Child Protection

Child Protection

Child Protection Procedures for Schools  

The Department of Education and Skills circular 0081/2017 (published on 11 December, 2017) informs school management authorities that the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 have been developed and published following an extensive consultation with the education partners.  

The purpose of the procedures is to give clear direction and guidance to school authorities and to school personnel in relation to meeting the statutory obligations under the Children First Act, 2015 and in the continued implementation within the school setting of the best practice guidance set out in the updated Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017. The procedures apply to all recognised primary and post-primary schools and to all members of school personnel.

Circular 0081/2017, the Department’s Child Protection Procedures, Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment template and Child Safeguarding Statement template are available as follows-

The Department has also published the following documents to assist principals and boards of management in relation to the Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report

The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 include-

  • a)  the reporting procedures to be followed by registered teachers in respect of their role as mandated persons, including a requirement to liaise with the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and, where applicable, to submit mandated reports jointly with the DLP to Tusla
  • b)  guidance and direction for schools in relation to meeting their statutory obligations in relation to Child Safeguarding Statements. In that regard, the procedures require that all boards of management use templates published by the Department when preparing, publishing and reviewing their Child Safeguarding Statement.
  • c)  enhanced oversight measures which are aimed at ensuring full compliance by schools with the Children First Act 2015, Children First National Guidance 2017 and with the Department’s requirements as set out in the procedures for schools.  

Children First Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017

On 11 December 2017 the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs commenced the remaining provisions of the Children First Act, 2015. The Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 published on 2 October 2017 also became operational on 11 December 2017.

The Children First Act, 2015 provides for a number of key child protection measures that are relevant to schools, as follows:

  • A requirement on organisations provided services to children, which includes all schools, to keep children safe and to produce a Child Safeguarding Statement;
  • A requirement on defined categories of persons (mandated persons), which includes registered teachers, to report child protection concerns over a defined threshold to the Child and Family Agency (Tusla);
  • A requirement on mandated persons which includes registered teachers, to assist Tusla in the assessment of a child protection risk, if so requested to do so by Tusla.

The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 give direction and guidance to school authorities and to school personnel in relation to meeting the statutory obligations under the Children First Act, 2015 and in the continued implementation within the school setting of the best practice guidance set out in the updated Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.  

Child Protection CPD

Contact

Queries in relation to accessing the continuing professional development (CPD) supports available to schools to support schools in the implementation of the new Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 should be addressed to the Professional Development Service for teachers at:

General queries in relation to child protection CPD supports available to schools should be addressed to the Department’s Teacher Education Section at:

General queries in relation to the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 should be e-mailed to the Department at

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