Child Protection

In St Mary’s we have a primary responsibility to provide a happy, secure and caring environment in which your child can develop his or her full potential. We are particularly conscious that your child should feel safe and secure at all times. We would hope that working closely with you as parents and guardians that your child can recognise unwelcome behaviour in others and feel confident about reporting any incidences of possible abuse.

 

Abuse can be defined as:

 

Neglect - the persistent or significant neglect of a child, or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold or starvation, or persistent failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child’s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive.

 

Physical - physical injury to a child, whether deliberately inflicted or knowingly not prevented.

 

Sexual - the sexual exploitation of a child or young person for an adult’s or another young person’s own sexual gratification; the involvement of children or young people in sexual activities of any kind (including exposure to pornography) which they do not understand, to which they are unable to give informed consent or that violate normal family roles.

 

Emotional - persistent or significant emotional ill-treatment or rejection, resulting in severe adverse effects on the emotional, physical and/or behavioural development of a child.

 

INTERNAL PROCEDURES

 

Reports of child abuse or suspected abuse will be handled in the first instance by the designated teacher.

 

The designated teacher for child protection in years 8-14 is Mrs R Moore (Vice Principal).

 

In the unlikely absence of the designated teacher the matter would be dealt with by Mrs Mc Closkey (Principal).

 

  • If a child makes a disclosure to a teacher or any other member of staff regarding abuse or possible abuse, the teacher as a matter of concern must act promptly and inform the designated teacher.
  • The matter will be discussed with the Principal who will make a written record and refer, where necessary, the matter to Social Services after consultation with the designated teacher.
  • If the child is considered at risk the school is obliged to make a referral to Social Services.
  • Information given to members of staff about possible abuse cannot be held in confidence. However, teachers will be asked to treat the information sensitively and inform only those who need to be aware of the situation.
  • If a complaint about possible child abuse is made against a member of staff within the school, the Principal or the designated teacher must be informed immediately. Where it is deemed necessary the Board of Governors or Social Services will then be informed with appropriate action taken to investigate the matter.

 

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