A school tablet will be used to take photos for the school website.

·         Children names are not published with photos uploaded to the school website or class blogs.

·         Children are not permitted to use electronic devises unless under the supervision of an adult.

·         Children are not permitted to use camera phones during the school day or school events.

Accidents or injuries

Risk of harm caused by  child and poor maintenance of school grounds

Risk of harm to child while receiving care

·         Accidents and injuries that occur on the premises shall be managed in accordance with the Accident and Injury Policy

·         A copy of this policy will be on the school website

·         Policy will be discussed with staff every year and with parents at Induction day,


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 put 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 onMay 7th 2019.  It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.


Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________


Chairperson, Board of Management


Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________