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.

Reporting to TUSLA (Child and Family Agency) using the Tusla Portal:

Since the Child Protection Procedures for Schools were published, Tusla has developed and put in place a secure online Portal for reporting child protection concerns.  This Portal now also allows the reporter to print a copy of the report submitted.

Accordingly, when reporting a concern to TUSLA under these Procedures, the Tusla Portal should be used wherever possible.

After the report has been submitted via the Tusla Portal, a copy of the report must be printed and retained in accordance with the requirements of the Procedures.

Further information in relation to the use of the portal is available at: https://www.tusla.ie/children-first/web-portal/

Note re. Child Protection Oversight Report in the context of board meetings held remotely:

For the duration of the Covid 19 emergency measures, the requirement to provide a Child Protection Oversight Report (CPOR) will not apply to any board meetings held remotely, whether by video conference or teleconference. This is because it is not possible to meet the requirement to provide to board members the specified documentation at the board meeting. The Principal must continue to maintain the relevant data and records for the CPOR which shall be provided at the next face to face meeting of the board. The information and data in that report must reflect cases arising since the previous CPOR was provided to the board.

Supporting Templates/Guidance

The following supporting documents/templates (14 in total) are available for schools to use in implementing the Child Protection Procedures. Some of these templates are mandatory to use and some are optional.

Mandatory Templates

The following supporting documents/templates (14 in total) are available for schools to use in implementing the Child Protection Procedures. Some of these templates are mandatory to use and some are optional.

Schools must use the Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment templates. There are 4 templates:

Mandatory Template 1: Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment Template.

Mandatory Template 1: Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment Template (Landscape version).

This mandatory template 1 is available in portrait or landscape layout. The content of each template is exactly the same and using either version will meet the requirements of the Child Protection Procedures.

Mandatory Template 2: Child Safeguarding Statement Template.

Mandatory Template 3: Checklist for Review of the Child Safeguarding Statement.

Mandatory Template 4: Notification regarding the Board of Management’s review of the Child Safeguarding Statement

Optional Templates and other supporting documents

The Department has developed a number of optional templates that Schools can choose to use:

Optional Template A: Record of how the allegation and/or concern came to be known to the DLP and record of DLP’s phone call seeking advice of Tusla (Sections 5.1.1 and 5.3.3)

Optional Template B: Template statement from DLP to a member of school personnel as to the reasons why a report has not been made to Tusla (Section 5.3.8 of the Procedures)

Optional Template C: Record of DLP informing or not informing a parent/carer that a report concerning his or her child is being made (Section 5.3.6 of the Procedures)

Optional Template D: Template written notification from DLP to a parent where a child protection concern about a member of school personnel has been raised by a parent (Section 5.6.2 of the Procedures)

Optional Template E: Template Check List for preparing the Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report (CPOR)

Optional Template F: Template for recording documents provided to the Board of Management as part of the CPOR

 

In addition, the Department has also developed a number of supporting documents which schools may wish to refer to:

Child Protection Case File Checklist

Guidance note on the use of unique codes or serial numbers

Communications Checklist – Child Safeguarding Statement (Sections 8.11 and 8.13.6 of the Procedures)

FAQs in relation to the Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report (CPOR)

Child Protection and Safeguarding Inspections

The Guide to Child Protection and Safeguarding Inspections is available here.

Information on Child Protection Monitoring by the Inspectorate is available here.

Contact

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