Child Protection and Safeguarding Inspections
When does the inspectorate monitor compliance by schools with child protection requirements?
The Inspectorate has a responsibility to monitor how schools are implementing the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017. All schools are obliged to implement the 2017 Procedures in order to ensure that children are safeguarded and protected. The Inspectorate monitors school compliance with the 2017 Procedures in three ways:
- When carrying out short inspections in schools (for example, incidental inspections, follow-through inspections, curriculum evaluations and subject inspections), inspectors check on how schools are implementing three important aspects of the 2017 Procedures. Inspectors report on their findings in relation to those three aspects as part of the school’s inspection report.
- During longer inspections, such as whole-school evaluations and DEIS evaluations, inspectors check on eight key aspects of the 2017 Procedures. Their findings in relation to those key aspects are included in the school’s inspection report.
- Inspectors also carry out in-depth, stand-alone child protection inspections in a number of schools annually. These are called Child Protection and Safeguarding Inspections. Each of these in-depth inspections leads to a published report on how a school is implementing ten central aspects of the 2017 Procedures.
Child Protection and Safeguarding Inspections (CPSI)
Child Protection and Safeguarding Inspections are carried out in primary and post-primary schools, schools attached to special care units and Youthreach Centres. During these inspections, we look in a focused and in-depth way at how school boards and school staff are fulfilling their legal responsibilities in relation to the protection and safeguarding of children as required of them under the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017. In each school selected for a Child Protection and Safeguarding Inspection, two inspections are held – an Initial Child Protection Inspection and a Final Child Protection Inspection. Usually, the inspections take place within four to six weeks of each other. At the end of each inspection we provide verbal feedback to the school and a printed report. The report from each inspection is published simultaneously on our website. The process of conducting an initial and final inspection is designed to promote improvement in the implementation of child protection procedures by schools; it also facilitates the promotion of best practice in school leadership as it relates to child protection.