The following School Policies are in place please click on the heading below to bring you to the policy you wish to read:
Anti-Bullying and Bullying Prevention Policy
Acceptable Use Policy for Internet Use
Code of Behaviour/Discipline
Child Protection Policy
Religious Education and Faith Development Policy
Administration of Medication Policy
Mobile Phone and Electronic Games Policy
Parental Complaints Procedure
Admission and Enrolment Policy
Form for Reporting Bullying
Anti-Bullying and Bullying Prevention Policy
In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the Code of Behaviour Guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Cloonakilla School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying procedures for Primary and Post Primary schools which were published in September 2013.
The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
A positive school culture and climate which:
- Is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
- Encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
- Promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
- Effective leadership;
- A school-wide approach;
- A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
- Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-
- Build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
- Explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including, homophobic bullying.
- Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
- Supports for staff;
- Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
- On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
B: Definition of Bullying
In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:
Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.
C: Types of Bullying
Physical aggression: includes pushing, punching, kicking and other forms of physical assault.
Damage to Property:results in damage to clothing, school books and other school materials, interference or pilfering of personal possessions or schoolbag etc.
Extortion:demands being made for money often accompanied by threats.
Intimidation:Pupils may be intimidated by aggressive body language or tone of voice.
Abusive telephone calls: The abusive, anonymous phone call is a form of intimidation and bullying.
Isolation: The isolation, exclusion, and backlash/ignoring of a victim by a group or individual, often accompanied by a campaign of writing insulting remarks either in the form of notes or graffiti.
Name-calling: Persistent name-calling of a hurtful, insulting or intimidating nature, often referring to physical appearance or academic ability and repeatedly directed at one individual.
Teasing: When good-natured banter extends to personal remarks about appearance, clothing, personal hygiene or involves references of an uncomplimentary nature to members of one’s family, it assumes the form of bullying.
Cyber-bullying: Use of technologies (Text messages, e-mail, picture via mobile phone cameras, chat room bullying and bullying via websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Ask.fm etc).
Homophobic bullying: racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with S.E.N.
D: Effects of Bullying
Children who are bullied may develop feelings of insecurity and extreme anxiety resulting in greater vulnerability. A reluctance to talk about what is happening to them can lead to behavioural changes and lowering of academic performance.
The following are typical examples:
– Reduced ability to concentrate
– Poor or deteriorating school work
– Fear of going to or returning from school
– Loss of confidence and self-esteem
– Aggressive behaviour
It must be kept in mind that these are indicators that the child is experiencing some difficulty in some area of his/her life. They may not have bullying as their cause.
E: Policy aims
In keeping with the philosophy of Cloonakilla School, as stated above, the policy on countering bullying behaviour seeks to raise a greater awareness of bullying among the school community, including teaching staff, ancillary staff, management, parents and children. It aims to help create an ethos and atmosphere within the school whereby bullying of any type is seen as unacceptable behaviour by all including potential perpetrators and victims. It aims to teach children that it is o.k. to tell since Cloonakilla is a “telling school”. It also aims to create a situation whereby bullying behaviour is dealt with effectively and fairly. This response will benefit the victim through the acquisition of skills to counteract bullying behaviour. It will also benefit the bully by helping him/her, through guidance and discussion, to see the anti-social, counter-productive nature of this type of behaviour.
The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
1. Class teacher
2. Principal/Deputy Principal
3. Any teacher who encounters bullying behaviour. Any teacher may act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it.
F. Preventative Strategies
Supervision: School activities will be supervised and monitored at all times, with particular emphasis on those occasions when situations of bullying are more likely to occur, such as assembly time, play-time and dismissal time at the end of the school day.
The Acceptable User Policy outlines the outlines the necessary steps to ensure that access to technology is strictly monitored. Pupils are not permitted to bring mobile phones to school (Please see Mobile Phone Policy).
Commitment:All parties – Board of Management, teaching and ancillary staff, parents, pupils and all other persons in the immediate school community – are to be involved in a programme which informs and activates all in the addressing and prevention of bullying in our school.
Raising Awareness: The following measures will be used to raise awareness of bullying at all levels:
- Stay Safe Programme
- Class Charters
- Class discussions
- R.S.E. Programme
- Teaching children about appropriate use of social media
- Actively involve parents in raising awareness around social medium
- Positive school climate
Education: Whole staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all staff develops an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives and how to respond to it effectively. Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, SNA’s, caretakers, cleaners, bus-drivers etc are encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them.
Parents/Guardians and the wider school community should be made aware of the effects of bullying and how to deal with it.
Disclosure: Children will be encouraged to tell another child, a member of staff or a parent about alleged bullying incidents. The difference between telling about minor, once-off incidents and telling to “stay safe” should be understood by everyone involved. Pupils need to know to tell and how to tell:
- Direct approach to teacher at appropriate time
- Feelings box
- Get a Parent/Guardian to tell on your behalf
- Hand note up to teacher at beginning/end of class
- Encourage a culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.
Class room strategies:
1. The full implementation of the SPHE Curriculum and the RSE and Stay Safe Programmes.
2. In September the Anti-Bullying Theme will form part of the SPHE Curriculum.
A class charter will be drawn up in each classroom by the children in conjunction with the class teacher. This class charter will form part of the Anti Bullying Code for the school and will be displayed in a prominent position within the classroom and in common areas of the school.
3. In November the SPHE curriculum will deal explicitly with cyber-bullying and identity based bullying.
4. Every alternate year pupils will be addressed on cyber bullying and safe internet tips (3rd-6). The B.O.M. feels that the main function of the school with regard to cyber-bullying is to educate the children about same as most cyber-bullying occurs from home.
5. Homophobic bullying will be dealt with it as it arises in an informal manner.
6. Commencing in January the Stay Safe Programme will be taught in a 6 week block to Senior Infants – 6 class. This programme will seek to enhance children’s self-protection skills including their ability to recognise and cope with bullying.
7. The Buddy Programme (September-April) ensures that Junior Infant children are supported by children from the senior classes so that no Junior Infant pupil feels alienated or unhappy in the playground.
8. The school will specifically consider the additional needs of SEN pupils with regard to programme implementation and the development of skills and strategies to enable all pupils to respond appropriately.
9. The following policies also support the Anti Bullying Policy:
- Code of behaviour
- Acceptable User Policy
- Yard duty and Supervision Policy
- Child Protection Policy
- Mobile Phone Policy
- School Tours Policy
Investigation, Follow Up and Recording Strategies
1. Parents/Children must bring concerns over bullying to the relevant class teacher. All reports must be investigated and dealt with in a calm, unemotional fashion by the class teacher. Every effort will be made to resolve the issue quickly. The teacher will use his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved. 2. 2. Teacher will interview both parties separately at first. Sometimes pupils who are not directly involved will be questioned as often they can provide useful, objective information. If a group is involved, each member will be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved will be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member will be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s j i statements.
3. If the teacher deems that bullying has occurred the parents or pupil making the complaint may be asked to complete a bullying report form. Sometimes it is ; helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident. Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and to try and help the school resolve the issue and restore good relations between both parties. (Rather than focussing on apportioning blame).
4. If the teacher deems that bullying behaviour has occurred the parents of the parties involved will be informed of the matter and the actions being taken by the school will be explained to them.
5. Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her that he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and every effort should be made to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied.
6. Following consultation with the parents and pupils a plan of action will be drawn up.
7. The school will give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils.
8. It will also be made clear to all involved that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his/her parents and the school authorities.
9. A follow up meeting will be arranged.
10. All staff must keep a written record of any incidents of bullying witnessed by them or notified to them on the standard Staff Recording Form of Pupil Bullying Incident. It is good practice to inform the Principal of incidents being investigated.
Follow up and Recording:
a) In cases where the teacher considers that bullying behaviour has not been adequately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template and submitted to the School Principal.
b) In some instances the teacher may decide to record and report the bullying incident immediately to the Principal. In this case the Principal and teacher will meet both parties separately and a Behaviour Plan of Action will be drawn up. This programme will seek to restore good relations, to monitor progress, to provide mediation and to restore the self esteem of the victim. This plan will be implemented immediately and monitored at regular intervals that are agreeable to all parties following consultation with parents and pupils concerned.
c) In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately addressed the relevant teacher must take the following factors into account:
- Whether the bullying has ceased
- Whether the issues between the parties has been resolved
- Any feedback from the parties involved
(d) Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred to the school’s complaints procedure or subsequently the Ombudsman for Children.
e) In cases where a school has serious concerns in relation to managing bullying behaviour the advice of the NEPS will be sought.
f) Serious instances of bullying should, in accordance with the Children First and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, be referred to the HSE Children and Family Services and/or Gardaí as appropriate
g) Principal brings report to Board of Management meeting.
h) Once per term the Principal will provide a report to the B.O.M. setting out the overall number of bullying cases reported since the previous meeting (Appendix 3) and confirmation that these issues have been dealt with in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.
G: Prevention of Harassment
The BOM confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified .e.g. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.
H. Policy Monitoring
The effectiveness of this policy will be monitored on an on-going basis and adjustments made as deemed necessary.
I. Ratification and Communication
This policy is to be circulated to:
- All teaching and ancillary staff
- Board of Management members
- All Parents
- Parents Association
Review of Policy
This policy was reviewed in March 2014. It was adopted by the BOM on 10th March 2014. It will be reviewed annually by the B.O.M (Appendix 4) and written notification that the review has been completed will be communicated to parents via newsletter.
Signed: __________________________ Date:__________
Fr John Cullen & Mary O’Rourke
Chairperson of B.O.M.
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Acceptable Use Policy for Internet Use
The aim of the Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources in a safe and effective manner.
Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if our Acceptable Use Policy is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions as outlined will be imposed.
It is envisaged that school and Board of Management Representatives will revise this Policy as necessary.
This version of Acceptable Use Policy was created in May 2007 and revised in 2011.
It was revised again in March 2014 by Mary O’Rourke, Heather McCullagh, Liam Fallon and John Murphy and subsequently ratified by the BOM.
The school will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:
- Internet usage will always be supervised by a teacher.
- Filtering systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
- The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet safety.
- Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.
- Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.
- The connection of any personal devices to the schools internet connection or IT equipment is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, mobile phones, smart phones, tablet devices and all media storage devices.
- Pupils will observe good “netiquette” (etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
- Emerging technologies will be examined for educational benefit and a risk assessment will be carried out before use in school is allowed
- Any personal data recorded will be processed, transferred and made available according to the Data Protection Act 1998
World Wide Web:
- Pupils will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials. It is understood that unwanted or unsuitable material may sometimes be accessed accidentally. In these cases the pupil must immediately stop using the computer and inform the teacher.
- Pupils will use the Internet for Internet educational purposes only Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.
- Pupils will be familiar with copyright issues relating online learning.
- Pupils will never disclose or publicise personal information. Pupils will receive training in the area of internet safety.
- Pupils will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, may be monitored for unusual activity, security or networking management reasons.
- Pupils are prohibited from downloading, uploading, copying or storing copyrighted media files (such as MP3 audio files or video files) of any type.
- Media content websites, like YouTube can only be accessed under the supervision and direction of the teacher.
- Pupils will ask permission before entering any website unless already approved by the teacher.
- Personal social networking contact between pupils and school staff should be strictly avoided during or outside school hours. This includes sending or accepting “Friend” requests.
- School staff may not use the Internet for personal use during school hours, with the exception of break time.
- School staff who connect personal devices such as laptops, mobile phones etc to the school wired or WiFi network must ensure that those devices have adequate anti-virus and security software.
- School staff is strictly forbidden to access inappropriate material on the Internet at any time.
- School staff is prohibited from downloading uploading, copying or storing copyrighted media files (such as MP3 audio files or video files) of any type.
- School Staff are prohibited from running peer-to-peer or other internet content distribution software on school computers./li>
- School staff will be made aware of internet safety issues.
- School staff will not access social networking sites eg.Facebook, Twitter etc during school hours.
- Pupils will use only approved class e-mail accounts under supervision and with permission from a teacher. Email is used for educational purposes only.
- Pupils will not send or receive material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
- Pupils must immediately tell a teacher if they receive offensive e-mail
- The forwarding of chain email is not permitted.
- Pupils will not reveal their own or other pupil’s personal details, such as addresses, telephone numbers or pictures.
- Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone.
- Pupils will note that sending and receiving e-mail attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
Internet –Based Communication
In recent years the Internet has seen the emergence of Internet-based communication systems such as Skype, Viber and Facetime. These systems have huge potential value as educational tools when used under supervision, for example allowing free video communication with classes in other countries.
- Pupils will only use approved Internet Communication accounts under supervision and with permission from a teacher. Internet communication is used for educational purposes only.
- Pupils will set up and use internet communication only under the direct supervision of a staff member.
- Pupils must immediately tell a teacher if, while using such a system, they receive a request for connection from another source.
- Pupils will not reveal their own personal details or the personal details of other pupils in Internet Communication systems.
- Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with anyone in Internet Communication sessions.
- Pupils will note that sending and receiving files during Internet Communication Sessions is subject to permission from their teacher.
- Access to social networking sites or instant messaging services such as Facebook, Twitter, Ask.fm, Snapchat etc is expressly forbidden.
School Web Site:
- Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the School Website.
- The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by the ICT co-ordinator.
- Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.
- Digital photographs, audio or video clips of individual students will not be published on the school web site. Instead photographs, audio and video clips will focus on group activities.
- Personal pupil information including names, home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
- Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.
- The principal will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure that content is accurate and appropriate.
The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet which teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with:
- Child Trafficking and Pornography Bill 1997
- 1993 Interception Act
- Video Recordings Act 1989
- The Data Protection Act 1988
- Antibullying Policy (Cyberbullying)/li>
The school will inform pupils and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.
Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
Cloonakilla NS will educate children on the safe responsible use of the internet. Resources that may be used include:
- NCTE Internet Safety Awareness Video
>Our AUP has been revised in the context of reviewing our Anti-Bullying Policy with particular reference to Cyber Bullying. Each family in the school will be issued with a hard copy of the policy accompanied by
- Letter to parents
- Responsible internet Pupil/Parent Undertaking Form (1 to 6 Class)
These forms will be placed in the child’s file and will be valid for the duration of the child’s time in school unless the principal is directed otherwise by a parent/guardian.
Ratification and Review
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 10 March 2014 and will be reviewed in 2017 unless legislation or circumstances determine otherwise.
Signed: Fr John Cullen Date: 10 March 2014, Chairman, Board of Management
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The Board of Management of Cloonakilla National School acknowledges the position of homework in the life of the school. It sees homework having importance as a link in the chain of communication between school and home. Parents can monitor the progress of their children through continual reference to homework and liaison with teachers. A forum for communication between child and parent. Reinforcing the learning experienced by the child during the school day.
A policy ensures clarity as to the recommended time to be spent on homework. The school encourages the active involvement of parents in enabling their child to take responsibility and work independently. The Homework Policy of the school facilities these ideals.
It is the policy to assign appropriate class-related levels of homework as an important reinforcement in the learning process.
The following are general guidelines of homework to be administered to each class. They may vary from time to time.
Junior Infants: No formal homework but shared reading time, general conversation to develop oral skills and rhymes and games are all strongly recommended. Maths practice (Term 2).
Senior Infants: 0-15 minutes. Reading and writing practice.
First Class: 0-20 minutes. Reading, spellings, maths, tables and writing.
Second Class: 0-30 minutes. English reading, Irish / English spellings, maths and tables.
Third Class: 0-45 minutes.Irish reading, English reading, spellings, tables and computation. Poetry and English written work.
Fourth Class: 0-45 minutes. Irish reading, English reading, spellings, tables and computation. Irish/ English written work.
Fifth Class: One hour. Irish reading, English reading, spellings, written work in English and Irish. Maths. Geography or history (occasionally).
Sixth Class: One hour. Irish reading, English reading, spellings, written work in English and Irish. Maths. Geography or history (occasionally).<
Homework is given from Mondays to Thursdays and generally is not given at weekends unless it has been neglected during the week, or unless in special circumstances such as projects or special assignments. Homework is not linked to behaviour but occasionally children are rewarded with reduced homework if they have worked/behaved well.
The Learning Support Teacher and the Resource Teacher may give homework as a reinforcement of their work.
If homework causes stress or worry to a child, parents are encouraged to convey these anxieties to the class teacher. If homework cannot be completed on a particular night, parents are asked to forward a written note. If homework is not completed, a child may be asked to finish it during break time at school. Parents are advised to supervise and check homework nightly.
The homework policy is open to on-going review and adjustment to accommodate feedback from pupils, parents and teachers. Feedback will be obtained directly from all parties as issues arise, from homework journals and through formal Parent/Teacher Meetings.
Chairman, Board of Management, Cloonakilla N.S.
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Code of Behaviour/Discipline
(a) In devising the code, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. The aim is to create an orderly environment in which pupils can, through developing self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development.
(b) Every effort will be made by all members of staff to develop a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.
I should never leave the school grounds without the permission of the principal.
I should respect myself and my property, always keeping my schoolbag, books and copies in order.
I should show respect for my school and be proud to wear a complete school uniform every day.
I should always be aware of my personal cleanliness.
I should always bring a sensible, nutritious lunch to school. Chewing gum is not permitted.
I should always do my best in school by listening carefully, working as hard as I can and by completing my homework.
Caring for Others:
I should be kind and respectful to teachers and fellow pupils by being mannerly and polite and by taking turns.
I should behave well in class so that my fellow pupils and I can learn.
I should show respect for the property of my fellow pupils, the school building and grounds.
I should be truthful and honest at all times.
Procedures For Dealing With Unacceptable Behaviour:
Reasoning with pupils
Reprimand (includes advice on how to improve)
Prescribed extra work
Communication with parents
Temporary separation from peers and/or loss of privileges
Referral to Principal
Note to parents
Take note of
Suspension/expulsion (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular 7/88)
The degree of misdemeanours will be judged by the teachers and/or Principal based on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of such misdemeanours.
Child Protection Policy
The Board of Management of Cloonakilla N.S. has as its policy that the safety and well-being of children is top priority. If the school personnel have concerns that a child with whom they have contact is being neglected or abused, whether physically, emotionally or sexually, they are obliged to report this concern immediately to the Health Service Executive. It is the policy of the Board that the procedures laid down in the Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures 2011 for Primary and Post Primary in conjunction with Children First will be followed. The policy will also abide by DES guidelines. Ongoing training will be a part of this policy and must be availed of by designated staff members. The legal requirements for the vetting of staff will be complied with in every aspect.
An individual copy of this policy document and other relevant sectors from the Department of Education and Skills Guidelines and Procedures will be made available to all staff.
This policy aims to:
– Create a safe, trusting, responsive and caring environment.
– Provide a personal safety skills education which specifically addresses abuse prevention for all children in the school.
– Develop awareness and responsibility in the area of child protection amongst the whole school community.
– Put in place procedures for good practice to protect all children and staff.
– Ensure that all staff members are aware of and familiar with the ‘Children First’ and the Department of Education and Science guidelines and procedures in relation to reporting concerns and/or disclosures of child abuse.
– Provide for ongoing training in this and related areas for all school staff.
The S.P.H.E. Curriculum under the strand unit ‘Safety and Protective’ (Personal Safety) is the primary resource used in our school to provide education for children on abuse prevention. We also use the R.S.E. Programme & Stay Safe Programme.
All information regarding concerns of possible child abuse should only be shared on a need to know basis in the interests of the child. The D.L.P. who is submitting all information regarding concerns of possible child abuse should only be shared on a need to know basis in the interests of the child. The test is whether or not the person has any legitimate involvement or role in dealing with the issue.
Giving information to those who need to have that information for the protection of a child who may have been or has been abused, is not a breach of confidentiality.
The DLP who is submitting a report to the Health Board or An Garda Síochána should inform a parent/guardian unless doing so is likely to endanger the child or place that child at further risk. A decision not to inform a parent/guardian should be briefly recorded together with the reasons for not doing so.
In emergency situations, where the Health Board cannot be contacted, and the child appears to be at immediate and serious risk, An Garda Síochána should be contacted immediately.
Protection for Persons reporting child abuse
The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998, provides immunity from civil liability to any person who reports child abuse “reasonably and in good faith” to designated officers of Health Boards or any member of An Garda Síochána.
This means that even if a reported suspicion of child abuse proves unfounded, a plaintiff who took an action would have to prove that the reporter had not acted reasonably and in good faith making the report.
The act provides significant protection for employees who report child abuse. These protections cover all employees and all forms of discrimination up to and including dismissal.
Definition & Recognition of Child Abuse
Child abuse can be categorised into four different types.
- emotional abuse
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
A child may be subjected to more than one form of abuse at any given time. Definitions for each of abuse types are detailed in ‘Children First’ – (Dept of Health & Children)) Chapter 3 Sections 3.2 – 3.5 pgs 31 – 33.
All staff (teachers, special needs assistants, ancillary staff, secretarial, caretaking etc.) in this school will follow the recommendations for reporting concerns or disclosures as outlined in ‘Children First’ and the Department of Education and Skills document, ‘Child Protection, Guidelines and Procedures’. If a school employee receives an allegation or has a suspicion that a pupil is being abused, he/she should report the matter to the D.L.P or the D.D.L.P.
The Board of Management of the school has appointed Mary O’Rourke as the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Heather McCullagh as the Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP). The positions of DLP and DDLP will be addressed at the first meeting of each new BOM. The DLP and DDLP will continue to act as such until such time as they are replaced by the BOM.
The Board has drawn up guidelines for staff to assist them in recognising signs of abuse. The following constitute grounds for concern:
- Specific information from the child that he/she was abused.
- An account by a person who saw the child being abused.
- Evidence such as injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse and unlikely to have been caused in any other way.
- An injury or behaviour which is consistent both with abuse and with an innocent explanation but where there are corroborative indicators supporting the concern that it is a case of abuse e.g. a pattern of injuries, an implausible explanation, other indicators of abuse, dysfunctional behaviour.
- A list of child abuse indicators is contained in Appendix 1 “Children First Guidelines”.
The Board advocates that a set of safeguards be employed within the school as follows:
In the interests of child protection, the school will endeavour not to have adults in a situation where they are alone with children. Where possible, learning support and resource teaching personnel will work with groups of children. If working with a single child, it is advised that the room where they work can be viewed from outside i.e. have a glass door.
In the event of a pupil having to be taken home by a teacher, this teacher should be accompanied by another adult or at least two other pupils.
When a member of staff wishes to interview a pupil, it should be done in the presence of another member of staff, or pupil or in a room with the door open.
If a visitor or health worker wishes to see a pupil with the permission of that child’s parent, the same guidelines as for a member of staff apply.
If a phone call is made to a pupil, a teacher should first speak to the caller to ascertain the motive of the call.
If a parent/guardian wishes to have a pupil collected by somebody other than the person who normally collects them, then they should inform the school.
Garda clearance must be obtained for all new staff/ancillary staff member.
The class teacher maintains responsibility at all times when there is a visitor /guest speaker in the classroom.
Internet Use: The Acceptable User Policy must be adhered to at all times.
Swimming Lessons: The accompanying teacher is responsible for ensuring that all children have vacated the swimming pool dressing rooms and entered the pool.
It is the responsibility of the DLP to inform new teachers and ancillary staff of the Child Protection Guidelines.
Handling Disclosures from Children
Where a child discloses alleged abuse to a staff member, the person receiving that information should listen carefully and supportively. Great care must be taken not to abuse the child’s trust. The following advice is offered:
- Listen to the Child.
- Take all disclosures seriously.
- Do not ask leading questions or make suggestions to the child
- Offer reassurances but also not make promises
- Do not stop a child recalling significant events
- Do not over react
- Explain that further help may have to be sought.
- Record the discussion and retain the record as accurately as possible using registered no of child not name.
- Retain the record securely
- Pass the information onto the D.L.P.
- Ask the child to sketch where injuries have occurred on template of human body
- f the suspected abuser is the DLP then the suspicion and any records will be passed on the Chairperson who will then proceed as per guidelines
Role of the D.L.P.
If the D.L.P is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for concern she will report the matter to the Health Authority by phone or in writing. A standardised reporting form may be photocopied from “Children First” – Appendix 8.
She will follow the guideline as set out in “Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures” D.E.S. (Chapter 3)
Confidentiality is of utmost concern in this regard. The DLP who is submitting a report to the Health Board or An Garda Siocháin should inform a parent/guardian unless doing so is likely to endanger the child. A decision not to inform the parents should be recorded. The Chairman of the Board of Management must be informed immediately.
Meetings/ Case Conferences
If a request is made from the HSE for a staff member to attend a case conference the DLP should consult with the Chairperson of the Board of Management. In most cases the DLP will attend but occasionally a staff member may have to attend.
All sensitive information regarding children at risk will be stored in the Principal’s office. Children’s names will not be used. Only their pupil number will be used. Sensitive information will be shared on a need-to-know basis.
The BOM have a responsibility to ensure compliance with the requirements set out in Circular 0063/2010. (See Garda Vetting Policy)
Allegations or Suspicions Re: School Employees
When an allegation of abuse is made against a school employee, the D.L.P. should immediately act in accordance with the procedures outlined in “Child Protection- Practices & Procedures” – Chapter 3.
Review and Monitoring
his policy will be monitored and reviewed by the Board of Management on an annual basis or when the need arises. The Board of Management will ensure that adequate training and support is provided for all staff. At the first staff meeting each year the D.L.P will furnish the staff with a copy of the Child Protection Policy. The attached leaflet will also be distributed which is used for monitoring in the school.
In compliance with Dept of Education and Skills Circulars the names of D.L.P. and D.D.L.P. will be displayed in a prominent position in the school. Each teacher will have a Child Protection Folder visible in their classroom. Sensitive information will not be retained in this folder.
Signed: __________________________ Date: ____________________
Chairman, Board of Management, Cloonakilla National School
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.
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 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.
CONTENT OF THE POLICY
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,
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
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 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
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
Giving the children prayer experiences that are meaningful
Sacramental and non-sacramental liturgies
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
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This draft policy was drawn up by the AED Response Team (Mary O’Rourke, Heather McCullagh & Patricia Cunniffe) in conjunction with the Board of Management of Cloonakilla N.S
The policy was drafted because the school was donated an Automated External Defibrillator (A.E.D.). The defibrillator contains special computer software that can analyse the cardiac rhythm and deliver a shock ONLY if the heart requires it. A “chain of survival” is based on 4 links – Early Access, Early C.P.R., Early Defibrillation and Early Advanced Care. Establishing an A.E.D. Responder Programme can strengthen the first 3 links of the “Chain of Survival” in our school.
Aims & Objectives
1. To provide an A.E.D. Responder Programme in our school
2. To ensure that the A.E.D. is placed in a specific location & that responders are trained in C.P.R. and in the use of the A.E.D.
Roles & Responsibilities
The AED Response Team are Mary O’Rourke, Heather Mc Cullagh and Patricia Cunniffe. They have all received training in the use of C.P.R. and Heartsaver AED by the Irish Heart Foundation Society. All of the above have been accredited with certificates. They are the only members of staff authorised by the B.O.M. to use the A.E.D. Mary O’Rourke is responsible for ensuring that the defibrillator is in proper working order at all times. The A.E.D. is checked on a monthly basis and each check is recorded. A.E.D. parts will be ordered as required from Cardiac Services, Dublin and the cost will be covered by the B.O.M.
In the event of cardiac arrest in a child 8 & over or an adult on school property or in the the immediate vicinity the following procedure will apply:
1. A member of the AED Response Team will be summoned
2. Having assessed the situation a call will be made to emergency services and C.P.R. will commence
3, The AED Response Team Member will proceed with C.P.R. until the A.E.D. arrives. This will then be used until medical help arrives or until the responder is no longer able to continue
4. The AED will be stored at all times on shelf in hall of main school building and will be marked accordingly
5. The above procedure will be used on all children (8 &over)/ adults in the event of cardiac arrest unless parents have indicated to the contrary that they do not wish this procedure to be used (see attached letter)
6. Counselling will be provided for responders to “debrief” after an event by the doctor who is the medical director of the programme. Feedback will also be provided to the responders from the medical director
The A.E.D will be stored in the hall in main school building on shelf. The First Aid Shelf is located in marked press in staffroom. A.E.D. Response Team Member Certificates are filed in Filing Cabinet in staffroom. These are valid for a period of 2 years. However A.E.D. providers will complete an A.E.D. skills check at the start of each school year.
The success of this policy is measured from a set criteria:
Positive feedback from staff, parents, B.O.M.
Positive feedback from medical director
Competent use of C.P.R. and A.E.D. in the event of cardiac arrest by the A.E.D. Response Team
Link to Emergency Services
Emergency No: 112
Ambulance Dispatch Unit Tullamore: 057 9358174 or 057 9358175
Ambulance Station Athlone: 090 6470870
Athlone Hospital No: 090 6475301
Dr Tony Lowry
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Administration of Medication Policy
An Administration of Medication policy has been in existence in the school since 2005.
The policy as outlined was put in place to:
- Safeguard school staff that are willing to administer medication
- Ensure the strictest guidelines and controls are in place and that clear instructions are available to staff
- Protect against possible litigation
Relationship to School Ethos
The school promotes positive home-school contacts, not only in relation to the welfare of children, but in relation to all aspects of school life. This policy is in keeping with the school ethos through the provision of a safe, secure and caring school environment and the furthering of positive home-school links.
Aims of this Policy
The aims and objectives of the policy can be summarised as follows;
- Minimise health risks to children and staff on the school premises
Fulfill the duty of the BoM in relation to Health and Safety requirements
- Provide a framework within which medicines may be administered in cases of emergency or in instances where regularised administration has been agreed with parents/guardians
Parents are required to inform the school through the application form of any medical condition from which their child suffers. This information is updated every September. If a medical condition develops during the school year, the onus is on the parents to inform the school. No teacher is obliged to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil and any teacher willing to do so works under the controlled guidelines outlined below.
Prescribed medicines will only be administered after parents of the pupil concerned have written to the BoM requesting the Board to authorise a member of the teaching staff to do so. Under no circumstance will non-prescribed medicines be either stored in the school or be administered by school staff. The Board will seek indemnity from parents in respect of any liability arising from the administration of medicines.
A teacher may not administer medication without the specific authorization of the Board. The Board of Management will inform the school’s insurers accordingly. Arrangements must be made by the Board for the safe storage of medication. It is the responsibility of the parent to check that the appointed teacher is at school and to make contingency plans in the event of that teacher’s absence from school.
Administration of prescribed and un-prescribed drugs for a temporary illness must be done by a parent visiting the school. It is expected that this will entail no more than one visit per day. In the event of extra doses being necessary it is deemed that the child is unfit for school and should be kept at home. No drugs of this nature will be stored in the school.
Where a child suffers from asthma and is in the need of an inhaler, self administration in the presence of a member of staff may take place. Where a child uses an inhaler on a regular basis, dosage should be arranged, in so far as possible to take place before and after school hours. In the event of a child needing to have access to an inhaler at all times, such an inhaler can be given to the class teacher for safe keeping during the day and returned to the child when going home. The responsibility for levels of use, dosage and administration rests with the child who needs to be trained to do this by the parents.
Parents are responsible for the provision of medication and notification of change of dosage and expiry dates.
In the event of an emergency, teachers should do no more than is necessary and appropriate to relieve extreme distress or prevent further and otherwise irreparable harm. Qualified medical treatment should be secured in emergencies at the earliest opportunity.
Where no qualified medical treatment is available, and circumstances warrant immediate medical attention, designated staff members may take a child into Accident and Emergency without delay if parents have signed consent form. Parents will be contacted simultaneously.
Children who are epileptics, diabetics etc. may have a seizure at any time and teachers must be made aware of symptoms in order to ensure that treatment may be given by appropriate persons.
Teachers who have volunteered and are authorized by BOM to administer medication in these emergencies must be fully informed and updated at regular intervals by parents on medications, conditions under which they are administered and symptoms which warrant treatment.
The school maintains an up to date register of contact details of all parents/guardians including emergency numbers. This is updated in September of each new school year.
First Aid Boxes
A first aid box is kept in the staffroom containing anti-septic wipes, anti-septic bandages, sprays, steri-strips, cotton wool, scissors etc. A full medical kit is taken when children are engaged in out of school activities such as tours, football/hurling games and athletic activities.
We recommend that any child who shows signs of illness should be kept at home; requests from parents to keep their children in at lunch break are not encouraged. A child too sick to play with peers should not be in school.
Roles and Responsibilities
The BOM has overall responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the school policy on Administration of Medication. The Principal is the day to day manager of routines contained in the policy with the assistance of all staff members.
The effectiveness of the school policy in its present form is measured by the following criteria;
- Compliance with Health and Safety legislation
- Maintaining a safe and caring environment for children
- Positive feedback from parents/teachers
Ensuring the primary responsibility for administering remains with parents/guardians
Ratification and Review
This policy was reviewed by the staff & parents association in April 2010. It was presented to the B.O.M. for ratification in June 2010. It will be reviewed in the event of incidents or on the enrolment of child/children with significant medical conditions, but no later than 2013.
The policy has been implemented since 14 February 2005.
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Mobile Phone and Electronic Games Policy
DRAFT POLICY 12/6/2014
The use of mobile phones and other electronic gadgets contravenes the provision of a safe and secure school environment and is not conducive to learning.
Internal School Procedures
The following are the guidelines for mobile phone/electronic games during school hours:
Whilst the Board of Management recognises the benefits of mobile phones in pupil/ parent contact, it does not allow possession of mobile phones by pupils when in school. The Board specifies the facilities/methods available to pupils and parents for such contact. Because of the specific circumstances pertaining in Cloonakilla N.S., it is not deemed necessary for pupils to carry mobile phones when at school. Children come to school by car or bus. A small number of children walk to school accompanied by an adult. Children are collected in a similar manner after school.
Similarly pupils are not allowed to bring electronic games into school as they are intrusive and distracting. In exceptional circumstances such as school tours children are allowed bring mobile phone /electronic gadgets but the child is wholly responsible for the safe keeping of same.
In the event of a child needing to phone a parent during school, as in the case of illness, toilet accident, forgetting lunches or swimming gear, needing change of clothes after fall etc. such a call will be made on the school phone by a teacher or secretary.
If a call by a pupil is of a private nature, his/her privacy will be honoured by the teacher putting the call through on the school phone and then letting the child speak to the parent in a room on his/her own.
If a parent wishes to give an urgent message to his/her child, a teacher will take the message and relay it to the child. If the matter is of a private nature, the pupil will be allowed to speak to the parent personally in exceptional circumstances.
If it should arise that a child travels to school alone and the parent requests that, for safety reasons, the child should be allowed to have a mobile for the journey, such a child will give the phone to his teacher for safe-keeping during school hours. The phone may be retrieved at end of school day.
Staff personal calls are normally confined to break times. Members of staff are permitted mobile phone usage in the classroom only in the case of emergency.
Members of staff are requested to place mobile phone on silent/switch off during class contact time.
Roles and Responsibilities
All staff shares in the coordination and implementation of this policy.
Chairman, Board of Management, Cloonakilla N.S. Date for Review:_______________
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Parental Complaints Procedure
Policy No. 20
Parental Complaints Procedure
This policy was reviewed in December 2012 and November 2013. Below is a copy of the reviewed policy.
The Board of Management of Cloonakilla N.S. have set out the following policy on the procedures for processing complaints by parents to comply with Section 28, Education Act 1998.
The school promotes positive home-school contacts and endeavours to enhance the self-esteem of everyone within the school community. To afford parents the opportunity to express and address opinions and grievances, the Board has set up a framework outlined below. Through use of this framework, it is hoped to minimise the opportunity for conflict.
This policy does not cover:
- Complaints that are being dealt with through legal channels.
- Matters of professional competence which come under the remit of the DES.
- Petty complaints which do not relate to the work of a particular teacher.
If a parent has a concern in relation to the social or academic progress of their child, or the performance of a teacher, the following steps are to be followed:
- Stage 1 – Informal Stage
- The parent/guardian meets with the class teacher on appointment. If the matter is not resolved the class teacher/parent/guardian informs the Principal of the complaint. If the matter remains unresolved the parent/guardian/principal may raise the matter with the chairman of the B.O.M.
- Stage 2 –Written Stage
- If the grievance persists, the parent/guardian may pursue the matter by lodging a complaint in writing to the chairman of the Board who will bring the nature of the complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the issue between both parties within 5 days of receipt of the written complaint.
- Stage 3 – Notify teacher
- If this process fails, the chairman will supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint and arrange a meeting with the teacher concerned and the principal. This will happen within 10 school days of receipt of the written complaint.
- Stage 4 – Notify Board of Management
- If the complain remains unresolved the chairman will report formally to the Board of Management within 10 school days. If the Board does not uphold the complaint, both parties will be informed immediately. If the Board considers that the complaint warrants further investigations, the teacher will be informed and be supplied with any written evidence in support of the complaint.
- Stage 5 – Teacher’s Imput
- The teacher will be requested to supply a written statement to the board and be given an opportunity to make an oral presentation to the Board. The complainant will be offered a similar opportunity. The process should be completed within 10 days of the first meeting between the Chairman, Principal and teacher.
- Stage 6 – BOM Decision
- Within 5 school days, the decision of the Board will be delivered in writing to the teacher and the complainant. This decision is final and binding.
- Signed:____________________________ ______________
- Chairman, Board of Management Cloonakilla N.S. Date
- Date for Review: November 2016
Admission and Enrolment Policy
The Board of Management of Cloonakilla National School hereby sets out its Admission and Enrolment Policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998. The Chairperson of the B.O.M. or the Principal will be happy to clarify any matters arising from this policy. Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the B.O.M.
General School Information
Name of School: Cloonakilla National School
Name of Principal: Mrs Mary O’Rourke
Name of Chairperson BOM: Fr John Deignan
Telephone No: 090 6492569
School Website: www.cloonakillans.com
Class starts at 9.20am and finishes at 3.00pm
Infant classes finish at 2.00pm
Cloonakilla N.S. is a mixed, vertical school (Junior Infants to 6th Class). It is a Catholic School under the patronage of the Bishop of Elphin. While meeting the responsibilities of its Catholic ethos, Cloonakilla N.S. welcomes children of all denominations.
Our school is staffed in accordance with the standard pupil-teacher ratios sanctioned by the D.E.S. and any additional teaching ratios sanctioned by the D.E.S. in respect of special needs. The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department from time to time. The capacity of the school to implement its desired curriculum is dependent on the resources it receives. Consequently, in determining its activities and programme for any school year the school must have due regard to the teaching, management and administrative resources and the accommodation, equipment and funding available to it.
The B.O.M. of Cloonakilla N.S. reserves the right of admission if such admissions contravene D.E.S. guidelines on class size. Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children in our school. No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, gender, traveller status, asylum seeker/refugee status, religious/political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances provided the necessary supports are in place in the school.
While recognising the rights of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management has also responsibility to respect the rights of the existing school community and, in particular, the children already enrolled. This requires balanced judgements which are guided by the principles of natural justice and acting in the best interests of the children.
Assisting the school in such circumstances, the B.O.M. reserves the right to determine the maximum no. of children in each classroom bearing in mind:
- size of/available space in classrooms
- educational needs of children
- multi-grade classes
- presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs
- DES maximum class average directives
- Health & Safety concerns regarding staff and children
- Time of school year
- Enrolment Criteria
A:1 Application for immediate Admission in the current school year.
- Application forms are available from the school secretary.
- Failure to fully complete form and submission of birth certificate will result in refusal to admit the applicant
- Admittance will be dependent upon existing class size
A:2 Junior Infant Enrolment procedures
- Parents may place their child on list by telephoning the school office or calling to the school. The following information must be submitted and recorded in the School Record of Application.
Name and Date of Birth of child:
Name and Contact No of Parent:
- Parents will be contacted by telephone in January to check that they are still interested in formally enrolling in Cloonakilla N.S. They will be then forwarded an information letter, school booklet and application form. This application form must be completed by a date in end of February. The application will be assessed under the enrolment criteria as outlined in this policy and does not confer any further status on that application.
- On receipt of completed application form and required documents as outlined in letter parents will then be supplied with confirmation of enrolment following assessment under the criteria outlined.
- Parents and children are invited to visit the school on a specific date in April. The Principal will address the parents and the children are given an opportunity to familiarise themselves with their new classroom.
N.B. Applications for admission to Junior Infant Classes must be made at the very latest by the end of February of the year in which it is expected that the child will start school.
Enrolment of Children with Special Needs
Parents/guardian(s) are asked on the application form to list, detail and attach any reports/assessments/needs their child has had since the time they were born, or any concerns they may have about their child’s behaviour or needs. If the Board of Management becomes aware in September (or earlier than September) that parent(s) did not disclose fully the needs of their child on the application form or have withheld reports, the child’s admission to the school may be deferred until the BoM has time to assess how the school could meet the needs specified in reports and/or until resources are in place to meet the child’s needs.
A.3: Application for admission in Senior Infants-6th Class
- Application forms are available from the school secretary
- Failure to fully complete form and submit relevant documentation will result in refusal to admit the applicant.
B: Enrolment Criteria
In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment in any given class exceeding the number of places available preceding or during the school year (due to the B.O.M. being unable to provide suitable accommodation, or recruit the required teaching staff), the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment:
- Brothers and sisters (including step-siblings resident at the same address) of children already enrolled or who have attended the school in the past.
- Children living within the Parish whose primary residence is within a 4km distance by road from the school. – priority to oldest
- Children whose home address is closest to the school, outside the 4km radius (as measured by road).– priority to oldest
- In the event of being unable to enrol a child/children from categories a, b or c in a given class at the beginning of the year, or mid-year, such children will receive priority (in order of a, b, c) for the subsequent school year over other children on the class waiting list.
Other pupils are enrolled during the school year if newly resident in the area. They must complete application as outlined above. Pupils wishing to transfer from other National Schools are enrolled subject to the rules governing National Schools, as well as our own enrolment policy and local arrangements with other schools. Pupils who have completed sixth class in another school will not be enrolled in our school.
Children with special needs will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the DES to the Board of Management.
Children enrolled in our school are required to co-operate with and support the school/Board of Management’s Code of Behaviour as well as all the other policies on curriculum, organisation and management. The Board places Parents/Guardians responsible for ensuring their children’s co-operation with said policies in an age-appropriate manner.
The school reserves the right to refuse enrolment to a pupil in exceptional cases. Such an exceptional case could arise where the Board of Management are unable to provide adequate, appropriate education for the needs of the child or in a case where the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, to staff members or to school property.
In accordance with the DES’s rules for National Schools, a child may be suspended.
Only children who have completed the above stages will be guaranteed a place.
A child may not attend or enrol in Cloonakilla National School before his/her fourth birthday. Entry to Junior Infants will not take place during school year in such a way that will entail a child does not spend two full school years in Infants classes prior to progressing to First class.
The Principal must ensure a register of all children attending the school is established and maintained. A record of attendance or non-attendance is maintained for each child registered at the school. Children are required to provide class teacher with written explanation for non-attendance. The National Education Welfare Board is informed if a child has been absent for more than 20 days in the school year.
C: Appeals Procedure
In line with section 29 of the Education Act 1998, parents who are dissatisfied with an enrolment decision may appeal to the Board of Management. This appeal must be addressed in writing to the Chairperson of the Board stating the grounds for the appeal and lodged within ten days of receiving the refusal. Parents, if unhappy with the result of the appeal, may appeal to the Department of Education and Science under section 29 of the Education Act on the official form provided by the Department. An appeal form will be issued by the school to the parents/guardians. This appeal must be lodged within 42 days of receipt of the refusal from the school to enrol.
Transfer to Other Primary Schools
At any time of the year, a parent may transfer his//her child from one school to another, either with the consent of the Minister of Education or when the transfer is made due to a change in the ordinary residence of the child.
The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of all aspects of the policy and review and amend the policy as required. The principal will inform the Board at regular intervals regarding the process of enrolment. Where the Principal refuses admission to any applicant, by the authority delegated to her by the Board in line with this policy, any such refusal must be communicated to the Board at the earliest opportunity.
This policy will be reviewed regularly in the event of changing population trends in the area. The review occured in September 2014.
Signed: Fr. John Cullen__________________ Date: 7/10/2014
Board of Management
Cloonakilla National School