Child Protection:Keeping it simple

Last week, The IPPN hosted their annual Principal Briefing day. I always attend as I find these days are invaluable for keeping ahead of any new developments in Departmental policy making.
Maria Doyle gave a concise presentation on the new Child Protection Guidelines that came through my letterbox at school last week.
I am no expert at all and can feel overwhelmed with the legislation and responsibilities that it can place on the principal. However, Maria gave us some great, simple tips.
1. Keep a confidential notebook in your Child Protextion file. This should only be accessible to you. You should let the Deputy DLP and/or the Chairperson know that this notebook is there. In this notebook, keep dates, names (She recommends the student’s registration number) and any details of conversations that you have had with the HSE/Garda.
2. Put a sign up at the entrance to the school and the staff room. This should state who the DLP/Deputy DLP is for all child protection issues.
3. Each classroom teacher should have a hard copy in their classroom and be aware of its details. It is the first thing an Inspector will ask for when they visit. Also, a teacher needs to know the policy well.
4. Dedicate the first staff meeting of the year to the Child Protection Policy. Ours is about 3-4 pages and can be read through quickly.
If you are a member of IPPN, you can log into and find a wealth of resources from Maria and the other workshops at the Briefing Day.
The new Children First National Guidance can be found at, if you haven’t received it yet. There are only 2 pages applicable to school staff with the new circular to follow shortly.
It is so important to be comfortable in this area and training is provided for each school.
You might have a long list of “To dos” but this one has to be done straightaway.

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