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CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
DUNDALK SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Dundalk School of Music is fully committed to providing a safe environment for children and young people, and to safeguarding the well-being of our young students within the School. Teachers should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of students and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the School.
The aim of the Dundalk School of Music's Child Protection Policy is to promote best practice in protection and set out a procedural framework to ensure that teachers are equipped to make informed responses to specific issues and minimise risk with regard to protection and welfare issues. In implementing its policy, we follow the recommendations of Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, available here:
https://www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/Publications/ChildrenFirst.pdf and Our Duty to Care – The Principles of Good Practice for theProtection of Children and Young People; see https://www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/publications/ODTC_Full_Eng.pdf.
The following are Dundalk School of Music's procedures, covering:
Code of Behaviour for Teachers
Procedures for Reporting Suspected Cases of Abuse
Child abuse can be categorised into four types: neglect, emotional, physical and sexual. Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children includes the following definitions of child abuse:
1. Neglect. This is where a 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, or medical care.
2. Emotional Abuse. This is normally found in the relationship between a caregiver and a child. It occurs when a child’s needs fo affection, approval, consistency and security are not met.
3. Physical Abuse. Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injury that causes significant harm to a child.
4. Sexual Abuse. Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or arousal, or for that of others.
Any person who suspects that a child is being abused or is at risk of abuse has a responsibility to report their concerns to the health board (via the School’s Child Protection Officer). The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act (1998) provides immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse ‘reasonably and in good faith’ to designated officers of health boards or any member of An Garda Síochána.
Within the School, the report should be made to the Child Protection Officer. If there are any grounds for concern, the the health board or An Garda Síochána will be contacted. The person who first reported the matter will normally be required to talk to the duty social worker. When reporting, as much information as possible should be provided, i.e. names, addresses, full account of the concern for the child, dates of incidents, circumstances, and the child’s own statement, if relevant.
In cases of emergency, where a child appears to be at immediate and serious risk, An Garda Síochána will be contacted. A suspicion, which is not supported by any objective signs of abuse, would not constitute a reasonable suspicion, or reasonable grounds for concern. Any information provided to the health board and An Garda Síochána will remain confidential.
Allegations of Misconduct or Abuse by Teachers
The following actions are to be taken if an allegation is made against a member of staff:
Contracting of Teachers and Selected Practices
Complaints and Accident Procedures