Children First, the National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, note that teachers are particularly well placed to observe and monitor children for concerns that might relate to neglect and/or abuse.
The Department of Education published Guidelines and Procedures for all schools in relation to child protection and welfare. These guidelines promote the safety and welfare of children.
The Board of Management of Citywest ETNS has adopted these guidelines as school policy. If school staff have a concern or are given information about possible or potential child abuse or neglect (including emotional, physical or sexual abuse) they are obliged to refer this matter to TUSLA, the child protection agency. TUSLA will then assess the situation and may follow up with the family and child concerned.
Teachers can no longer use their own discretion in deciding whether to report a matter to TUSLA. We are obliged to report every disclosure and every concern.
Children First, the National Guidelines for the Protection of Children may be accessed on the website of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (www.dcya.ie). The Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Guidelines can be read on the Department’s website (www.education.ie). Citywest ETNS Child Protection policy is available on this website also.