The Child Care Act (1991), Children’s Act 2001 and the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child (1992), enshrine in law the
paramount principle of the welfare of children. They were designed
to promote the welfare and protection of children (0 – 18 years). The
acts cover the rights and responsibilities of parents, the protection
of children in emergencies, children in care, the supervision of pre-
schools and the duty of the Health Service Executive (HSE) to
promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care
In 2004, “Child Protection Guidelines for Post Primary schools”,
updated in 2011, was published by the Department of Health and
Science and offers support and guidance to people who come into
regular contact with children, and who are, therefore, in a position of
responsibility in recognising and responding to possible child abuse.
Legislative Basis for policy
1. Child Care Act 1991
2. Children’s Act 2001
3. Education Act 1998
4. Education and Welfare Act 2000
5. Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse 1998
6. Freedom of Information Act 1997/2003
Copies of these acts can be found at www.education.ie
This Child Protection Policy is drawn up in conjunction with these
acts and guidelines. In Loreto High School Beaufort, the safety and
protection of the child is of paramount importance in all situations.
The management of Loreto High School, Beaufort, have in place a
care team to help with the recognition and reporting of child abuse
and to provide a support to children at risk of child abuse. This care
Designated Liaison Person (DLP): Margaret O Donoghue (Principal)
Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP): Francis Carolan (Deputy
Guidance Counsellors: Moya Mc Dowell, Nuala O Higgins
Chaplain: Niamh Donohue
Recognising Child Abuse
Loreto High School, Beaufort, will endeavour to protect pupils from
abuse or risk of abuse. Abuse can fall under the following four
headings: Neglect, Emotional Abuse, Sexual abuse and Physical
Abuse. All members of staff are expected to be vigilant and report
concerns immediately to the DLP, DDLP or the Guidance Counsellor.
Beaufort is a “telling” school where students are encouraged to report
to staff any type of bullying or abuse they may be aware of. Students
are also aware that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if it
compromises the safety of a student. The safety and protection of
students is a priority in all cases.
The following would merit further investigation:
A student reports the abuse
Another person may report seeing a student being abused
Obvious evidence of physical injuries inconsistent with an accident
A student showing signs of being emotionally distressed
Copies of the “Child Protection Guidelines for Post Primary Schools”
can be got from the DLP and the DDLP and are available in the staff
room and on www.education.ie
Where child abuse is suspected, staff members will make a written
record of all information available. This written record will include:
1. Date and Time
2. Place where disclosure was made/concern was raised
3. Facts pertaining to the case
Where possible, the students own words should be quoted in the
report. No leading questions shall be asked.
This written record will not contain any opinions or judgements and
will be given to the DLP or DDLP. No attempt will be made by any
member of staff to investigate the issue other than to establish if
there are reasonable grounds for concern. Where the DLP or DDLP
establish there are grounds for concern, the DLP will inform the HSE
immediately through the Duty Social Worker. The parents will always
be informed except where this may endanger a student further.
In the event of an emergency, or where the HSE cannot be
contacted, a report will be made to An Garda Siochana.
The written record will be kept confidential at all times and stored in a
safe place by the DLP/DDLP to protect the student involved.
Allegations made against teachers
Where an allegation is made against a teacher or other member of
staff, it will be the responsibility of the School Principal to ensure that
any complaint is thoroughly investigated, (protecting the rights of
both the child and the employee). Where the complaint is against the
Principal the BOM has this responsibility.
For the safety and protection of teachers, any teacher/staff member
who has an allegation made against them is encouraged to contact
ASTI/relevant trade union for support and advice. Teachers are also
made aware of the Employee Assistance Service, organised through
the VHI, which offers a range of health services including counselling
to teachers affected by these issues.
Loreto High School Beaufort, recognises the right of parents/pupils,
granted under the Freedom of Information Act 1997/2003, of access
to records of personal information and the right to make personal
corrections where there are inaccuracies. Loreto High School
Beaufort also ensures the protection of anyone making a report of
child abuse as provided under the “Protection for Persons Reporting
Child Abuse Act 1998”.
This policy is not a stand alone document but part of a whole school
response to child protection. Other policies and guidelines which
ensure the safety and protection of the child at all times include:
1. Code of Behaviour.
2. Anti – bullying policy.
3. RSE Policy.
4. Professional Codes and Best Practice Guidelines for Teachers
as set out by the Teaching Council, ASTI/TUI and JMB.