Our Pastoral Care/Child Protection policies have three main purposes:
- To provide education and information for pupils regarding personal safety, health issues (including drugs abuse) and various aspects of personal, social and 'citizenship' education.
- To protect pupils from any threat to either their physical or emotional safety whilst in school.
- To provide structures within school to deal with any issues that arise.
The Children's Order NI (1995) places a duty on the school to always act in the interests of the welfare of the child. We therefore have legally binding procedures to follow if we gain awareness of, or suspect, any form of child abuse including neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Our arrangements seek to maintain the necessary balance between protecting children and respecting the rights of parents, families/carers and members of staff.
Pupils at this school have access to sympathetic and confidential counselling from class teachers and / or other appropriate adults. Pupils are made aware of who they can talk to if they have a problem. Their first point of contact is normally their class teacher. However, there may be occasions when a child would wish to speak to someone else. (For example, a female child may wish to speak to a female teacher.)
As per Child Protection legislation, the school has two designated Child Protection Officers:
- Designated Teacher for Child Protection - Mrs. R. Corbett (Vice Principal)
- Deputy Designated Teacher for Child Protection – Mr R Falls (P4 teacher)
- The Principal will act as Designated Officer for Child Protection in the absence of both Mrs. Corbett and Mr Falls
Children are advised to speak to one of these two teachers if, for any reason, they cannot speak to their own teacher.
If a child makes a disclosure to their teacher, the teacher is duty bound to inform one of the school's Child Protection officers, who in turn will inform the Principal. If a disclosure is made by a child to an adult in the school, it is not possible for the adult to promise not to tell anyone else.
Likewise, if parents have any concerns regarding a Child Protection issue, they can speak to a class teacher, one of the designated officers or directly to the Principal. Alternatively, an approach can be made to the Chairperson of the school's Board of Governors.
The school has very clear procedures for dealing with issues which relate to Child Protection. These include how to deal with 'disclosures', how to counsel children, who to inform, how and when to involve outside agencies (eg, Social Services,) and what records to keep. To view a copy of our policies please contact the Principal.
Our Pastoral Care policies also relate to Health Education, Drugs Education, Road Safety, Personal Safety and Citizenship. Each of these elements are addressed through the curriculum in Both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Again, parents may access full policies on request.
From time to time the school may pursue a particular initiative in relation to one of these areas. If so, or if our policies change significantly, parents will be kept fully informed.