Cloonakilla N.S. Child Safeguarding Statement

Cloonakilla N.S. 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 Cloonakilla N.S.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 Mary O’Rourke

The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Siobhán Mc Cabe

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.
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 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 this statement.

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.

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.

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 06/03/2018.

Signed: Fr John Deignan Signed: Mary O’Rourke
Chairperson of Board of Management Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

Date: 06/03/2018___________________ Date: 06/03/2018__________________­­­­­­­_

Written Assessment of Risk of Cloonakilla NS

1.List of school activities 2.     The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities –  

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

Daily Arrival – Dismissal of pupil

Recreation Break

One to One teaching

School Tours

School matches

Overnight school trips

School trips

Intimate Care (SEN)

Administration of Medicines/ First Aid


Training of school staff in Child Protection


Management of challenging behaviour among pupils under the school’s Code of


Use of I.T. devices

Swimming lessons

Photographing of children

Use of mobile phones

Potential for harm at arrival dismissal times

Potential for harm at recreation breaks


Care of pupils with intimate care needs

Administration of medicines

Administration of First Aid

Care of pupils with SEN including intimate care needs

Detention of pupils at break times

One-one counselling

Potential for harm/abuse by school personnel

Harm not being properly recognised and promptly reported by school personnel

Potential for abuse by sports coaches/guest speakers

Potential for abuse by visitors/contractors working on site

Challenging behaviour among pupils

Risk of child being harmed by member of staff of another organisation while on school tour

Risk of child being harmed by adult in swimming pool

Risk of Harm due to bullying

Use of off-site facilities for school activities

Risk of harm due to children inappropriately using IT devices including mobile phones in school

Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel communicating with pupils in an inappropriate manner via social media, texting etc.

Risk of harm caused by circulation of school photographs, video, or media events via social media by school personnel and parents/guardians

Arrival/Dismissal Procedure, Pre/After school supervision

Supervision policy, Anti-bullying Policy

Open door policy, Glass in door, SEN Policy

Intimate Care Needs Policy

Training for designated staff members. Administration of medicines policy. Circulation of list of children with medical care needs

First Aid administered by trained staff only

Training for staff, Accident/Injury policy

SEN policy, Intimate Care Needs policy

Supervision policy, Code of behaviour policy

Critical incident Management Policy. Glass in door. Open Door Policy

Vetting procedures, Child Protection Procedures

Stay Safe Programme

Ensure certified training by all staff

Annual review of Child Protection Procedures

Training for DLP & DDLP

Vetting Procedures, All activities conducted under supervision of class teacher

Visitors to school policy

Certified access only

SEN Policy, Code of behaviour, Exit strategy for disruptive pupils

Vetting Procedures, School Tours Policy

Swimming policy, Staff training

Anti-bullying policy, RSE Programme, Stay Safe Programme, Buddy Programme

School Tours policy, Code of behaviour, Procedure for walking to soccer pitch

Acceptable User Policy, Code of behaviour, Mobile Phone policy, Anti-bullying policy

Acceptable User Policy

Acceptable User Policy, Letters to parents

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 the 6th February 2019  It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.

Signed: Fr John Deignan
Chairperson of Board of Management

Signed: Mary O’Rourke   Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

Date: 06/03/2018___________________ Date: 06/03/2018__________________­­­­­­­_

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s review of    the Child Safeguarding Statement

 To: Parents,  

The Board of Management of Cloonakilla NS wishes to inform you that:

The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement was completed at the Board meeting of 25th March 2019.

This review was conducted in accordance with the “Checklist for Review of the Child Safeguarding Statement” published on the Department’s ‘website

Signed ____Fr John Deignan_____________________________ Date __25/03/2019______________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed __Mary O’Rourke ________________________________ Date ___25/03/2018_____________

Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

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Religious Education and Faith Development Policy


The Chairperson of the Board of Management, The Principal and staff have worked collaboratively in drawing up the following policy.

Mission Statement
Our school has a Catholic ethos. This ethos will be maintained at all times with emphasis on religious practice and good living based on the fundamental principle of the love of God and the love of one’s neighbour. Church Choir, prayers and religious preparation of the Sacraments will be observed and we will comply fully with the priests of S.S Peters and Paul in attending and supporting religious events where possible.  While observing the Catholic ethos of the school at all times we will not discriminate in any way against those who do not share our beliefs and every effort will be made to accommodate other religious persuasions. The ethos of the school ordains that equality is at all times maintained.

Religious Education
Religious Education in a Catholic school has two main dimensions:  Religious Knowledge & Faith Development.  The children are led to know about God and to know God.

Faith Development  We carefully plan for the development of the inner life of the child through creativity, imagination, an appreciation of our world and a sense of wonder.


The Programme
The Board of Management and the teachers have adopted the Alive-O Catechetical Programme approved and recommended by the Irish Hierarchy for use in Catholic Schools.
The programme assists our aims in an age-appropriate progression through the school.
There are eight separate programmes presented in a child’s book and a teacher’s manual for the classes from Junior Infants to Sixth class.

The programme incorporates the recommended approach to religious education for the reception of the sacraments of Penance, Holy Communion and Confirmation, which is undertaken by the school in close co-operation with parents and parish.  The programme is studied each day for 20 minutes a day. A Catholic ethos, however, permeates the school day and the life of the school.

Whole School Dimension of Religious Education Programme
As well as the programme, which is taught in each class, there are many aspects of religion, which are undertaken by the whole school together.

The Management and Staff and sometimes the children decide on appropriate and meaningful icons to display throughout the school building. These speak of people, events and ideas with which children can identify or through which they can be led to some new understanding of God.

Prayer & Worship
The school community is given the opportunity to share prayerful reflection and a sense of awe and wonder at the presence of God in daily life.  The major Catholic and local feasts are celebrated in this spirit. They are also marked with the aid of signs and symbols displayed throughout the school.
Advent – the Advent wreath
Christmas – tree and crib,
Feast of St Brigid – traditional crosses,
Feast of St Patrick – depiction of story & shamrock,
Lent – symbols of repentance and ashes,
Easter – symbols of the new life of resurrection, the empty tomb, stations of the cross

Liturgical celebrations are held as follows:
The closing of the school year;
Carol service at Christmas,
Blessing of Ashes,
Times of trauma or crisis,
Retirement Mass
Service of Reconciliation
Participation in Parish activities

And for other occasions which from time to time are considered appropriate to celebrate or to mark. The school participates in and supports justice and peace initiatives e.g. Fairtrade, Bóthar, Trocáire Lenten Campaign
Community Building
We try to ensure that all children feel safe within the school community and feel that they belong; we also aim to ensure that all children understand that each one has the same right to have his/her opinions heard as any other.  A sense of togetherness and solidarity among the school community is fostered through, e.g.  assemblies being held by the Principal to mark Catholic Schools Week  our Green Flag initiative

School Concerts
School Chaplain / Parish Sister address classes as part of Catholic Schools week
Grandparents visit school as part of Catholic Schools Week School Choir sing at 10.30 Mass every month. They also attend Easter ceremonies and other parish celebrations i.e. Holy Thursday, First Holy Communion and Confirmation celebrating achievements of the pupils
celebrating diversity

Religion in Relation to Admission Policy
Subject to the terms of the admission policy children of any faith or of no faith are welcome to this school. Each child is welcome to attend and benefit from the Catholic religious education programme. However, if parents have difficulty with this the Principal shall meet with them to see if an accommodation can be reached.

The school cannot, however, undertake to educate children of other faiths in their own faith, nor can it provide supervision during the religious education period apart from the class.
Where parents agree and see value in it, children who are not Catholic are welcome to participate in the Religious Education Programme and prayer life of the school.
Methodologies used to achieve aims –
Study of the Alive O Cathetical Programme Manual
Interactive learning
Giving the children prayer experiences that are meaningful
Sacramental and non-sacramental liturgies
Vocal prayer.

Success Criteria for the Programme
There is an acknowledged sense of God, Faith, Prayer and Worship within the school community;
There is an ordered community where respect for all is evident at all times;
There is an outward-looking care for the less fortunate in society;
Recognisable links between Parish/Home/School;
Children can speak confidently of their faith.

Responsibility for Implementing this Policy
The Board of Management in consultation with the Principal, all staff and our school chaplain are responsible for facilitating the smooth implementation of the policy. The teachers teach the programme appropriate to their class. All members of staff and all within the school community are expected to actively support the spirit and ethos of the school.

Roles within the General Responsibility
Parents co-operate and support the school in its efforts, especially at times of sacramental preparation and at other school events to which they are invited. They are also asked to help with religious education homework and to read the parts of the Alive-O Programme that are intended for them.
Principal  Takes an active role in encouraging the whole school aspects of the programme and monitors progress throughout the school.  The Principal facilitates the inclusion of Faith Development as a topic for staff and Board meetings
Liaises with the school chaplain in defining the role of the chaplaincy and the parish in the life of the school
Helps to facilitate supportive interaction of all parties in implementing the programme.

Timeframe for Implementation
This policy will be implemented as soon as it is approved by the Board of Management.
Timeframe for Evaluation/Review
It will be evaluated and reviewed one year after implementation and thereafter on a regular basis.
Responsibility for Review
The Board of Management will initiate the review of the policy.
Approval and Communication
The policy is approved by the Board of Management and forwarded to the Trustees. It is available for perusal by the parents.

Teaching the Programme
The content of the programme is set out in each teacher’s manual, which may also be viewed by consulting the Principal. The curriculum is spiral and aims at deepening both knowledge and faith development in each succeeding year. The aim of religious education is to foster and deepen the children’s faith.

Aims of the Programme as laid out in stages for each class group

Junior/ Senior Infants: Introduction to prayer and the story of Jesus
First/ Second Class: Building on Infant Programme & Sacramental preparation.
Third/Fourth Class: Exploring faith development & consolidation of previous work
Fifth/ Sixth Class: Sacramental preparation and looking at Catholic Religion in relation to other religions.

Daily Daily Formal Prayer:
The following formal prayers will be recited every day:
Morning/ Evening Prayers
Grace Before Meals (before lunch)

Copies of the Bible are available for use in the Senior Classes.