Recommendations for children staying in St. Oliver Plunkett N.S.

Recommendations for the parents of children who are returning to us next year

  • We cannot stress the importance of attendance.  The success of the programme depends on children being here every day.
  • The children will progress well and be happier in school if all homework is done and if all work is signed as required by the teacher.
  • Every child in the school is obliged to swim on Fridays.  It is part of the school curriculum.  If your child cannot swim for medical reasons, they will require a doctor’s certificate stating the reasons why.
  • Children with these difficulties get very tired because they work hard.  They need loads of sleep, exercise and fresh air.
  • It is important that they realise that even though they have difficulties that there are ways around them and they should not limit their future plans or dreams in any way.
  • The more the children are exposed to books the better it will be for them.  Visits to the library, bookshops and book fairs should be encouraged and seen as an exciting time.
  • It would be great if you can read to your child as much as possible and also good if they can see you reading.
  • Your child should be encouraged to chat to you as much as possible.  Children here will sometimes have difficulty understanding or using language.
  • Don’t forget to listen to your child during these chats!
  • Any games that practice memory skills will be great for your child.
  • Go on trips to places of interest with your child.  Encourage conversation around these trips.  Encourage recording of these outings, maybe through taking photographs and drawing pictures.  This way your child will see that information is not only recorded by the written word.
  • If your child is getting extra tuition outside the school, or over the summer, please ensue that the tutor either knows the Wilson Programme or is supporting the child in what they are learning here.
  • Encourage your child to write stories just for the fun of it.  Don’t correct their stories for spelling and grammar but chat to them about the characters and story only.
  • Enrich your child’s vocabulary at every available opportunity.  Play word games, ask them to explain things to you, discuss current affairs and chose books with a rich vocabulary for paired reading.
  • Have an organised, quiet area for homework.  Gradually reduce supervision until your child is working independently.  Remember, though, that there will always be areas of homework that will require your input.
  • When doing homework, start with the “middle” i.e. the piece of homework that is not too easy or too difficult.
  • There are some excellent apps for children with SLD. This is constantly changing so it is worth keeping an eye on your app store.
  • Remember to keep up with the books that your child’s peers are enjoying.  Your child may not be able to read them but if you choose them to read to your child they will be able to discuss them in school and will feel included.
  • Play board games with your child and encourage discussion around what you are all doing.
  • Start working on the school your child will be going to, when they leave here, as soon as possible. You will need to factor in time to have a lot of discussion with the school about your child.
  • We won’t know your child’s teacher until September. This is because we put a lot of work into organising the classes and it can change right up to the last minute.

Recommendations for children leaving St. Oliver Plunkett N.S.

Recommendations for children who are reintegrating into mainstream after a placement in St Oliver Plunkett NS (a school for children with a Specific Learning Difficulty)

  • An exemption from the study of Irish may be available for this student.  It is worth remembering that an exemption is not an exclusion and the child may choose to study Irish at any point in the future.
  • It should not be assumed that this child will not be able to study a foreign language.
  • We recommend that all staff working with this student are informed of his/her difficulties.
  • It will be important to remember that this student’s written work may not be an accurate reflection of his/her ability
  • This child may benefit from a simple summary of the class content.  This is especially important if there is a lot of information in the lesson.
  • It may be helpful to this child if his/her written work is marked on content as opposed to spelling or grammar.
  • It may be helpful for this child to submit information in bullet points.
  • This child could be allowed to record his/her homework using a Dictaphone or voice recognition software.
  • This child may have difficulty expressing him/herself orally.
  • This child may take longer to process oral instructions and/or find complex instructions difficult to follow.
  • This child may need to be required to do less writing as part of their homework.  It will be a balancing act to decide how much is enough and may take time to establish.
  • Visual aids like mind mapping, visual timetables and colour coding may help this child.
  • This child may be entitled to a school grant for technology to help him/her access the curriculum.
  • He/she may have difficulty with organisation and may require extra support in this area.
  • He/she may need longer than the rest of the class to copy from the whiteboard and to complete assignments.
  • We suggest that this child is not asked to read aloud in class until he/she is comfortable with same.
  • We recommend that he/she are not excluded from any subjects that he/she is interested in.
  • He/she may be very tired because of the extra effort involved in completing work.
  • This child may benefit from a reduction in external distractions while working.
  • It will be important that, while staff have an understanding of the child’s difficulties and that these difficulties are not used by the child as an excuse not to attempt or complete work.
  • This child may be a very strong visual or auditory learner.
  • There are specific apps available for children with SLD which may help.
  • Two IEPs have been written for this child for each year of their placement here.  These are available from the school on request.

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