Covid-19 Response Plan

Covid 19 Response Plan

Final

St Oliver Plunkett National School

Alma Place

Carrickbrennan Road

Monkstown

Co. Dublin

August 2020

This is a living document and may be reviewed and amended to take into account new guidance from www.Gov.ie, www.dbei.ie , www.hse.ie, www.hpsc.ie, www.hsa.ie; www.education.ie  or agreements with education partners as appropriate for primary and special schools.

1        Introduction

 

The Board of Management acknowledges the difficulties involved in the opening of the school and wishes to reassure the school community that every effort is being made to make this process as safe as possible. The reopening is underpinned by the following considerations:

  • Safety will be the first consideration at all times. This may mean that education will be challenging at times.
  • Measures will be very restrictive in the beginning but the wish is that new procedures, that will lead to a more enriching environment for everyone, will be introduced over time when it is safe to do so.
  • These measures will only be as strong as the weakest adherence to them. Parents, children and staff are all in a large community together and the safety of each individual will very much depend on the actions of each member of this community. Behaviour outside of school will impact the health of others when in school. Now, more than ever, we will be depending on each other.
  • The community will come before the individual, measures that are introduced may not be to everyone’s taste but, since they are underpinned by the common good, no deviation from them will be allowed. Non-adherence will be considered a disciplinary issue and will be referred immediately to the Board of Management.

This Covid 19 Response Plan has been developed in line with public health advice issued by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) and in compliance with the “Return to Work Safely Protocols” developed by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Health with guidance documents provided by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

It is the intention of The Board of Management of St Oliver Plunkett National School, in accordance with all relevant guidelines, to identify the steps that will be taken to minimise the risk of the introduction of COVID-19 into St Oliver Plunkett NS. It is, however, recognized that no interpersonal activity is without risk of transmission of infection at any time.

In addition to being a place of learning, St Oliver Plunkett NS is also place of work. The purpose of this document is to provide clear and helpful guidance for the prevention, early detection, and control of COVID-19 in school. This document provides key messages to minimise the risk of COVID-19 for staff, pupils, families and the wider community while recognising the importance of education for the health and wellbeing of pupils and society as a whole.

Planning and Preparing for  a Return to School

Before reopening schools for the 2020/21 school year, the management of St Oliver Plunkett NS will have:

  • planned to keep up to date with public health advice, changes to any Government plans for the safe reopening of society and Department of Education updates.
    • planned to pass on this information in a timely manner to staff, pupils, parents and others as required.
    • ensured that staff have reviewed the training materials provided by the Department of Education
    • provided staff with access to the Return to Work (RTW) form
    • identified a Lead Worker representative

We have decided on a team instead of one individual. This Covid Team will consist of the Principal, Deputy Principal and Teacher Representative on the Board of Management. (Angela, Alison and Julie). An SNA will also be selected for this team.

  • displayed posters and other signage to prevent introduction and spread of COVID-19
    • made the necessary changes to the school and classroom layout to support the redesign of classrooms to support physical distancing.
    • organised for the removal of unnecessary clutter to facilitate ongoing cleaning of the school considering the importance of having educational materials to create a stimulating learning environment.
    • updated the health and safety risk assessment
    • made necessary arrangements to limit access to the school to necessary visitors and maintain records of contacts to the school
    • provided induction training.

School profile

63 pupils (33 new)

7 mainstream class teachers

1 administrative principal

5 SNAs

1 Caretaker

1Secretary

1 cleaning company (now 3 hours per day and a commitment that, as far as is possible, the same staff will clean the school every day)

For the purposes of this document the “old” part of the school is Rooms 2 to 5 inclusive and the “new” part is Room 6, 7, the staff room, library and hall. Room 1 and the secretary’s office are in the “extension”

Classes vary in size from 46 sq. metres (Room 3) to 63 sq. metres (Room 7)

There are toilets in rooms 1, 6 and 7. There are sinks in all of the classrooms. There are two toilet blocks with 3 cubicles each on the old corridor and 2 individual toilets located in the hall.

Additional challenges

There is no on-site parking for parents/guardians and very limited and cramped parking for staff. This parking blocks the gate at times.

There is no room for parents who bring their children to school to gather safely outside the school.

There are no dedicated toilets for all classrooms

There is no outside access door in each classroom

The staffroom/kitchen is very small.

The majority of the children travel to school on 4 different bus/taxi routes. The guidelines around safety on school transport is not at all reassuring at this time. This is one of our biggest challenges and the safety of our bus escorts is a priority. Each escort will be provided with PPE and we have decided that children will be obliged to wear masks on the school buses and are watching daily developments on this.

Children will be anxious, parents will be anxious and staff will be too.

Because of the volatility of the national situation, the school will need to prepare for shutdown as soon as it opens.

Assumptions

School will re-open for all NEW pupils on Monday, August 31st, 2020. The school will open for all pupils on Tuesday, September 1st. Both of these days will be ½ days. Normal school hours will resume on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. From September 2nd school will open at 9.00 and close at 2.40.

The School Day

Arrival/Entry into the building

At the moment the official position is to fill the buses as normal with no allowance for social distancing. Obviously, this could/will change.

Bus Escorts have an issue with one bus company as bus hygiene and cleanliness leave a lot to be desired. This is an ongoing issue. The principal has spoken to the school bus inspector about it. The bus company in question have been reminded of their responsibilities and if these is an issue in September, the inspector will be contacted and he will inspect the bus. We will advise parents that the bus may not be up to standard.

It will not be possible for parents/guardians to come on to the school grounds or into the school building at any time of the day.

Children, or parents, were never allowed onto the school grounds before 9.00 and this will remain the case. On no account will anyone be allowed to congregate outside the gates.

All staff will need to be on the premises no later than 8.50. This will be essential to ensure safe entry of all children. Parents are asked to wait at a safe distance outside the school, preferably by parking safely and walking their child to the pavement outside. Social distancing will be essential at this point. No parking will be allowed close to the entry to the lane and this will be strictly enforced. This is to ensure that there is an open space to allow children to enter safely.  There will be no parking before the gate on either side.

The principal and SNAs will meet the children (one by one) and direct them safely to their designated line where their teacher will be waiting. These lines will be stencilled onto the tarmac in line with social distancing. Teachers will wait at the head of the line.

Children will start to be admitted from 9.00am. It is envisaged that this will be very slow at the beginning as it will be important to get it right and because the new children will need extra time. Lines will be clearly marked with “feet” stencils and room number.

Temperatures will not be taken every day but an infrared thermometer has been purchased for use in school.

Children will be brought into the building through the designated doors. They will sanitize their hands before they enter the building.

All staff will wear masks and/or visors. These are, however, useless unless used properly.

Very confused national messaging is coming through on children wearing masks. At the moment, they are not mandatory for our students but can be worn if parents feel that it is safer. Your child will need to be educated in the proper use of a mask, and you will need to provide them. We will have a small store of child-sized masks.

In advance of the school reopening, the Principal, Deputy Principal and chairperson of the BOM will meet with the parents of the children in a Zoom meeting. This document will be available on the school, website from Wednesday, August 26th.

Children will enter the building in the following manner:

Rooms 1 and 2 will enter through the main door

Rooms 3 and 4 will enter through the Red Door.

Room 5 will enter through the yard door.

Room 6 will enter through their fire door

Room 7 will enter through their fire door.

The children will sanitise their hands before entering the building.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing can be usefully applied in primary settings allowing for some flexibility when needed. It must be applied in a practical way.

A clear area around the teacher and SNA desk will be marked to ensure that a 2 m area of social distancing is maintained. Children will not cross this area unless they are invited to do so.

Maintaining physical distancing in the school environment is recommended as one of the key control measures to minimize the risk of the introduction and spread of COVID-19

The DES guidelines recognise that a common-sense approach is needed in our Primary schools. To that end, every effort will be made to limit interactions within classrooms, to limit contact between class groups and to limit the sharing of common facilities.

Staff will maintain a minimum of 1m distance and where possible 2m. They will also take measures to avoid close contact at face to face level such as remaining standing rather than sitting beside/crouching down.

Each class in St Oliver Plunkett has 9 pupils, a teacher and, in 5 classrooms, an SNA. The children and their teacher and SNA constitute a “Bubble”. A Bubble is a grouping which stays apart from other classes as much as possible. The aim of the system within the school is that Bubbles stay together from arrival at school in the morning until the children go home at the end of the day.

It is a requirement from the DOES that all unnecessary clutter and furniture is removed from classrooms to facilitate as much distancing as is possible.

Children will be distanced from each other by at least 1 metre (2 if possible in the size of the room) and the nearest child will be 2 metres from the teacher.

Perspex screens have been provided for all staff.

Doors and windows

Where practical, all internal doors will be left open to minimize hand contact with common surfaces. Doors will be opened before the children enter the building and sanitised after they are in. Doors will be open during the day to ensure that classrooms are well ventilated, Windows will also be kept open as often as possible, and will be opened while children are taking breaks in the playground. All windows will be opened at the end of the day for a period of several hours regardless of the weather.

Cloakrooms and toilets and handwashing

Specific toilets have been assigned to each Bubble. Rooms 1, 6 and 7 have toilets in the class. Whichever toilets are being used, only one child will be in each toilet at a time and children will not be allowed to wait outside these toilets. The outer door will be propped open to minimize hand contact. Children will learn how to sanitize the door handles and the flush handle after using the toilet.

Room 2 will use the upper toilets on the old corridor. The middle cubicle will be locked. The children will not be allowed to wait in the toilet area or in the corridor.

Room 4 will use the toilet block at the end of the old corridor. The children will not be allowed to wait in the toilet or in the corridor.

Room 5 will use the main staff toilet by the staffroom.

The hall toilets will become the staff toilets

Whatever option is chosen, individual hygiene in these toilets will be absolutely critical.

Additional soap dispensers have been installed in the classrooms. Hot water was not deemed to be necessary but it is something we will be considering before the winter months.

Handwashing

There will be 6 formal handwashing times every day*

1 when children enter the class (they will have sanitised but will need to handwash too)*

2 Before eating at little break*

3 After little break*

4 Before eating at big break*

5 After eating at big break*

7 After using the toilet.

8 When hands are dirty

9 Before going home *

The Covid team will monitor this by checking in with classes in the early days.

A formal record of this process will be kept until it becomes a habit.

Parents may wish to send their own sanitiser in for their child. This will be allowed but this sanitiser must be in a spill proof bottle and must not be shared with other children.

Breaktimes

The DES guidelines state that the risk of transmission from contact with outside surfaces or play areas is low.

There will be 2 “big” and 2 “little” breaks in September, small break 1 will be from 10.50 to 11.00 (children eat from 10 35 -10 45) and small break 2 will be from 11.05 to 11.15 (children will eat from 10 50 to 11.00). Big break 1 will be from 12.30 to 1.00 and break 2 from 1.05 to 1.35. Rooms 1, 3 5 and 7 will go out together and Rooms 2, 4 and 6. This is to facilitate lining up in that yard. These can be rotated (i.e. the classes can go out on early break for a while and then go out on later break) but the classes groupings will not be changing. It will be important to keep this manageable and we can tweak it over time. The children will not mix on yard as each Bubble will have an area in the yard and that area will be rotated every few weeks. The children will go out and back in to class through the doors that they entered the school except for rooms 4 and 5 who will return through the yard door.

In September there will be no equipment of any kind in the yard but it is envisaged that, once the children are used to their very new routines, we could slowly introduce a sanitizing system so that some equipment, such as footballs, could be used.

The playground will be used (on a rota and by one Bubble only) on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is to allow the equipment time to self-sanitize as cleaning it properly would be impossible.

On very wet days SNAs can supervise a maximum of five rooms at breaktime, and could keep an eye on one class next door if needed. The class can be left 100% seated with a movie only and the door open. Children will be going outside unless the weather is truly awful.

Lunches

Parents must make sure that children bring their lunches to school as they will not be allowed to drop them in during the school day.  Children will not be allowed to share their food or drinks with other children. Children will eat their lunches at their desks, as per our usual practice. They will be encouraged to eat directly from their lunchbox rather than placing items on the table.

Parents will be encouraged to sanitise the lunchbox each evening.

Books, copies, pencils etc

Children will not bring these to school as they will be in the classroom for them and all items will be kept separate in baskets or cubicles.

Pupils will be encouraged to avoid behaviours that involve hand to mouth contact (putting pens/pencils in the mouth).

Uniforms/Tracksuits

There is no guidance or advice to say that school uniforms or tracksuits should be washed every day and this may not be practical for most families. However, parents will be asked to ensure that uniforms are washed more often than usual and if they are not dry there will be no issue if they wear ordinary clothes to school.

We will request that children have a set of waterproof clothing that they leave in school since they will be going out every day unless the weather is extreme.

Parents have been requested to provide warm clothes for their children since the school will be a lot cooler than normal.

Parents will be advised that school clothes should be taken off straight after the child arrives home from school for the day. They should not be worn for after-school facilities, shops, during after-school activities, etc.

It is not envisaged that the children will be able to hang their coats near each other so some of them will need to be kept on the back of the chairs until we get around to sorting more hooks. Coats will stay in the classrooms.

Parents will be encouraged to send in shoes with no laces, lunchboxes and flasks that can be opened by the child and coats that are easy to tie.

Curriculum

As a staff, we are very aware that the children have been away from school since March 12th. Half of our children are new to our school. School habits have been lost and a new, strict routine will be very tiring and challenging after being at home for months. We appreciate the time and effort that went into home learning, and we recognise the challenges that it presented for all families but we are also aware that the task of settling the children into school cannot be underestimated. A large amount of patience, kindness and understanding will be needed from everyone. It is likely to be most difficult for the children entering their second year as the change will be quite dramatic for them.

The DOES have suggested that all emphasis should be on Literacy, Numeracy, PE and SPHE for the first term of the school year.

Because we will be preparing for shut down from the day we open, and we could lose children and staff to self-isolation at any time, we will be working on as much blended learning as possible so that the children can continue on easily at home.

Literacy/Numeracy

Some of the children will need to be tested in Literacy as there was some turnover of children over the summer and we do not have a starting literacy level for some of the new children. There is a possibility that there will be more of a discrepancy than normal in the literacy levels of the children in each class. Children will not be regrouped for Maths this year.

Shared textbooks will need to be wiped with antiseptic wipes after use. Any concrete maths materials that are used will need to be sanitised after use.

We will explore the use of Bug Club for structured reading in school and at home.

We will explore an online Maths learning programme that the children can continue on with when/if we shut down again.

SPHE

Anxiety could be a very large issue in the children so it is envisaged that there will be a lot of work needed with the children on this. The introduction of all the protocols including regular handwashing, lining up and limited social interaction in the classes will take an enormous amount of time.

There are lovely materials available through NEPS “Returning to School after Covid 19 Closure”.

PE

Children are encouraged to be out in the air as often as possible, especially in the better months of the term. The school garden needs loads of work! Loads of exercise (in each individual Bubble, will be wonderful)

Children will not go swimming for the foreseeable future. Mini Movers will be cancelled. We will explore this later in the year.

Homework

It is envisaged that there will be no homework for at least the first month. This is because the children will not be encouraged to bring anything (other than a lunchbox and a coat) between school and home.

Notes will not be sent home, homework journals will not be used and parents will be communicated with by e mail.

Art

Where possible pupils will be encouraged to have their own individual art and equipment supplies.

Other activities

For the moment there should be no group art projects, no cooking or activities that involve the children working closely together. Children cannot share equipment in the classroom for the start of the school year until we get a tight system in place.

There will be no physical assembly of the children and staff but the idea of a virtual assembly will be explored.

Photocopying.

Any staff member who uses the photocopier should clean it down after use with the wipes provided. Only one person at a time in the photocopying room.

Laptops

There should not be used at the start of the year but we will consider safety around them, and their eventual use, later in the term.

Substitute Teachers/SNAs

A copy of the Covid-19 Response Plan will be provided to each substitute teacher/SNA. Substitutes will be required to complete a Return to the Workplace form before they enter a classroom and will be asked to confirm that they have engaged in online Induction training.

A list of available substitutes has been created. These will all need to be garda vetted.

All SNAs will be replaced for all absences.

The Deputy Principal is allowed 16 release days. These are substitutable.

Physical Education and P.E. Equipment

Physical Education lessons will take place outside when the weather allows. The hall cannot be used.

Staff members and pupils may take additional breaks outside during the school day.

Exiting the school

This will be entry to the school in reverse. Children will be brought to their line and supervised by their teacher. They will slowly be released out the gate (both sides will be open)

Since this will be a slower process than normal, pupils will gather in their lines from 2.30 and will be released over a period of time. We may even have to start a bit earlier for the first few days but when we get it going it will be faster.

All staff will be asked to fully vacate the building by 3.30pm to facilitate full ventilation and cleaning of the building. This will be recorded by the Covid team.

Cleaners will not start enter to start work until staff are gone home. This is because the cleaning staff may have been in other work environments before coming to the school.

Staff (some general points)

Because our children come from a wide catchment area and a lot travel to school on school transport, school staff will be required to wear a mask and an optional visor.

Online training videos have been sent to staff. These are mandatory viewing.

The staffroom and hall will be available to staff but no more than 4 can be seated at any one time. Remember that a distance of 2 meters is recommended for adults. The tables will be turned sideways so someone can sit at each end.

Anyone that wants a kettle for their room is urged to buy one and the cost will be refunded by the Board of Management.

No one will be allowed to use the crockery or cutlery in the staffroom (for the moment) as all staff must provide their own and bring them home to be cleaned.

The dishwasher will not be in use.

Staff CANNOT visit each other’s classrooms at any time for any reason.

All staff will be offered the flu vaccine.

A box of basic PPE and other equipment will be provided for staff before school starts.

Staff will be asked NOT to bring home any school material with them, that included children’s work.

It will be suggested that, if possible, staff have a type of “uniform” for the school day and to change straight after arriving home.

Staff should maintain a distance of 2 meters at all times especially when arriving at and leaving work.

Gloves are available for staff but should be used carefully and should never be a substitute for hand washing.

Staff Responsibilities

Staff have a statutory obligation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues and other parties. The cooperation and assistance of all staff is essential to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 and to protect health and safety as far as possible within the school. All staff have a key role to play. In this regard and in order to facilitate a safe return to work, these duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adhere to the School COVID-19 Response Plan and the control measures

outlined.

  • Complete the RTW form before they return to work.
    • Must inform the principal if there are any other circumstances relating to COVID19, not included in the form, which may need to be disclosed to facilitate their safe return to the workplace.
    • Must complete COVID-19 Induction Training and any other training required prior to their return to school.
    • Must be aware of, and adhere to, good hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices.
    • Coordinate and work with their colleagues to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
    • Make themselves aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and monitor their own wellbeing.
    • Self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they display any symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Not return to or attend school if they have symptoms of COVID-19 under any circumstances.
    • If they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 whilst within the school facility, they will adhere to the procedure outlined above.
    • Please note:
      · After entering the school, a person must use the hand sanitiser placed at
      the front door.
      · On leaving the building, staff must use wipes to wipe down the handle and are to use elbows to push open and close the door.
      · Used wipes to be placed in a special bin inside the door.
      · All staff must adhere to social distancing rules- keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people.
      · If returning equipment to a staff member said equipment should be wiped down before handover.
      · Staff are advised to remain in their own rooms to carry out any work they wish to. Movement throughout the school is to be kept to a minimum.
      · Doors are to remain open at all times so that you do not touch door handles. Windows should also be opened to allow ventilation.
      · Only four staff are allowed in the staffroom at any one time.
      · While in the staffroom staff should use their own cup and cutlery. They
      are to bring these home to wahs
      · Staff are to use hand sanitisers before using any equipment or touching
      any handles etc.
      · Staff are to wipe down their eating area with sanitiser.
      · Staff must maintain the two meter distance if you are queueing up to use the hot water/fridge or microwave etc.
      · Maintain distance if using the photocopier. Each person must wipe it down
      with sanitiser after using.
      As part of social distancing there is a ‘no handshaking policy’
      · avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose
      or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface.

Meetings

All large meetings will take place remotely but some smaller meetings (among staff) may be facilitatedin the school.

All meetings with people other than staff will be done remotely for the moment.

Children will not travel through the school for any reason other than going in and out and going to the toilet.

Parents will be encouraged to e mail Janette with queries rather than clogging up the phone.

Signage

St Oliver Plunkett NS will display signage, ordered specifically, with age appropriate key health messages outlining the signs and symptoms of COVID- 19 and to support good hand and respiratory hygiene.

St Oliver Plunkett NS will display the posters in prominent areas such as offices, corridors, staffroom area, classrooms and toilets.

Health and Safety Risk Assessment

COVID-19 represents a hazard in the context of health and safety in the school environment.  Members of the Board of St Oliver Plunkett NS will conduct a full risk assessment before the school opens and any necessary changes will be made before August 31st.

First Aid/Emergency Procedure

The standard First Aid/emergency procedure shall continue to apply in schools. Physical distancing may be very difficult to maintain at this time so goggles and aprons have been purchased to ensure safety. These can be used by staff at any time.

First aid supplies will be redistributed so that there is a small supply in each room and each individual teacher/SNA is responsible for their own Bubble. This will limit possible cross contamination.

Control Measures – To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools

Access to School/Contact Log and Communication

Access to the school building will be in line with agreed school procedures.

Visitors will be restricted to essential purposes only and will be limited to those who have obtained prior approval from the principal or deputy principal.

The Department of Education Inspectorate may also need to visit schools to support them as appropriate in the implementation of public health advice relating to creating a safe learning and working environment

The prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a crucial step in restricting the spread of the virus and protecting the health and safety of the individuals themselves and other staff, contractors and visitors at the workplace. A detailed sign in/sign out log of those entering the school facilities will be maintained. The school will maintain a log of staff and pupil contacts. This is a vital step in the control of the virus.

One of the key messages to manage the risks of COVID-19 is to do everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school. If infection is not introduced it cannot be spread. The risk of spreading the infection once introduced exists in all interpersonal interactions; student-student, teacher-teacher and teacher-student and must be managed in all settings for all.

How to Minimise the Risk of Introduction of COVID-19 into Schools:

  • Probably the most important point is that staff will now have a responsibility to behave in accordance with the national regulations while not in work. Any setting that is deemed to be unsafe carries a risk of infecting an entire school community.
  • Staff and pupils that have symptoms must not attend school, must phone their doctor and to follow HSE guidance on self-isolation.
    • Staff and pupils must not attend school if they have been identified by the HSE as a contact for person with COVID-19 and must follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement;
    • A child who has allergies, or a condition with symptoms that may be similar to Covid 19, will have to have a doctor’s note explaining these symptoms and advice on how to recognise the symptoms of Covid 19 should they arise.
    • Staff and pupils that develop symptoms at school must bring this to the attention of a member of the Covid team immediately.
    • A protocol for managing a suspected case of COVID-19 in in place for the school. Put simply, a child will be escorted to the isolation room (library) and will be collected as soon as possible. Staff will contact their doctor and isolate themselves in the school immediately.
    • Everyone entering the school building needs to perform hand hygiene with a hand sanitizer. They will then be encouraged to sanitise before leaving.
    • Staff are requested NOT to leave the school during the school day for any reason other than an emergency.
    • Visitors to the school during the day will be by prior arrangement and will be received at a specific contact point;
    • Physical distancing (of 2m) will be maintained between staff and visitors where possible.
    • There will be no volunteers, work placements, visiting sports coaches, music teachers, school trips, visiting authors or other visitors until further notice. We will however, explore the reintroduction of as many of these vital parts of school life as soon as possible. So much will depend on the success of our initial procedures and, of course, the evolving nationwide picture.
    • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. Children will need to be taught this clearly and explicitly. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and safely into a nearby bin.
    • Staff and pupils will understand why hand hygiene is important as well as when and how to wash their hands. The school will promote good hygiene and display posters throughout the schools on how to wash your hands. The following should be explicitly taught to the children.  https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/how-to-wash-your-hands.html

·         Staff will need to Know the Symptoms of COVID-19 and children will need to be taught them. They are

  • High temperature
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • Loss of smell, of taste or distortion of taste

Hygiene and Cleaning in Schools

The school will be cleaned for 3 hours every day. Cleaning will be focus on the sanitation of frequently touched surfaces – door handles, hand rails, chairs/arm rests, communal eating areas, sink and toilet facilities.

All staff will have access to cleaning products and will be required to maintain cleanliness of their own personal work area. These cleaning products and PPE will be stored in the Principal’s office.

Staff will be required to thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day.

A hygiene committee, with a child from each class, will be formed.

Children will need to be shown how to clean their own desk area every day. They will also need to learn to sweep up as all the official cleaning time will be focused on disinfecting and sterilization of common areas.

The “dirty” bins will be covered bins and will be emptied every day. Recycling bins will be treated as normal.

 

 

Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19

Staff or pupils will not attend school if displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. The following outlines how a school will deal with a suspected case that may arise in a school setting.

The designated isolation area is the school library in the school building If a staff member/pupil displays symptoms of COVID-19 while at school the following are the procedures to be implemented

  • If the person with the suspected case is a pupil, the parents/guardians will be contacted immediately.
  • Parents will have given a written assurance that an adult will be available to collect their child immediately.
  • A procedure will be in place to accompany the individual to the designated isolation area via the isolation route, keeping at least 2m away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2m from the symptomatic person at all times. Once the parent arrives to the gate the child will be escorted to the gate to be brought home. They will exit by their usual route.
  • Nobody will stay in the isolation with the person who is deemed to be at risk.
  • If it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2m a staff member caring for a pupil will wear a face covering or mask/goggles and an apron.
  • A mask will be provided for the person presenting with symptoms. He/she will wear the mask at all times.
  • No medical decisions will be made by staff. Symptoms means that the HSE will be contacted, the individual will be isolated and will exit the building as soon as possible.
  • Parents will be informed that there will have to be someone available to come and collect their child as soon as they are notified.
  • The individual will avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Advice will be given to the person presenting with symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided.
  • Public transport of any kind will not be used;
  • If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a Covid-19 suspect.
  • Careful records will need to be kept of each isolation incident.
  • The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE will be followed and staff and pupil confidentiality is essential at all times.
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting rooms where a pupil/staff member with suspected COVID- 19 was present. The room will be cleaned as soon as practicably possible. Once the room is vacated the room will not be reused until it has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry.

 

Special Educational Needs

Additional considerations for those with Special Educational Needs that are relevant to our cohort of children.

  • The focus will be on emphasising that parents/guardians who notice signs, symptoms or changes which suggests illness/COVID-19 infection and where symptoms are present, their children will not attend school.
  • Children who are unable to wash their hands by themselves will be assisted to clean their hands using soap and water or a hand sanitizer (if their hands are visibly clean) as outlined previously.

COVID-19 related Absence Management

The management of a COVID-19 related absence will be managed in line with agreed procedures with the Department of Education. All absences will be entered on the OLCS system

Substitute cover will be provided for 1 EPV day to be taken in the first term. No decision has been made about the other 2 days. It is generally agreed that no more than 3 days will be possible this year. There is also a suggestion that those who have 5 days can carry 2 over into 21/22.

Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme

The Department recognises the need for school staff wellbeing and collective self- care. Support for school staff wellbeing will be provided by Department Support Services including the PDST and CSL, as well as by the HSE’s Health Promotion Team. An Occupational Health Strategy is in place as a supportive resource for staff in schools. The aim of the Occupational Health Strategy is to promote the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace, with a strong focus on prevention. The Occupational Health Strategy comprises the Employee Assistance Service and the Occupational Health Service. The Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is provided by Spectrum Life under the logo of ‘Wellbeing Together: Folláinne Le Chéile’.

As part of the services provided by Spectrum Life a Mental Health Promotion Manager is available to develop and deliver evidence based mental health and wellbeing initiatives to reduce stigma and improve mental health literacy and to increase engagement with the service. They will also be providing a series of webinars and presentations to promote staff wellbeing in schools as schools reopen and during the upcoming school year.

APPENDIX 1

Lead Worker Representative

The COVID-19 Return to Work Safely Protocol provides for the appointment of a Lead Worker Representative (LWR) in each workplace. The LWR will work in collaboration with the employer to assist in the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID -19 and monitor adherence to those measures and to be involved in communicating the health advice around COVID-19 in the workplace.

The purpose of this section is to set out the provisions in respect of the LWR in schools. The operation of these arrangements will be kept under review by the parties.

This document should be read in conjunction with:

 the COVID-19 Return to Work Safely Protocol;

 the Guidance and FAQs for Public Service Employers during COVID-19;

 COVID-19 Response Plan for Primary and Special Schools (available on the Department of Education website).

Collaborative Approach

Responsibility for the development and implementation of the COVID-19 Response Plan and the associated control measures lies primarily with the Board of Management/ Education and Training Board and school management.

Strong communication and a shared collaborative approach is key to protecting against the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and looking after the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and students. Adherence to the Return to Work Protocol will only be achieved if everyone has a shared responsibility in implementing the measures contained within the Protocol in their place of work.

If a staff member has any concerns or observations in relation to the COVID-19 Response Plan, control measures or the adherence to such measures by staff, students or others, they should contact the LWR who will engage with school management.

Role of the Lead Worker Representative/Covid 19 Response Team

In summary, the role of the LWR is to:

• Represent all staff in the workplace regardless of role, and be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts;

• Work collaboratively with school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19;

• Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice;

• In conjunction with school management, promote good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice;

• Assist school management with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace in line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;

• In conjunction with school management, monitor adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19;

• Conduct regular reviews of safety measures;

• Report any issues of concern immediately to school management and keep records of such issues and actions taken to rectify them;

• Consult with the school management on the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan in the event of someone developing COVID-19 while in school including the location of an isolation area and a safe route to that area;

• Following any incident assess with the school management any follow up action that is required;

• Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace;

• Make representations to school management on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.

What can a Lead Worker Representative Do?

The LWR may consult with, and make representations to, school management on any issue of concern in relation to COVID-19. These include issues in relation to:

 Cleaning protocols and their implementation

 Physical Distancing

 Implementation of one-way systems in the school to ensure social distancing including when entering and exiting the school

 Hand Hygiene facilities including their location and whether they are stocked and maintained

 Hand sanitising

 Staff awareness around hand hygiene in the school

 Respiratory hygiene

 Personal Protective Equipment

 At Risk Groups

 Visitors/Contractors

Lead Worker Representative

Every school will appoint one Lead Worker Representative.

Deputy Lead Worker Representative/ Assistant Lead Worker Representative

In schools with less than 30 staff, a Deputy Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Deputy LWR will be to deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent.

In schools with 30 or more staff and in all Special schools, an Assistant Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Assistant LWR will be to:

 assist the LWR in their duties as set out above; and

 deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent

Selection of Lead Worker Representative/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR

The school staff are entitled to select staff members for the LWR, Deputy LWR and Assistant LWR positions as appropriate. The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR represents all staff in the workplace regardless of role and must be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts. In this regard, if a teacher is selected for the role of LWR, then the Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR should be selected from the non-teaching staff where feasible and vice versa.

The process for the selection and appointment of the LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR as appropriate should be arrived at by consultation and consensus at school level, through the seeking of volunteers to act in that capacity. Where there is more than one volunteer, all school staff should vote to select the LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR.

The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR will, following selection by the school staff, be formally appointed by the employer. LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR will be required

In summary, the role of the LWR is to:

 Represent all staff in the workplace regardless of role, and be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts;

 Work collaboratively with school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19;

 Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice;

 In conjunction with school management, promote good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice;

 Assist school management with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace in line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;

 In conjunction with school management, monitor adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19;

 Conduct regular reviews of safety measures;

 Report any issues of concern immediately to school management and keep records of such issues and actions taken to rectify them;

 Consult with the school management on the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan in the event of someone developing COVID-19 while in school including the location of an isolation area and a safe route to that area;

 Following any incident, assess with the school management any follow up action that is required;

 Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace;

 Make representations to school management on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.

Every school will appoint one Lead Worker Representative.

In schools with less than 30 staff, a Deputy Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Deputy LWR will be to deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent.

In schools with 30 or more staff and in all Special schools, an Assistant Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Assistant LWR will be to:

 assist the LWR in their duties as set out above; and

 deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent

Supports for the Lead Worker Representative/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR

The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR shall be entitled to:

 Receive information and training in respect of their role [further detail to be provided];

 Be consulted by school management on the control measures being put in place by the school to minimise the risk of being exposed to COVID-19;

 Regular communication with school management on issues related to COVID-19;

 Be informed of changes in practice arising from COVID-19 response measures;

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is a teacher (including a postholder), the 10 Croke Park hours which can currently be used for planning on other than a whole school basis will be utilised by the LWR and Assistant LWR to carry out their duties in that role.

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is an SNA, 10 of the “72 hours” will be utilised by the LWR and Assistant LWR to carry out their duties in that role.

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is a Secretary or Caretaker, a re-prioritisation of duties by school management should be carried out to afford the staff member sufficient time to carry out their duties in that role.

8. Procedure for dealing with issues that arise

Where an issue of concern is identified by the LWR (or is notified to the LWR by a staff member), the LWR should bring this to the attention of the Principal. Action points for addressing the issue should where possible be agreed between the LWR and the Principal. Staff should be informed of the outcome.

If agreement cannot be reached, the LWR may notify the Board of Management (Chairperson of the BoM in the first instance)/ Education and Training Board head office of the issue. Action points for addressing the issue should where possible be agreed between the LWR and the BoM/ETB head office. Staff should be informed of the outcome.

Glossary of Terms

COVID-19 Response Plan: plan designed to support the staff and BOM/ ETB in putting measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the school environment. The plan details the policies and practices necessary for a school to meet the Return to Work Safely Protocol, the Department of Education plan for school reopening and to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the school environment. COVID-19 Response Plans for Primary and Special Schools are available on the Department’s website.

Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF): the forum for high level dialogue between Government, Trade Union and Employer representatives on matters of strategic national importance – involves the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Government & Employers.

Return to Work Protocol: national protocol designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Safety Representative: Section 25 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 sets out the selection and role of the Safety Representative in the workplace. The rights of the Safety Representative are set out in legislation. (Note: A Safety Representative has rights and not duties under the 2005 Act). This role is separate to the LWR under COVID-19.

Checklist Lead Worker Representative

1. Have you agreed with your school to act as a Lead worker representative for your school? (

2. Have you been provided with information and training in relation to the role of lead worker representative?

3. Are you keeping up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from Government?

4. Are you aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

5. Do you know how the virus is spread?

6. Do you know how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

7. Have you watched and do you understand the online Induction Training provided by the Department of Education before returning to school?

8. Are you helping in keeping your fellow workers up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from Government?

9. Have you completed the COVID-19 return-to-work form and given it to your school? (

10. Are you aware of the control measures your school has put in place to minimise the risk of you and others being exposed to COVID-19?

11. Did your school consult with you when putting control measures in place?  

12. Have you a means of regular communication with the person with overall responsibility for the school COVID-19 plan?

13. Are you co-operating with your school to make sure these control measures are maintained?

14. Have you familiarised yourself with the cleaning requirements needed to help prevent cross contamination?

15. Have you been asked to walk around and check that the control measures are in place and are being maintained?

16. Are you reporting immediately to the person with overall responsibility for the school COVID-19 plan any problems, areas of non-compliance or defects that you see?

17. Are you keeping a record of any problems, areas of non-compliance or defects and what action was taken to remedy the issue?

18. Are you familiar with what to do in the event of someone developing the symptoms of COVID-19 while at school?

19. Are you co-operating with your school in identifying an isolation area and a safe route to that area?

20. Are you helping in the management of someone developing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school?

21. Once the affected person has left the school, are you helping in assessing what follow-up action is needed?

22. Are you helping in maintaining the contact log?

23. Have you been made aware of any changes to the emergency plans or first aid procedures for your school?

24. Are you making yourself available to fellow staff to listen to any COVID-19 control concerns or suggestions they may have?

25. Are you raising those control concerns or suggestions with your school and feeding back the response to the worker who raised the issue?

26. Are you aware of the availability of the Spectrum Life Wellbeing Together Programme?

APPENDIX 2

Arrangements for people who are diagnosed who have symptoms of Covid 19

Bring the person to the designated isolation area available in each school;

 Arrangements to contact parents/guardians in the event of a suspected case in a pupil/student;

 Facilitate the person remaining in isolation if they cannot go home immediately;

 Supporting the making of arrangements for transport home or if they are too unwell to go home to contact 999 or 112 to advise it is a COVID-19 suspected case;

 Carrying out an assessment of the incident to determine follow up actions; and

 Arrangements for the appropriate cleaning of the isolation and work areas.

 inform any staff/parents or students who come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process;

 contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made; and

 advise on the appropriate action, on a case-by-case basis, that should be taken vis-à-vis the operation of the school.

Appendix 3

Checklist for dealing with a suspected case of COVID-19

Staff members will be required to manage a suspected case in line with the protocol and training.

A nominated member of the school management team will be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the protocol to deal with suspected cases have been adhered to.

Isolation Area

1. Have you identified a place that can be used as an isolation area, preferably with a door that can close?

2. The isolation area does not have to be a separate room but if it is not a room it should be 2m away from others in the room.

3. Is the isolation area accessible, including to staff and pupils with disabilities?

4. Is the route to the isolation area accessible?

5. Have you a contingency plan for dealing with more than one suspected case of COVID-19?

6. Are the following available in the isolation area(s)

Masks

Gloves

Tissues

Disinfectant wipes

Bin

Waste bags

Isolating a Person

7. Are procedures in place to accompany the infected person to the isolation area, along the isolation route with physical distancing from them?

8. Are staff familiar with this procedure?

9. Have others been advised to maintain a distance of at least 2m from the affected person at all times?

10. Is there a disposable mask to wear for the affected person while in the common area and when exiting the building?

Arranging for the affected person to leave the school

11. Staff – have you established by asking them if the staff members feel well enough to travel home?

12. Pupil – have you immediately contacted their parents/guardians and arranged for them to collect their pupil? Under no circumstances can a pupil use public or school transport to travel home if they are a suspected case of COVID-19.

13. The affected person should be advised to avoid touching other people, surfaces and objects.

14. The affected person been advised to cover their mouth and nose with disposable tissue(s) when they cough or sneeze, and to put the tissue in the bin.

15. Has transport home or to an assessment centre been arranged if the affected person has been directed to go there by their GP?

16. Has the affected person been advised not to go to their GP’s surgery or any pharmacy or hospital?

17. Has the affected person been advised they must not use public transport?

18. Has the affected person been advised to continue wearing the face mask until the reach home?

Follow up

19. Have you carried out an assessment of the incident to identify any follow-up actions needed?

20. Are you available to provide advice and assistance if contacted by the HSE?

Cleaning

21. Have you taken the isolation area out-of-use until cleaned and disinfected?

22. Have you made arrangements to clean and disinfect any classroom space where the staff or pupils were located?

23. Have you arranged for cleaning and disinfection of the isolation area and any other areas involved, as soon as practical after the affected person has left the building?

24. Have the cleaners been trained in dealing with contaminated areas and supplied with the appropriate PPE? (It is intended to provide online training for cleaning staff. Appropriate PPE will be available to schools through the national procurement process which schools can access before reopening).

APPENDIX 4

Checklist for School Management

Composite Checklist for Schools

This checklist supports planning and preparation, control measures and induction needed to support a safe return to school for pupils, staff, parents and others.

For completion by the agreed person with overall responsibility of managing the implementation of the COVID-19 Response plan in line with the supports as agreed with Department of Education.

Planning and Systems

1. Is there a system in place to keep up to date with the latest advice from Government and Department of Education, to ensure that advice is made available in a timely manner to staff and pupils and to adjust your plans and procedures in line with that advice?

2. Have you prepared a school COVID-19 response plan and made it available to staff and pupils?

3. Have you a system in place to provide staff and pupils with information and guidance on the measures that have been put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus and what is expected of them?

4. Have you displayed the COVID-19 posters in suitable locations highlighting the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

5. Have you told staff of the purpose of the COVID-19 contact log?

6. Have you a COVID-19 contact log in place to support HSE tracing efforts if required?

7. Have you informed staff on the measures and provided a system for them to raise issues or concerns and to have them responded to?

8. Have you reviewed and updated risk assessments in line with DES advice to take account of any controls to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

9. Have you updated emergency plans, if necessary to take account of the COVID-19 response plan?

Staff

10. Have you made available to each staff member a COVID-19 return-to-work form to be completed and returned 3 days before they return to the workplace? (Template attached)

11. Are you aware of staff members who are at very high risk under the HSE guidance on people most at risk (HSE guidance on people most at-risk) and advised them of the DES agreed arrangements for management of those staff?

12. Have you advised staff and pupils they must stay at home if sick or if they have any symptoms of COVID-19?

13. Have you told staff and pupils what to do and what to expect if they start to develop symptoms of COVID-19 in school, including where the isolation area is?

14. Have you advised staff of the availability of the supports of the occupational health and wellbeing programme through Spectrum Life?

15. Has a lead worker representative been identified (in line with the process agreed with the DES and education partners) and detailed at Section 4.3 of this plan to help advise staff and to monitor compliance with COVID-19 control measures in the school and taken measures to ensure all staff know who the representative is?

Training and Induction

16. Have you advised staff to view the Department of Education’s training materials which are available online?

17. Have you taken the necessary steps to update your school induction / familiarisation training to include any additional information relating to COVID-19 for your school?

18. Have first aiders, if available, been given updated training on infection prevention and control re: hand hygiene and use of PPE as appropriate? (It is intended that training will be provided as part of the Department’s online training programme).

Buildings / Equipment

19. If you have mechanical ventilation does it need cleaning or maintenance before the school reopens?

20. Does your water system need flushing at outlets following low usage to prevent Legionnaire’s Disease?

21. Have you visually checked, or had someone check, all equipment in the school for signs of deterioration or damage before being used again?

22. Have you arranged for the school, including all equipment, desks, benches, doors and frequent touched surfaces points, to be cleaned before reopening?

Control Measures in place

Hand / respiratory hygiene

23. Have you accessed supplies of hand sanitisers and any necessary PPE equipment in line with the interim HPSC health guidance relating to the reopening of schools, from the national framework provided by the Department? (RFI published and framework available from early August).

24. Are there hand washing/hand sanitising stations in place to accommodate staff, pupils and visitors adhering to hand hygiene measures in accordance with Department guidance?

25. Have arrangements been made for staff and pupils to have regular access to hand-washing/hand sanitising facilities as appropriate?

26. Are hand sanitisers easily available and accessible for all staff, pupils and visitors – e.g. in each classroom and at entry and exit points to school buildings?

27. Have you made arrangements to ensure hand hygiene facilities are regularly checked and well-stocked?

28. Does the alcohol-based hand sanitiser have at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient?

29. Have you informed staff about the importance of hand washing?

30. Have you arranged for staff to view how to wash their hands (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds) and dry them correctly through the use of the HSE video resource?

31. Have you shown staff and pupils how to use hand sanitiser correctly and where hand-sanitising stations are located?

32. Have you displayed posters on how to wash hands correctly in appropriate locations?

33. Have you told staff and pupils when they need to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser? This includes:

before and after eating and preparing food

after coughing or sneezing

after using the toilet

where hands are dirty

before and after wearing gloves

before and after being on public transport

before leaving home

when arriving/leaving the school /other sites

after touching potentially contaminated surfaces

if in contact with someone displaying any COVID-19 symptoms

34. Has you told staff and pupils of the importance of good respiratory measures to limit the spread of the virus?

avoid touching the face, eyes, nose and mouth

cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue

dispose of tissues in a covered bin

Physical Distancing:

35. Have you identified all available school space to be used to maximise physical distancing?

36. Have you reviewed the templates provided by the Department of Education which show options for revised layout of school rooms to meet physical distancing requirements?

37. Have you arranged to revise the layout of the rooms and furniture as per the Department guidelines if necessary?

38. Have you arranged in each room that the teacher’s desk should be at least 1m and where possible 2m away from pupil desks?

39. Have you arranged in each room that pupils would be at least 1m away from each other?

40. Have you allocated work stations consistently to the same staff and children rather than having spaces that are shared?

41. Have you structured pupils and their teachers into Class Bubbles (i.e. a class grouping which stays apart from other classes as much as possible) and discrete groups or “Pods” within those class bubbles to the extent that this is practical?

42. If you have divided a class into Pods, have you arranged at least 1m distance between individual Pods within the class bubble and between individuals in the pod, whenever possible?

43. Have you taken steps to limit contact and sharing of common facilities between people in different Class Bubbles (and Pods within those class bubbles) as much as possible?

44. Have you arranged Pod sizes to be as small as it is likely to be reasonably practical in the specific classroom context?

45. Have you arranged to the greatest extent possible for pupils and teaching staff to be consistently in the same Class Bubbles acknowledging that this will not be possible at all times?

46. Have you arranged where possible that different class bubbles to have separate breaks and meal times or separate areas at break or meal times?

47. Have you made arrangements to limit interaction on arrival and departure from school and in other shared areas?

48. Have you encouraged walking or cycling to school as much as possible?

49. Have you made arrangements, in so far as practicable, to open additional access points to school to reduce congestion?

50. Can you provide a one system for entering and exiting the school, where practical?

51. Have you arranged for staff meetings to be held remotely or in small groups or in large spaces to facilitate physical distancing?

52. Have you a system to regularly remind staff and pupils to maintain physical distancing

53. Have you advised staff not to shake hands and to avoid any physical contact?

Visitors to Schools

54. Have you identified the activities that involve interacting with essential visitors to the school, made arrangements to minimise the number of such visitors and put in place measures to prevent physical contact, as far as possible?

55. Are there arrangements in place to inform essential visitors to the school of the measures to help prevent the spread of infection?

56. Have you a system in place for all visitors who do need to come to the school to make appointment, arrange to contact a central point and to record their visit using the contact tracing log?

APPENDIX 5

Contact Tracing Log Name of School School Contact Person
Address of School For Queries only: Phone No
Email
Name of Visitor Was the visit pre-arranged?  Yes o No o
Date of Visit __ __ / __ __ /________ Time entry/exit school   Exit from School __________ am o pm o
Visitor Status Contractor  Parent/Guardian  Other o Please complete: _______________________________________
Contact details of visitor Company Name (if applicable)
Address
Contact No. Email Address
Reason for Visit/Who visited and length of time.
 
   

 

APPENDIX 6

Checklist for Cleaning

1. Have you a system in place for checking and keeping up to date with the latest public health advice from Government and the Department of Education, to ensure that advice is made available in a timely manner in order to adjust your cleaning procedures in line with that advice?

2. Have you reviewed the HPSC interim health advice for the safe reopening of schools, in particular Section 5.6 Environmental Hygiene?

3. Have you explained the need for the enhanced cleaning regime to staff?

4. Are you aware that cleaning is best achieved using a general purpose detergent and warm water, clean cloths, mops and the mechanical action of wiping and cleaning, following by rinsing and drying?

5. Have you sufficient cleaning materials in place to support the enhanced cleaning regime?

6. Have you provided training for cleaning staff on the enhanced cleaning regime?

7. Have you made arrangements for the regular and safe emptying of bins?

8. Are you familiar with the cleaning options for school settings set out in the interim HPSC health advice for schools for surfaces, toilets, cleaning equipment, PPE and waste management?

9. Are you aware that each school setting should be cleaned once per day?

10. Have you provided cleaning materials to staff so that they can clean their own desk or immediate workspace?

11. Have you advised staff that they are responsible for cleaning personal items that have been brought to work and are likely to be handled at work or during breaks (for example, mobile phone and laptops) and to avoid leaving them down on communal surfaces or they will need to clean the surface after the personal item is removed?

12. Have you advised staff and pupils to avoid sharing items such as cups, bottles, cutlery, and pens?

13. Have you put in place a written cleaning schedule to be made available to cleaning staff including:

Items and areas to be cleaned

Frequency of cleaning

Materials to be used

Equipment to be used?

14. Details of how to clean following a suspected case of COVID-19 are at Section 7 of the Plan above

15. If disinfection of contaminated surfaces is required, is a system in place to do this following cleaning?

16. If cleaning staff have been instructed to wear gloves when cleaning are they aware of the need to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, both before and after wearing gloves?

17. Have you a system in place for the disposable of cleaning cloths and used wipes in a rubbish bag? Current HSE guidance recommends waste such as cleaning waste, tissues etc. from a person suspected of having COVID-19 should be double bagged and stored in a secure area for 72 hours before being presented for general waste collection.

18. Have you ensured there is a system in place to make sure reusable cleaning equipment including mop heads and non-disposable cloths are clean before re-use?

19. Have you ensured there is a system in place to ensure that equipment such as buckets are emptied and cleaned with a fresh solution of disinfectant before re-use?

APPENDIX 7

Protocol for the return to work

Before returning to the workplace, the staff must complete *a pre-return to
workplace form *at least 3 days in advance of the return.
This form seeks confirmation that each staff member, to the best of their
knowledge,
– has no symptoms of COVID-19,
-that the staff member is not self-isolating,
or is not awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
If a staff member answers “Yes” to any of them, you are strongly advised to
follow the medical advice
Sample Return to School Form
Do you have symptoms of cough, fever, high temperature, sore throat, runny
nose, breathlessness or flu like symptoms now or in the past 14 days? Yes/No
Have you been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in
the last 14 days? Yes/No
Are you a close contact of a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of
COVID-19 in the past 14 days (i.e. less than 2m for more than 15 minutes accumulative in 1 day)? Yes/No
Have you been advised by a doctor to self-isolate at this time? Yes/No
Are there are any other circumstances relating to COVID-19, not included in
the form, which may need to be disclosed to allow their safe return to work.
Please complete and return the pre-return to work form before you return to
the school.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you are advised to seek medical advice
and to stay out of work
until all symptoms have cleared following self-isolation.
Signed:  __________________
APPENDIX 8

Safety on the buses

Observing hygiene requirements will be a key priority and clear communication to all parents of children or to older students using school transport services will set out the following requirements for those travelling on school transport:

 Not to use school transport if they are displaying symptoms.

 To maintain physical distancing while waiting for transport.

 To always sit in pre-assigned seating and next to a sibling or child from their class group (this should be the same child at all times).

 To use hand sanitizer on boarding the bus.

 To observe respiratory etiquette at all times while waiting for and on-board transport services.

 To disembark the bus one by one in an orderly fashion; and

 With the exception of those children who for medical or special educational needs reasons are not in a position to wear a facemask or face covering, all other students travelling on the post-primary scheme are required to wear facemasks while waiting for and on-board transport services.

With regard to SEN Transport services, these health guidelines will also apply. Funding supports will be made available to schools for the provision of masks or visors to School Bus Escorts where required, bearing in mind the SEN needs of the child/children on the service, and where physical distancing cannot be maintained. These will be accessible to schools through the drawdown framework described earlier.

Bus Éireann, in consultation with the Department, is providing information and guidance for their own employees and to contractors contracted to operate on the School Transport Scheme to advise them of:

• Sanitisation and additional cleaning requirements.

• Use of Personal Protective Equipment for school transport staff.

• Measures to take if a child on a service becomes ill or is displaying symptoms while travelling.

• Return to work safely protocols.

Appendix 9

St Oliver Plunkett National School COVID-19 Policy Statement

St Oliver Plunkett National School is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:

  • continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff
    • provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie
    • display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand- washing techniques
    • agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan
    • inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
    • adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education
    • keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
    • ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education
    • implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school
    • provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time
    • implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice

All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback from staff is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.

This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s)/Covid team, who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.

Signed:                                                                        Date_____________________

Child safeguarding risk assessment

Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment

(of any potential harm)

There is a definition of “HARM” at the end of this document.

FINAL Document

List of School Activities   The School has   identified the following Risk of Harm   The School has the following Procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessment
Training of school personnel in Child Protection matters   Harm not recognised or reported promptly Staff being unaware of procedures New staff untrained Child Safeguarding Statement reviewed by all staff & DES procedures made available to all staff   DLP& DDLP to attend PDST face to face training   All Staff will view Túsla training module & any other online training offered by PDST. All new staff will be required to view this module and produce the required certificate.   BOM minutes record all records of staff and BOM training   The Child Protection Policy is put into the Welcome Pack which is given to all new staff. This Welcome Pack is kept on the table in each class for casual substitutes.
One to one teaching   Harm by school personnel Glass in window in most areas.   The photocopying room cannot be used for testing until there is a new door, with glass, fitted.   Art work sometimes blocks the doors but there will always have to be some glass free.
School toilet areas   Inappropriate behaviour   Ensure that there is only one child at a time in the bathroom.   Children change costumes in class under supervision
Curricular Provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay safe.   Non-teaching of same School implements SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe in full. This implementation needs to be reflected in the Cuntas Miosiul.
Care of children with special needs, including intimate care needs   Harm by school personnel Policy on intimate care   An individual staff member will never be alone if intimate care is needed.
Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils   Harm from older pupils, unknown adults on the playground Arrival and dismissal supervised by Principal and Teachers.   Children have to be collected by their parents, in person, before they can leave the premises.     Children cannot come inside the gate before the principal collects the children in the morning.   Staff cars cannot be moved before the buses have gone.   Each teacher is responsible for getting their own classes onto the buses safely.   The children who are being collected have to wait, inside the school gates, until the teacher is back from the buses and can dismiss them safely.
Sports Coaches   Harm to pupils Policy & Procedures in place   The sports coach will not be left alone with the children.    All sports personnel are Garda vetted
Students participating in work experience   Harm by student Being with children in an unsupervised capacity Will not be left alone with the children   We will not take children under 16 on work experience unless they are Garda Vetted by their school.   Fully compliant with Garda Vetting   Child Safeguarding Statement.
Recreation breaks for pupils   Unauthorised adults on yard Staff not vigilant enough Children on our Open Day who are not aware of the yard rules. Adequate supervision and locked school doors.   Adults on Supervision must not use their mobile phones.   Gates are not locked because of the need for emergency service access.   Staff need to spread out around the entire yard.   Gates to go in at both sides of school to minimise risk of unauthorised adults accessing the yard.
Classroom teaching   Harm by school personnel All personnel are Garda Vetted.   All personnel have been trained in new legislation.   All personnel are aware of the Child Safety Statement and have been involved in the creation of the Risk assessment.
Outdoor teaching activities     Meeting a stranger on school grounds Children are supervised at all times.
Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils.     Injury to pupils and staff Health & Safety Policy   Code Of Behaviour   This will need review depending on the children that are enrolled. It is not something that arises very often.
After school activities     Unauthorised people gaining access to the premises. Unknown people collecting the children. Door is to be kept secure during after school activities.   Children will not be released to unknown and unidentified adults.   The parents should have the phone number of the adult running the class.   The adult in charge will not leave until all the children are collected.
School outings     Children coming in contact with strangers Children being left behind Supervision for toilet breaks. Learning about stranger danger.   Children to be in sight and counted.   Children never left “lagging” behind. There should be one adult at the end of the line and one at the start of the line.   Cross checking numbers of children during the outing.   SNA will not be left alone with a child, who may be ill, on outings.   School Tours Policy
Administration of Medicine Administration of First Aid     Children will not be alone with an adult during the administration of medicine. Children gaining access to medicine Administration of medicine policy.   Each individual child has a medical procedure and indemnity document. All medicines are in a locked cabinet
Door bell ringing when secretary is not there.   Children allowing unknown adults into the school. Children must never answer the door, even when they know and trust the adult.
Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum (Visitors to the school)     Children alone with adult visitors to the school Children will never be left alone with any visitors to the school. This is especially important when there is a talk/exhibition in the hall.   These visitors will always be accompanied by a vetted member of staff.   The children cannot stay behind to chat without an adult present.
Annual Sports Day     Big opportunity for unknown adults to be on the school premises. Children will be supervised by school staff at all times.   Children will not stay behind to “tidy up” without a member of school staff being present and the children being in sight at all times.
Fundraising events involving pupils     Opportunity for unknown adults to be on the school premises. Children to be supervised at all times.   There will be a designated adult in each area, for each activity, especially on charity day.   We have designated entry and exit points for members of the public and these are supervised.
School transport arrangements including use of bus escorts       Unauthorised people collecting the children at bus stops. No one to collect children at the bus stop Children are escorted on and off the buses.   There is a bus escort on each bus and they are fully Garda Vetted and have been trained in Child Protection.   See also arrival and dismissal section of this document.   Parents remain in contact with Bus Escort by text. Children will not be released to unauthorised adults.
Use of off-site facilities for school activities (Swimming)     Visiting the toilet   Adults in the changing area while the children are changing (This, unfortunately, cannot be changed.) Children need to inform a member of staff when they are going to use the toilet and they need to be supervised. 2 adults will go to the toilet area when each child needs to be supervised OR 2 adults will stay in the changing area for the duration of the lesson.   Boys will use the disabled toilet as it is a self-contained unit and can be supervised from outside by staff.  
Management of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint where required     Danger to staff and other children In the future, we will revisit our policies and make any changes that may be necessary.   Behaviour Policy
Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe     The only danger would be if these subjects are not being taught properly and thoroughly. Monitoring of these subjects through the Cuntas Miosiul.
Recruitment of school personnel including – TeachersSNA’sCaretaker/Secretary/CleanersSports coachesExternal Tutors/Guest Speakers Volunteers/Parents in school activitiesVisitors/contractors present in school during school hours Visitors/contractors present during after school activities     Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff   Staff to view Tusla training module & any other online training offered by PDST   Vetting Procedures   Policy on Parents / Volunteers   Policy on Visiting Contractors
Use of video/photography/other media to record school events     Material appearing in inappropriate places Media policy
Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school     Bullying and access of inappropriate content ICT policy   Anti-Bullying Policy   Code of Behaviour
Application of sanctions under the school’s Code of Behaviour including detention of pupils, confiscation of phones etc.     Children being left in classrooms to complete work   Children being left in corridor to complete work   Unsupervised detention Code of Behaviour to be carefully followed   Reminder: Children are not kept in at break times as a sanction

Important Note:  It should be noted that risk in the context of this risk assessment is the risk of  “harm” as defined in the Children First Act 2015 and not general health and safety risk.  The definition of harm is set out in Chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary  Schools 2017 Harm is defined under 4 categories:

1 NEGLECT “When you know, believe, or have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child’s needs have been neglected, are being neglected, or are at risk of being neglected to the point where the child’s health, development or welfare have been, or are being seriously affected, or are likely to be seriously affected.”

2 EMOTIONAL ABUSE/ILL TREATEMENT “When you know, believe, or have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child has been, is being, or is at risk of being ill-treated to the point where the child’s health, development or welfare have been, or are being seriously affected, or are likely to be seriously affected.”

3 PHYSICAL ABUSE “When you know, believe, or have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child has been, is being, or is at risk of being assaulted to the point where the child’s health, development or welfare have been, or are being seriously affected, or are likely to be seriously affected.”

4 SEXUAL ABUSE All concerns about sexual abuse must be reported.

In undertaking this risk assessment, the board of management has endeavoured to identify as far as possible the risks of harm that are relevant to this school and to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to manage all risks identified.  While it is not possible to foresee and remove all risk of harm, the school has in place the procedures listed in this risk assessment to manage and reduce risk to the greatest possible extent.

This risk assessment has been completed by the Board of Management on April 26th 2018. It will be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

Child safeguarding statement

 Child Safeguarding Statement March 2019

St Oliver Plunkett National School is a primary school providing special primary education to pupils from Second/Third Class to Sixth Class

In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of St Oliver Plunkett NS has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

  1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for primary and post-primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement.
  • The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is the Principal, Angela Power

The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is the Deputy Principal, Alison Cooney

  • The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. The school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare.  The school will:
  1. recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations
    1. fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children
    1. fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
    1. adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect
    1. develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and
    1. fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters

The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.

  • The following procedures/measures are in place:
  1. In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website  
    1. In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website
    1. In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary instruction and training to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school:
      1. Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
      1. Requests that all staff sign a letter to say that they have read the statement.
      1. Ensures all new staff  are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement and that they have signed a letter confirming same.
      1. Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
      1. Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
      1. The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training.
  • In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015
    • In this school, the Board has appointed the above named DLP as the ‘relevant person’ (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the school’s child safeguarding statement.
  • All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015
  • In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures. This statement is reviewed by all staff at least once a year see point no. 9).
  • The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school

Note:  The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management shall also include in this section such other procedures/measures that are of relevance to the school in question 

  • This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association (if any) and the patron.  It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.
  • This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers

This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on

Signed: _________________________                     Signed: _________________________

Chairperson of BoM                                             Principal/Secretary to the BoM

      Date:     ________________________                      Date:    __________________­­­­­­­_______

Date of Review March 2020

Anti-Bullying Policy

ANTI- BULLYING POLICY

This school policy should be read in conjunction with the Code of Behaviour and Discipline for St. Oliver Plunkett School.

Objectives and Aims

In devising this policy consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of St. Oliver Plunkett special school. The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.

The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences. It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour in St Oliver Plunkett School requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co operation among staff and between staff pupils and parents.

All pupils are made aware that bullying or aggressive behaviour towards another child or group of children is unacceptable and that ‘bullying’ behaviour is considered a serious misbehaviour and will be dealt with accordingly.

Pupils are encouraged to see the school as a caring environment and that they too have a combined responsibility to other pupils to maintain the school as a safe place. This may involve reporting incidents of aggressive behaviour to teacher or adult in charge.

Teachers will take reports of bullying seriously and investigate incidents where it is considered necessary. A teacher will report instances of serious misbehaviour to the Principal while at the same time keeping a written record of all such instances.

Pupils should be informed when instances of serious misbehaviour on their part are being recorded. Parents should be kept fully informed from the outset.

Agreed definition of bullying

Bullying is destructive behaviour It is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against others. Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while not to be tolerated, should not be described as bullying. Only inappropriate aggressive behaviour which is systematic and ongoing is regarded as bullying.

Mona O ‘Moore 1998

 St. Oliver Plunkett School is guided by the following principles when dealing with reported instances of bullying.

  • Teachers will keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of the improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils.
  • Before resorting to serious sanctions e.g. suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised (see also Code of Behaviour and Discipline).
  • Parents will be involved at an early stage rather than as a last resort.
  • Communication with parents will be verbal or by letter depending on circumstances
  • In the case of repeated aggressive behaviour or bullying, the parents of both parties involved will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case.
  • For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension will be considered
  • In this situation the parents will be requested in writing to attend the school to meet the Chairperson and Principal teacher. If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in and acceptable manner in the future the pupil may have to be suspended for a temporary period.

Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130(5) of the Rules for National schools.

Reporting and Recording incidents of Bullying in St. Oliver Plunkett School

  1. If parents have concerns about their child being bullied they should inform the class teacher
  1. All reports of bullying either from parents or Staff members should be recorded. The teacher will investigate and act appropriately. If the teacher suspects that bullying occurred the Principal/Deputy Principal should be informed.
  1. All instances of bullying which have been reported to the Principal are recorded in a designated book kept in the office. This record includes dates, details of the incident(s) and action taken.
  1. Parents of those involved should be notified and given an opportunity to discuss the matter by the Teacher
  1. It will be made clear that children reporting incidents of bullying are acting responsibly.

Follow up

A record will be kept of how the matter was handled and the outcome. When the children move to their second year in the school, the succeeding teacher will be informed of any problems that existed.

Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying in St. Oliver Plunkett school

  • Incidents will be investigated outside of the classroom situation
  • Teachers will speak separately to the children involved
  • A calm unemotional problem solving approach will be used at all times
  • Members of a group will be met separately and as a group
  • Parents will be informed where it has been determined that bullying has occurred
  • Teacher will check with the child/parents of the child bullied later to check that no further difficulties have arisen

Bullying by Adults

In the case of intra-staff bullying, St Oliver Plunkett National School will adopt the procedures outlined in Section C (c2) of the INTO booklet: ‘Working Together: Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations’.  A copy of this document is available for free download on the INTO website.

In the case of Teacher – Child bullying, a complaint should in the first instance be raised with the teacher in question by the parent/guardian of the child if possible and then if necessary referred to the Principal.  Where it has not been possible to agree a framework for resolution, the matter should be referred in writing by both parties to the Board of Management for investigation.

In the case of Parent – Teacher bullying, the Principal should be informed in the first instance, and if deemed necessary the Board of Management should subsequently be informed in writing.

In the case of Parent/Visitor to the school – Child bullying, the complaint should be referred in the first instance to the child’s class teacher and subsequently to the Principal if unresolved.

In the case of Principal – Parent/ Child bullying, the matter should be raised with the Principal if possible, or referred to the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

Download the Policy

Child Protection Policy

Child Protection Policy

This document is a response to recent changes in legislation and takes account of the provisions of each of the following pieces of legislation

  • Freedom of Information Act 1997
  • The Education Act 1998
  • The Child Welfare Act 2000
  • Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011.

The new procedures are based on the recently published Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011.

References

  • ‘Children First’ (Department of Health and Children 1999)
  • ‘Our Children Our Church’ (CORI 2005)
  • ‘Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures’ (Department of Education and Science 2001)
  • Policy Sources accessed through Internet

The Board of Management (BOM) recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, practices and activities. Accordingly, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills, Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, the BOM of St. Oliver Plunkett NS has agreed the following Child Protection Policy.

The BOM has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools as part of this overall child protection policy.

 The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is the Principal: Angela Power

 The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is the Deputy Principal: Sarah McGuire.

 The school will recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations. In its policies, practices and activities, St Oliver Plunkett NS will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare. The school will:

  • Fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
  • Adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect
  • Develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children
  • Fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters

Certain policies such as the St. Oliver Plunkett NS Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies, Pupil Attendance Policy and the Supervision of Pupils Policy will take particular account of this Child Protection Policy. This policy will also be considered with reference to the participation by pupils in sporting activities, other extra-curricular activities and school outings. Other practices and activities, where child protection might have particular relevance, will take due consideration of the procedures outlined within this policy.  The Board has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices as appropriate are in place in respect of each of the above listed items.

This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parent Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. A copy of this policy will be made available to the DES and the patron if requested.

Designated Liaison Person (DLP)

The Principal, appointed by the BOM, is the DLP. The Deputy Principal acts as Deputy DLP. Both teachers will undertake training from the Child Abuse Prevention Programme at the earliest opportunity. CAPP provides training to the whole school community (staff, parents and Boards of Management) on the Stay Safe Programme.

The DLP has specific responsibility for child protection and will represent the school in all correspondence with Health Boards, An Garda Siochána and other parties in connection with allegations of abuse. All matters pertaining to the processing or investigation of child abuse should be processed through the DLP.

Further information on the responsibilities of the DLP can be referred to on page 8, section 2.2 of ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001).

The DLP acts in cases where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion or where an allegation has been made, as referred to in ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, pages 11-12).

Confidentiality

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 giving of information to those who need to have that information is not a breach of confidentiality. This procedure exists for the protection of a child who may have been or has been abused. The DLP who is submitting a report to the Health Board or An Garda Siochána 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 Siochána should be contacted immediately. A child should not be left in a dangerous situation pending Health Board intervention.

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 Siochána, see ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, page 6).

Qualified Privilege

People making a report to the DLP in good faith have ‘qualified privilege’ under common law, see ‘Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures’ (DES 2001, page 6).  Reports made to Health Boards may be subject to provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997. This act enables members of the public to obtain access to personal information relating to them which is in the possession of public bodies. However, the act also provides that public bodies may refuse access to information obtained by them in confidence.

Definition and Recognition of Child Abuse

Child abuse can be categorised into four different types:

  • Neglect
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse

Each of these categories is defined in full in ‘Children First’ (Dept Health and Children 1999, pages 31-33) but for the purpose of this policy attention is drawn to the stated definition of ‘neglect’.

 Neglect can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, medical care.

Guidelines for Recognition of Child Abuse

A list of child abuse indicators is contained in Appendix 1 ‘Children First’ (DHC 1999, pages 31-33). This policy draws particular attention to ‘persistent evidence’ of neglect, including indicators such as no lunch, lack of uniform, no homework, poor attendance, persistent health problems, lack of sleep indicating inappropriate television viewing late at night and other evidence that would indicate lack of supervision in the home. All signs and symptoms must be examined in the total context of the child’s situation and family circumstances.

There are commonly three stages in the identification of child abuse:

  1. Considering the possibility
  2. Looking out for signs of abuse
  3. Recording of information

Each of these stages is developed in ‘Children First’ (DHC 1999, pages 34-35).

Handling Disclosures from Children

‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, page 9) gives comprehensive details of how disclosures should be approached. Staffs are advised to deal with each situation sensitively, reassure the child but not to make promises that cannot be fulfilled.

The adult should not ask leading questions or make suggestions. They should explain that further help may have to be sought. The discussion should then be recorded accurately.

The record should include reference to what was observed with sketches of physical injury where necessary. It should also record when the alleged incident took place. Records should be kept in a secure place. The information should then be conveyed to the school DLP.

If the reporting person and the DLP are satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion/allegation, the procedures outlined in ‘Children First’ (DHC, page 38) will be adhered to. Standardised reporting forms should be used (Appendix 1). The content of the report should follow the guidelines on page 39 of ‘Children First’.  The Chairperson of the BOM will be informed before the DLP makes contact with the relevant authorities.

Allegations or Suspicions in relation to School Employees

The Chairperson and the DLP are primarily concerned with the protection of the children in their care. However, employees must be protected against false and malicious claims.

Legal Advice should be sought by the board in relation to the employee.  If the allegation is against the DLP, the Chairperson of the BOM will assume the responsibility for reporting the matter to the Health Board.

Reporting

When an allegation of abuse is made against a school employee, the DLP should act in accordance with the procedures outlined in ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, page 11).  A written statement of the allegation should be sought from the person/agency making the report. A parent/guardian may make a statement on behalf of a child.  The DLP should always inform the Chairperson of the BoM.

School employees, other than the DLP, who receive allegations against another school employee, should immediately report the matter to the DLP.  School employees who form suspicions regarding conduct of another school employee should consult with the DLP. The procedures outlined in ‘Child Protection’ (DES 2001, page 16) should be referred to.

The Chairperson and the DLP should make the employee aware privately:

  1. That an allegation has been made against him/her
  2. Of the nature of the allegation
  3. Whether or not the Health Board or Gardaí has been informed.

The employee should be given a copy of the written allegation and any other relevant documentation. The employee should be requested to respond to the allegation in writing to the BOM within a specified period and told that this may be passed to the Gardaí, Health Board and legal advisers.

The Chairperson must take the necessary steps to protect the child and may consult the BOM in this matter. The BOM may direct that the employee take administrative leave with pay and avoid suspension, thus removing any implication of guilt.  The DES should be immediately informed.

Further follow-up procedures should be observed as outlined in ‘Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures’ (page 17).

School Measures Taken to Protect the Children in Our Care

There are a number of areas where common sense in our school should prevail in order to protect the children in the school and the staff who care for them.  In relation to this, certain points should be noted:

  1. St Oliver Plunkett NS will fully implement the Stay Safe programme
  2. A copy of the school’s child protection policy, which includes the names of the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Deputy DLP, will be made available to all school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request
  3. The name of the DLP and other relevant support services are displayed in a prominent position near the main entrance to the school
  4. In addition to informing the school authority of those cases where a report involving a child in the school has been submitted to the HSE, the DLP shall also inform the school authority of cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report was made. At each BOM meeting, the Principal’s Report shall include the number of all such cases and this shall be recorded in the minutes of the board meeting.
  5. St Oliver Plunkett NS will undertake an annual review of its Child Protection Policy and its implementation by the school. A checklist, to be used in undertaking the review is included in Appendix 1. The school has put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement which might be identified in the annual review. The BOM shall make arrangements to inform school personnel that the review has been undertaken. Written notification that the review has been undertaken shall be provided to the Parent Association. A record of the review and its outcome shall be made available, if requested, to the patron and the DES.
  6. Staff who take classes swimming should make sure that there are two adults in attendance at all times. The dressing rooms and pool area should be well supervised
  7. Staff should not be alone in a classroom with one child or detain a child on their own after school. In the case of special needs pupils where resource hours and assistance are sanctioned on an individual basis, it is school policy that staff in such a situation should work with the classroom door open, thus rendering the occupants visible at all times. When possible children should work in groups
  8. Children with physical disabilities who may require assistance in toiletry matters will be aided by a Special Needs Assistant who has met the necessary screening requirements when being employed by the school.

Appendix 1

Checklist for Annual Review of the Child Protection Policy

The Board of Management must undertake an annual review of its Child Protection Policy and the following checklist shall be used for this purpose.

The checklist is designed as an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list. The BOM may wish to include other items in the checklist that are of particular relevance to this school and reserves the right to do so if/when the need occurs.

1. As part of the overall review process, has the BOM assessed other school policies, practices and activities to check their adherence to the principles of best practice in child protection and welfare as set out in the school’s Child Protection policy YES NO
2. Has the Board formally adopted a child protection policy in accordance with the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’? YES NO
3. As part of the school’s child protection policy, has the Board formally adopted, without modification, the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’? YES NO
4. Are there both a DLP and a Deputy DLP currently appointed? YES NO
5. Are the relevant contact details (HSE and An Garda Síochána) to hand? YES NO
6. Has the DLP attended available child protection training? YES NO
7. Has the Deputy DLP attended available child protection training? YES NO
8. Have any members of the Board attended child protection training? YES NO
9. Has the school’s child protection policy identified other school policies, practices and activities that are regarded as having particular child protection relevance? YES NO
10. Has the Board ensured that the Department’s “Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools” are available to all school personnel? YES NO
11. Does the Board have arrangements in place to communicate the school’s child protection policy to new school personnel? YES NO
12. Is the Board satisfied that all school personnel have been made aware of their responsibilities under the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’? YES NO
13. Since the Board’s last annual review, was the Board informed of any child protection reports made to the HSE/An Garda Síochána by the DLP? YES NO
14. Since the Board’s last annual review, was the Board informed of any cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report to the HSE was made? YES NO
15. Is the Board satisfied that the child protection procedures in relation to the making of reports to the HSE/ An Garda Síochána were appropriately followed? YES NO
16. Were child protection matters reported to the Board appropriately recorded in the Board minutes? YES NO
17. Is the Board satisfied that all records relating to child protection are appropriately filed and stored securely? YES NO
18. Has the Board ensured that the Parents’ Association has been provided with the school’s child protection policy? YES NO

Ratification of Policy

This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.

 

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on [Insert Date]

 

Signed: _________________________         Signed: __________________________

Chairperson of Board of Management             Principal

 

Date: __________________________           Date: __________________________

 

 

 

Date of next review December 2013

 

 

 

The Board further endorses the Principal as the school DLP and the Deputy Principal as Deputy DLP.

 

 

On behalf of the Board of Management:

 

_______________________________ (Chairperson)   Date: _____________________

 It should be noted that children with disabilities may be more at risk of abuse due to a number of reasons (see list outlined on page 99 of ‘Children First Guidelines’).  Parents, teachers and all staff involved in services for children with disabilities need to be familiar with the indicators of abuse and to be alert for signs of abuse.

 

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on May 18th 2012.

Download Policy

 

Behaviour Policy

ST OLIVER PLUNKETT N.S.
ALMA PLACE, MONKSTOWN, CO DUBLIN PH 01 2808824

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR & DISCIPLINE 2014-2015

Introduction

St Oliver Plunkett N.S. is a special school for children with specific reading difficulties.  Children are enrolled on a temporary basis for a period of up to two or three years.  The aim of the school is to help each child to improve his/her reading skills so that he/she will be better able to benefit from and cope with mainstream education.

At St. Oliver Plunkett N.S. every effort is made to create a warm, caring atmosphere and to treat each child as an individual with his/her own special abilities, talents and needs.  The curriculum is adapted as far as possible to match the abilities and needs of each pupil.  Particular attention is paid to the development of the children’s self-confidence and self-esteem.

Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to behaviour in the school.

Principles

  • This policy should be read in conjunction with the school mission statement as it is a means to create an atmosphere where the mission statement can be realised.
  • The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to tolerate these differences.
  • It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of cooperation among staff and between staff, parents and pupils
  • Every effort will be made to ensure that the code of discipline is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.
  • Staff have agreed to be careful with language used to describe children in casual conversation and to draw attention if it is inappropriate. This is a practical implementation of the agreed mission statement.

Objectives

The code provides a framework through which positive behaviour is encouraged and negative behaviour is discouraged.  It has been devised with three main objectives in view.

  • The efficient operation of the school and the structuring of in-class discipline is such that an effective and stimulating learning environment is created.
  • The maintenance of order throughout the school and respect for the school environment facilitates a positive learning environment.
  • The development of self-discipline in pupils is based on consideration, respect and tolerance for others and respect for self.

Implementation of the Code of Behaviour & Discipline

The code has been developed in order to foster a harmonious relationship between children, teachers and parents.

The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the Principal.  Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for maintaining order within the school premises.  The SNA, under guidance from the teacher, will help to maintain discipline in the school. A pupil will be referred to the Principal for major breaches of discipline or for repeated incidents of unacceptable behaviour of a less serious nature.

The staff will adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour within the school.  Parents are encouraged to keep in regular contact with the school.  Parents will be informed at an early stage if their child is having problems and support of parents is essential for the code to operate effectively.

Parents

Every effort will be made at St Oliver Plunkett N.S. to promote positive relations with parents.  Parents will be encouraged to take an active role in their child’s education and to keep in regular contact with the school. It has been noted by staff and parents that it is very difficult to implement this because of the wide enrolment area of the school. Parents will be given a copy of the behaviour policy when their child is enrolled, they will be asked to sign it and a copy will be available on the website.

  • A welcoming atmosphere for parents will be provided at the school.
  • Parents will be informed at an early stage if their child is having problems with learning or discipline.
  • Parents will be informed not only when their child’s behaviour has fallen short of expectations, but also when he/she has behaved particularly well.
  • Communication with parents will be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances.
  • The main line of communication is the report card that is sent home every week.
  • If a child’s behaviour is seriously unacceptable, his/her parents will be invited to the school for a discussion with the child’s teacher.
  • Before resorting to serious action such as referral or suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.

Guidelines for Good Behaviour in St Oliver Plunkett School

School Rules

  • Be polite, kind and respectful
  • Walk quietly inside the school building
  • Put litter in bins, look after school property.
  • Keep unhelpful hands, feet and objects to yourself
  • Notify absences in writing
  • Mobile phones must be switched off during school time
  • School uniform must be worn
  • School books and property must not be damaged

Classroom Rules

Each teacher will draw up a set of class rules, with the pupils, at the beginning of the school year

Yard Rules

  • Stay in the school playground. When the bell rings, line up quietly
  • Play where the supervisor can see you
  • Playground activities only at second break
  • No hurtful physical contact
  • Playing on the grass is weather dependant and the decision is made by the teacher on yard duty.

 It is explained to children regularly that rules are created to ensure that they are safe and happy. All school rules can be traced back to these two aspirations.

Positive Reinforcement

The B.O.M. and teachers believe that order and discipline within the school result largely from the use of positive techniques of motivation such as encouragement and praise.

Although it may occasionally be necessary to impose sanctions, greater emphasis will be placed on rewards.  The idea is that the children will acquire the skills of self-discipline.

The children will work with the principal, at the beginning of each year, to create a slogan for the year. This will be positive and unique to each year group.

Discipline for Learning

This is a programme that focuses on the positive behaviour of each pupil. St Oliver Plunkett has adapted the programme to suit the particular needs of its students.

Each child gets a card weekly wherein their effort at homework, school work and behaviour is recorded. Some class teachers in St Oliver Plunkett School also use a sticker book in which pupils are rewarded with stickers for positive behaviour.

The reward system is allocated on a daily basis and at the discretion of the class teacher.

While the system is based on the positive rather than the negative, the inappropriate behaviour may also be recorded on the record card or on the booklet.

Parents/Guardians sign the cards/booklets weekly to ensure that they are aware of their child’s progress in all areas on a regular basis.

This system has been reviewed following consultation with parent representatives and the following points are relevant:

  • It is vital that the system reflects the positive reinforcement of every child that is the focus of every class teacher and central to the ethos of the school.
  • It is important that this system communicates positive, as well as negative, comments. A “sandwich” approach was suggested, where efforts would be made to note two positive comments for every negative one. This may not always be realistic.
  • A copy of the new card (which is no longer blue) is attached to this policy.
  • *Homework, schoolwork and behaviour are evaluated using a point system. There is a possibility of gaining 15 points each week. When a child reaches 60 they are entitled to a prize. This prize is the equivalent of the old “clear week” prize. Bonus points can be added at any time by members of staff.
  • Children will comment on their own week using a series of smiley     
  • The term “Clear week” will no longer be used.
  • The term “Blue Card” will no longer be used.
  • Negative comments can be viewed by parents as an opportunity to discuss behaviour with children.
  • It will be important to reflect that negative comments on the card will more than likely be recorded after interventions in class and an opportunity for the child to change their behaviour.

* Please note that this was changed in 2015. The prize point system was deemed to be cumbersome to administer and didn’t reflect progress or achievement properly. The cards are now sent home as a simple report card at the end of the week. Children are selected by teachers for special mention at assembly and are given “Hero” badges that they can wear in school. All references to the “Points System” have therefore been removed from the policy.

Therefore, to acknowledge effort and to encourage good behaviour, a system of rewards will be put in place.  These will include:

  • Oral and written praise
  • Special prizes from time to time
  • Working with the principal for some one-to-one time.
  • “Hero” badges
  • Focus on one particular aspect of behaviour. Supported by special awards and prizes.
  • Visits to the Principal’s office or to another member of staff for commendation.
  • SNA’s and other non-teaching staff can suggest children for special recognition
  • Visits to the Principal for special certificates, stickers and prizes. The Principal will keep a record of children sent to the office for positive reinforcement. Teachers will be reminded to send children for this reinforcement.
  • Notes to parents/guardians
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
  • Whole school recognition, for example at Assembly
  • There will also be a yard prize for a class every month.
  • A small trophy called the special principal’s reward is also available for rewarding special effort.
  • Children are encouraged to share good news stories at assembly. Special class work, events or occasions are shared at assembly also
  • Prizes are awarded, by the Principal, for puzzle of the week and caption competitions.
  • A “Positivity Tree” will be created on the wall. The children who are trying really hard, behaving really well, working on the behaviour under focus, etc., will have their names on “leaves” and placed on the wall. This will give an opportunity to focus on, and reinforce, positive behaviour

Misbehaviour and Sanctions/Solutions

A high standard of behaviour is expected, so that every child has the opportunity to work to the best of his/her ability and to benefit fully from placement at St Oliver Plunkett N.S.

Therefore, procedures for dealing with any misbehaviour, which might arise, have been put in place.  These procedures provide clear guidelines for children, parents and teachers

Misbehaviour can be classified in three categories:

  • Minor
  • Serious
  • Gross

The category of misbehaviour i.e. Minor, Serious or Gross will be judged by the teachers and/or Principal based on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of such misdemeanours, Please see table of misbehaviours and sanctions.

Sanctions and Solutions

Teachers will keep a written record of all instances of serious or gross misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils. It is important that these is as much consistency as possible in the implementation of sanctions. This will be done on the weekly card. All serious and gross behaviours will be referred to the Principal. These will be recorded in the principal’s records. These records are known as the “Red Book” The Red Book will be seen as a last resort and exceptionally serious.

Distinctions can be made between continually disruptive behaviour and occasional outbursts and also between premeditated and impulsive action.

Sanctions will be applied having regard to the seriousness of the offence and the child’s previous behaviour record. Please see table of sanctions and misbehaviours.

Minor Misbehaviour

  • Talking in class
  • Working reluctantly/slowly
  • Distracting/interrupting others
  • Arriving late for school
  • Minor physical contact
  • Having mobile phones on during the day
  • Leaving seat in class without permission
  • Not wearing uniform
  • Not completing homework without good reason
  • Homework not signed by a parent/guardian
  • Being discourteous/unmannerly
  • Interfering with other pupil’s property
  • Arriving late repeatedly

Serious Misbehaviour

  • Repeatedly disruptive in class
  • Refusing to do his/her work
  • Fighting in yard/in class
  • Using unacceptable language/name calling
  • Leaving the class without permission
  • Physical contact of a serious nature
  • Being disrespectful or cheeky to any staff member
  • Repeatedly not completing homework
  • Damage to personal, school or other people’s property
  • Repeated minor misbehaviours
  • Misbehaviour at school events or school outings

Minor Sanctions

  • DFL system – recording on report card
  • Reasoning with the child.
  • Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
  • Time out from the group or class to another group or class at the discretion of the class teacher
  • Minor misbehaviours are dealt with in class.
  • Sanctions for minor misbehaviour remain the same but parents will receive notification from the teacher if behaviour is becoming a concern. Communication from the teacher is generally through the homework journals, notes, phone calls and blue cards.2012

 Serious Sanctions

  • Recording
  • Loss of privileges as immediate as possible
  • Detention during lunch break (See Footnote A)
  • Extra schoolwork and homework.
  • Referral to the Principal. (See Footnote B)
  • Communication with parents by phone or letter.
  • Meeting with parents.
  • Consideration of services outside the school (see Footnote C)

Gross Misbehaviour

  • Gross bullying
  • Repeated serious behaviour
  • Leaving school premises without permission
  • Open defiance of teacher’s instruction
  • Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards staff/pupils
  • Possession of dangerous implements e.g. pen knife
  • Vandalism of school property or other people’s property.
  • Stealing
  • Taking medicine/drugs/cigarettes – supplying or in possession

Gross Sanctions

  • Suspension
  • Referral to services outside the school.
  • Ending of placement at St Oliver Plunkett N.S.

It should be noted that these lists consist of examples only. It is not meant to be a totally comprehensive list.

Extra Information

Detention (Footnote A)

  • A letter; to be signed by parents, will be sent home before the detention takes place.
  • Detention will involve writing out the school rules.
  • It is important that an intention to implement detention is communicated to parents. This is done through a formal school letter that is signed and returned to the principal.
  • In the case of misbehaviour during detention contact with parents will be made by the principal. The detention period will be repeated.
  • In the case of misbehaviour at this repeat detention, a one day suspension will automatically apply.

Children being sent to the office (Footnote B)

Children sent to the office will be questioned about the problem and parents will get a standard letter (see attached for samples). These letters must be signed by parents and returned. Any child who is sent to the office as a sanction will also have their name recorded in the Red Book.

Letters will be sent for the following categories:

  • Homework
  • Yard behaviour
  • School Rules
  • Serious Breach of Rules
  • Uniform
  • Class behaviour
  • Swimming

Children who are sent to the office again for the same or another category of misbehaviour will receive detention. Detention will be supervised in classrooms on a rota basis. Detention will be perceived by the children to be avoided at all costs

The principal retains the right to detain a child, during lunch break, to reflect on behaviour, to discuss behaviour with the principal or to write out an account of behaviour. This sanction will form an instant one and will not require parental permission.

In the absence of the Principal, the Deputy Principal will assume the responsibilities and authority of the Principal.

Serious and repeated misbehaviour (Footnote C)

If a child’s behaviour is seriously unacceptable there will be a meeting with the child’s parents, teacher and principal.  Support may be sought, as appropriate, from support services within the wider community e.g. Community Care Services provided by the HSE.

Suspension

General Principles

  • When suspension is contemplated the parents are always invited to discuss the misbehaviour with the Principal and the class teacher.
  • Before resorting to suspension or expulsion, all the normal channels of communication will be utilised.
  • Pupils must be informed when instances of serious misbehaviour are being recorded and parents will also need to be kept informed.

Suspension Procedures

Section 24 of the Education Act sets out suspension and expulsion procedures. St Oliver Plunkett School is mindful of the child’s constitutional right to an education which should only be deprived in exceptional circumstances.

  • For continuously disruptive pupils, or a serious breach of discipline, the BOM shall authorise the Principal/Chairperson to suspend a child up to a maximum of three days.
  • All communication regarding the proposed suspension shall be in writing.
  • A written statement of the terms and dates of the suspension shall be given to parents.
  • When a child returns from suspension he/she is obliged to report to the Principal, accompanied by a parent. The child is then readmitted formally to the class.
  • A special decision of the BOM is necessary to authorise a further period of exclusion up to a maximum of 10 school days to allow for consultation with the pupils and parents/guardians.

There is an appeals procedure under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998. A copy of this procedure is attached to the behaviour policy under Appendix 1

Ending of Placement at St Oliver Plunkett N.S.

Continued enrolment at St Oliver Plunkett N.S. depends on abiding by the code of Behaviour & Discipline.  The B.O.M. reserves the right to discontinue a child’s placement during the course of the school year.  A second year may not be made available to a child, who:

  • Because of his/her very negative behaviour is unlikely to benefit from continued placement at the school.
  • Whose serious or gross misbehaviour impinges significantly on the learning of other children.

In these circumstances, parents will be asked to re-enrol their child at his/her original (home) school.

Expulsion will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130(6) of “The Rules for National Schools”

Review of the Code of Behaviour and Discipline

 This code has been drawn up following a process, which has involved teachers, pupils, parents and Board of Management.  It will be reviewed at regular intervals.

As part of our 2013 review, all staff members have read and accepted the Code of Professional behaviour as communicated by the Teaching council. A copy of this code is kept with the Behaviour policy and is available to parents on request.

Parents were invited to read this policy in full in 2014 and were invited to add changes.

The staff were asked to ratify changes, to download the policy from the shared folder and to keep a copy of it in their class folder.

The policy was also read to the children who were offered a chance to contribute. This was done through the student council and in class.

Original Policy 2004
Review 2007
Review 2009
Review 2012
Full Review involving all partners 2014
Ratified by the BOM June 17th 2014
Minor changes made 2015

 

Appendix 1 Sample letter sent home

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It has come to my attention that ________ is not completing some/all homework. If this continues he/she will be detained from playtime on the yard

 

Please sign this letter and return it to the school.

 

___________________

Angela Power

Principal

 

 

 

Signed___________________________________

Appendix 2 Appeals Procedure of the Education Act

  1. Introduction

Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, gives parents (and students who have reached the age of 18) the right to appeal certain decisions made by a school board of management, or a person acting on behalf of a board, to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills. (Changed from Science 2013)

  1. Decisions which may be appealed

Currently, section 29 of the Education Act 1998 provides that the following decisions may be appealed to the Secretary General:

  • Permanent exclusion from school
  • Suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year: or
  1. Procedures to be followed

The detailed procedures that apply to all appeals to the Secretary General under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 as outlined in the appendix to Circular 22/02 will be followed. In brief there are three layers to these procedures.

  • Both parties will be asked in the first instance to see if an accommodation can be reached at local level:
  • Should that fail, and where the appeals Committee considers that it may be possible to facilitate agreement between the appellant and the school, a facilitator will be appointed to contact the parties at the earliest opportunity.
  • Finally, an appeal may be referred for hearing by an Appeals Committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.

Refusal to Enrol (amended 2015)

  • The principal has the right to decide on enrolment.
  • Parents have the right to appeal an enrolment decision to the Board of Management.
  • The Board’s decision is final but an further appeal can be made to the NCSE (National Council for Special Education)
  • Section 29 no longer applies to refusal to enrol.

Appendix 3 Weekly Report Card

Weekly Report Card

St Oliver Plunkett National School

 

Child’s Name______________________     Week Beginning

 

Day Homework School Work Behaviour Comments
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday

 

Teacher’s Signature___________________________________

Parent Signature______________________________________

Child’s Comment on the week     

Please return this card to your child’s teacher. Thanks.

Parental acceptance of Behaviour Policy (mandatory for admission)

I have read this policy carefully.

I understand that signing and agreeing to this policy is a condition of my child’s placement n St Oliver Plunkett NS.

Signed_________________________________

Child’s name____________________________

Date___________________________________

Parents Association

We have an excellent hard-working Parents Association who fundraise and help in school planning and development. The Parents Association is affiliated to the National Parents Council (NPC).

They organise talks for Parents on transition to second-level, healthy lunches and anti-bullying. They share expertise and experience with pupils in the form of talks and workshops.

The Parent’s Association is selected at the first general meeting in September and a list of members is circulated soon afterwards.

parentassociation

Transport

Most of the children come from the South Dublin/Wicklow area. The Department of Education provides transport for all of the children and a transport grant for those children who have to travel a long distance to access the school bus. The school is not in any way responsible for the school buses but will facilitate parents to apply for a place and will also assist in the selection of embarkation points. Disputes with the bus companies cannot be negotiated through the school.

 A booklet entitled “School Transport for Children with Special Needs” issued by the Department of Education sets out information options. TheDepartment of Education provides the following transport options to and from the school for pupils:

(A)  A travel ticket for Dublin Bus or DART for pupils using public transport.

(B)  Private Coach transport via already established routes (three coaches currently operate from the Rathfarnham, Bray and Arklow directions) Application is made through the school and is organised during your visit to the school to enrol your child.

Children are not allowed to use the school bus to visit friends unless they are already a passenger on that bus.

schoolbus

Student Welfare

Healthy Eating Policy

Pupils are encouraged to bring a healthy lunch i.e. fruit, sandwiches, bread rolls, yogurt, etc. No fizzy drinks please. No sweets, chocolate or biscuits are allowed from Monday to Thursday but a small treat is allowed on Fridays. Chewing gum is not allowed at any time. As there are two breaks each day please ensure your child has something for each.  Some of our children have a very early start and we allow all children to have a snack before class in the morning.

Safety

The school has a comprehensive safety policy and as part of this please remind your child to cross safely at the pedestrian crossing at Goggins, Monkstown and at the DART station.

Please take care when dropping and collecting children as the area outside the       school becomes very congested. Children are NOT supervised before 9.00am        and you will be asked to sign a form to state that you are aware of this.       Children who travel to school by bus will be escorted, by the principal, from the    buses to the school yard where they will be collected by their class teacher.

Parents are also advised that children cannot, under any circumstances, be collected from the swimming pool on Fridays. The swimming pool is a very busy area where children have to be supervised at all times and we would not be able to guarantee their safety if they were allowed to be collected.

We have school policies on Health and Safety and First Aid which will be made available on this website

It is essential that we are provided with a selection of telephone numbers   should we need to make contact with you in an emergency.

Long earrings are not allowed in school and any necklaces or pendants must be        worn inside the child’s uniform.

Pupil Personal Accident Insurance is paid for by the Board of Management.

Please ensure that the school has an up-to-date contact number for you at all times.

Security System

An intercom system is in place in the school. Please ring the front door to gain       access.

Medical Conditions

 We provide a form for you to inform us of any medical conditions that you child may have. We can administer essential medication during the school day but will not administer vitamins or occasional medication. Please discuss any needs your child may have with the Principal.

 Parking

There is restricted parking at the school. In the interest of safety please do not park in the lane at the front of the school.  School buses stop here to let children on and off and the staff park here too.

Student Council

We have a student council where each class is represented by two children. This committee meets with the Principal on a regular basis to discuss school matters.  It is a very important part of school management

safetyfirst

Parent/Guardian-Teacher Communication

As part of the ethos of St Oliver Plunkett NS, parent/guardian are encouraged to remain in regular contact with the school. They are encouraged to ring to make an appointment with the class teacher and are especially encouraged to relate any information which may impact on their child’s welfare. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and will only be communicated on a need-to-know basis.

Parents/guardians will also be contacted through the Aladdin texting system. Each child is issued with a homework journal, which must be signed by an adult each night upon completion of homework.  The journals are checked every day, so any notes to teacher and (vice versa) may be written here. Parent/guardian communication is central to the success of a placement here.

Parent/guardian/Teacher Meetings

The staff and parent/guardian meetings take place three times a year (October, January & June). The entire staff meet with parent/guardians in September. Various parent/guardian information evenings are held during the year.

Report Card

Each Monday your child will bring home a weekly record card. The aim of this card is to encourage positive choices in behaviour, school work and homework. There are 4 headings which are completed daily by the child’s teacher to highlight the progress or problems in that particular week. The children also have an opportunity to reflect on their own week and record it on the card.

 

Day Home-work School work Behaviour Comments
Mon – Fri If homework has been done, if they forgot to do some home work or didn’t do it at all. If they worked well or were not interested. Behaved themselves in school and on yard.

Teacher’s comments regarding their behaviour/ progress

 

 

Children choose one

 

This card is signed by the class teacher and must be returned signed by the child’s parent/guardians. These cards are retained in the school as a record for each child. It is school philosophy that pupils are helped to make good choices each day. Children earn rewards for positive behaviours, good work and effort.

 

Download the Policy