Child Protection Policy


The staff, parents and management of Sonna N.S. have developed and agreed this policy in line with the current recommendations and guidelines relating to child abuse prevention and child protection guidelines.
This policy addresses the responsibilities of the school in the following areas:

An individual copy of this policy document and the appended section from the Department of Education and Science Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures will be made available to all staff.
It is incumbent on all staff to familiarize themselves with ‘Children First’ and the DES child protection guidelines and procedures.


This policy aims to



The Stay Safe programme is the primary resource used in this school to provide education for children on abuse prevention. The programme is taught as part of the school’s SPHE curriculum under the strand unit “Safety and Protection.”
On enrolment of their child, parents will be informed that the Stay Safe programme is in use in the school and a copy of the Stay Safe ‘A Parent’s Guide’ provided.
The formal lessons of the programme will be taught in their entirety every second year in accordance with the SPHE two-year cycle plan.
Staff will make every effort to ensure that the messages of the programme are reinforced whenever possible.


All staff (Teachers, SNAs, ancillary, secretarial, caretaking etc.) in this school will follow the recommendations for reporting concerns or disclosures as outlined in ‘Children First’ and the Department of Education and Science document, ‘Child Protection, Guidelines and Procedures’.
(See attached Appendix, pages 5 to 20 from the above DES guidelines)
The board of Management of this school has appointed Daithí Ó Fiaich as the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Antoinette Keena as the deputy DLP.

The staff and management of this school have agreed:


The staff and Board of Management of this school, have identified the following as areas of specific concern, in relation to child protection. Following discussion and consultation, the staff and board of management have agreed that the following practices be adopted:

Physical contact between school personnel and the child should always be in response to the needs of the child and not the needs of the adult. While physical contact may be used to comfort, reassure or assist a child, the following should be factors in determining its’ appropriateness:

School personnel should avoid doing anything of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.
School Personnel should never engage in or allow: The use of inappropriate language or behaviours; physical punishment of any kind; sexually provocative games or sexually suggestive comments about or to a child; the use of sexually explicit or pornographic material.
All media products (CDs, DVDs etc) should be checked for their appropriateness with regard to age and suitability.

Visitors / Guest Speakers:

Visitors/guest speakers should never be left alone with pupils. The school (principal/teachers) has a responsibility to check out the credentials of the visitor/guest speaker and to ensure that the material in use by guest is appropriate

Children with specific toileting/intimate care needs:

In all situations where a pupil needs assistance with toileting/ intimate care, a meeting will be convened, after enrolment and before the child starts school, between parents / guardians, class teacher, special needs assistant, principal and if appropriate the pupil. The purpose of the meeting will be to ascertain the specific needs of the child and to determine how the school can best meet those needs.
The staff to be involved in this care will be identified and provision will be made for occasions when the particular staff involved is absent. A written copy of what has been agreed will be made and kept in the child’s file. Two members of staff will be present when dealing with intimate care/ toileting needs. Any deviation from the agreed procedure will be recorded and notified to the DLP and the parents/guardians.

Clean underwear and suitable clothing will be kept in the school so that if a pupil has an ‘accident’ of this nature they will in the first instance be offered fresh clothing into which they can change.
If the pupil for whatever reason cannot clean or change themselves and the parents/guardians cannot be contacted the child will be assisted by members of staff familiar to the child. In all such situations two members of staff should be present. A record of all such incidents will be kept and principal and parents will be notified.

It is the policy in this school that one-to-one teaching is often in the best interest of the child. Every effort will be made to ensure that this teaching takes place in an open environment. Parents of children who are to be involved in one-to one teaching will be informed and their agreement sought.
Work being carried out by special needs assistants will be carried out under the direction of the class teacher in an open environment.

Pupils will be expected to dress and undress themselves for games/PE/swimming. Where assistance is needed this will be done in the communal areas and with the consent of parents. Under no circumstances will members of staff/ volunteers be expected to or allowed to dress/undress a child in a cubicle/private area. In such situations, where privacy is required the parent/ guardian of the child will be asked to assist the child.
At all times, there must be adequate supervision of pupils.

While every effort will be made to adhere to best practice as agreed and outlined above, in the event of an emergency, where this is not possible or practicable, a full record of the incident should be made and reported to principal and parents.


SPHE curriculum, Strand Unit on ‘Safety and Protection’, The School Code of Discipline
Code of Behaviour, Health and Safety Statement

School Tours / Outings, IT – Acceptable use policy

Reviewing and Monitoring:

This policy will be monitored and reviewed by the Board of Management on an annual basis and when the need arises. The Board of Management will ensure that adequate training and support is provided for all staff.

Organisational Plans

Acceptable Use Policy
Litter Control Policy
Administration of Medicine
Loss of Property
Annual School Reports
Parental Communication
Child Protection Policy
Parent Teacher Meetings
Code of Discipline
Policy on Bullying
Commercialism Policy
Principal Teacher
Complaints Procedure
Professional Development
Critical Incident Policy
Retention of Pupils
Custody + Separation Policy
Room Supervision
Dismissal Policy
Duties of Deputy Principal
School Attendance
Emergency Closure Policy
School Tours
Enrolment Policy
Smoke Free Work
Equal Opportunity
Sonna National School
Fire Drill Policy
Special Needs Policy
Sports Day
Healthy Eating Policy
Staff Meetings
Substance Use
Inclusion Policy
Telephone Policy
Internet Use Form
Testing Policy
Language Development