Child Protection Policy

Policy and Procedures on Child Protection

We in St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook have a primary responsibility for the care, welfare and safety of the students in our charge, and we will carry out this duty through our pastoral care policy, which aims to provide a caring, supportive and safe environment, valuing individuals for their unique talents and abilities, in which all our young people can learn and develop to their full potential. One way in which we seek to protect our students is by help- ing them learn about the risks of possible abuse, helping them to recognise unwelcome behaviour in others and acquire the confidence and skills they need to keep themselves safe.

Mrs Catherine Rafferty is the designated teacher for child protection. The deputy designated teacher is Mrs Mary McMahon.

All our staff and volunteers have been subject to appropriate background checks. The staff of our school have also adopted a Code of Practice for our behaviour towards students. This code is set out in the Appendix to this policy statement.

The purpose of the following procedures on Child Protection is to protect our students by ensuring that everyone who works in our school – teachers, non-teaching staff and volunteers – has clear guidance on the action which is required where abuse or neglect of a child is suspected. The overriding concern of all caring adults must be the care, welfare and safety of the child, and the welfare of each child is our paramount consideration. The problem of child abuse will not be ignored by anyone who works in our school, and we know that some forms of child abuse are also a criminal offence.

What is child abuse?

We use the following definition:

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 star- vation, 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 know- ingly 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 adverse effects on the emotional, physical and/or behavioural development of a child.