Achill Outdoor Education and Training Centre is an Outdoor Education and Training Centre providing primary and post primary outdoor education to pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class and First Year students to Leaving Certificate students in the post primary sector. Achill OETC also provides outdoor education programmes to youth organisations, local community groups and individuals, special needs learners and vulnerable adults in a day and residential centre. The Outdoor Education programme may be based on-site or off site in various locations both locally and nationally.
In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First; National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of Achill Outdoor Education and Training Centre has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.
The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement.
The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is : Sean Swift
The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of centre life and must be reflected in all of the centre’s policies, procedures, practices and activities in its policies, procedures, practices and activities. The centre will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare.
The Centre will:
Recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
Fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection of welfare of children;
Fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
Adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;
Develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children;
Fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.
The centre will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.
The following procedures/measures are in place:
In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the centre, the centre adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for centre staff which are published on the DES website.
In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the centre adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda Vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website.
In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as identified in the 2015 Act) the centre –
Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the centre’s Child Safeguarding Statement
Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the centre’s Child Safeguarding Statement
Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training.
In relation to the reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all centre personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures of Primary and Post-primary schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015.
In this centre the Board has appointed the above named DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015)
In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the centre or participating in the centre activities. A written statement setting out the areas of risk identified and the centre’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures.
The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be made available on request by the centre.
This statement has been published on the centre’s website and has been provided to all members of centre personnel. It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.
This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers.
This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on