Blanch Music Child Protection Policy

Updated 02.06.2019

We are committed to providing the best quality lessons possible in a Child Safe Enjoinment. Our aim is to safeguard of our young students. It is a priority for all Blanch Music Staff and Our Music Teachers to show respect and care at all times. The aim our of Child Protection Policy is to promote best practices at all times. Our teachers have undertaken Child Protection training as per the Children First; National Guidance for Protection & Welfare of Children (Children First Act, 2015)

Blanch Music Procedures: 

  • Code of Behaviour for teachers

  • Procedures for reporting suspected cases of abuse

  • Allegations of misconduct or abuse by teachers

  • Recruitment and selection practices

  • Complaints and accidents procedure

Code of Behaviour: 

  • Children are to be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect.

  • Teachers must be sensitive to the risks involved in interacting with children in a one-to-one setting.

  • While physical contact may be necessary to instruct a child how to hold/play an instrument, it must be appropriate to a lesson or class and only take place when it is acceptable.

  • While physical contact is valid way of comforting, reassuring and showing concern for children, it must only take place when it is acceptable to all concerned.

  • Teachers must never physically punish or in any way be verbally abusive to a child, nor must they tell jokes of a sexual nature in the presence of children.

  • Children must be encouraged to report cases of bullying and complaints brought to the attention of the Manager.

  • All complaints will receive a response.

  • Teachers must respect the personal space, safety and privacy of individuals. 

Procedures for reporting suspected cases of abuse

  •   Child abuse can be categorised into four types: neglect, emotional, physical and sexual.

  • The National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children have adopted the following definitions of child abuse:

 Neglect:This is where a child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision ans safety, attachment to and affection form adults or medical care.

Emotional Abuse:This is normally found in the relationship between a caregiver and a child. It occurs when a child’s needs, for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met.

Physical Abuse: Any form of non- accidental injury that causes significant harm to a child.

Sexual Abuse:Occurs when a child is used by another person for their gratification or arousal or for that of others.

  • Any person who suspects that a child is being abused or is at risk of abuse has a responsibility to report their concerns to the Health Board (via the on-site child protection officer). The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998provides for immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse ‘reasonablyand in good faith’ to designated officers of health boards or any member of An Garda Siochana

  •   Within the school, the report must be made to the Manager who will then report to the Health Board or An Garda Siochana. The person who first reported the matter will normally be required to talk to the duty social worker. When reporting, as much information as possible should be provided i.e. names, addresses, full account of the concern for the child, dates of incidents, circumstances and the child’s own statement, if relevant.

  • In cases of emergency, where a child appears to be at immediate and serious risk, An Garda Siochana will be contacted.

 Action to be taken if an allegation is made against a teacher:

The applicable contract for services by teachers and the laws of natural justice are to be followed. DLP will be informed as soon as possible. The first priority is that no child is exposed to unnecessary risk, and the DLP will take the relevant protective measures.

These measures will be proportionate to the level of risk and will not unreasonably penalise the teacher. Where protective measures, such as suspension, do penalise the teacher early consideration will be given to the case.

Any action following the allegation of abuse against a teacher will be taken in consultation with the Health Board and An Garda Siochana. 

An immediate meeting with these two agencies will be arranged.

After these consultations, the accused person will be informed by the Manager of their future with the school.

The school will ensure that all is done to assist the Health Board and An Garda Siochana in their investigation of the matter.

Recruitment and Selection Procedures:

  • When a vacancy occurs, a clear job description of the job is to be provided. The minimal level of qualities needed to fill the post will be evident. 

  • All applicants are required to sign a declaration stating that there is no reason why they should be unsuitable for work with children, and declaring any past criminal convictions or cases pending against them. 

  • Applicants will be interviewed by the school manager. The information supplied by the applicant and any other information supplied on behalf will be seen by persons directly involved in the recruitment procedure.

  • Applicants are to supply the names of two referees who will testify as to their character, their suitability to the job and any other issues, which may affect their ability to perform the required tasks. At least one referee should have first- hand knowledge and experience of the applicants previous work or contact with children.

  • The applicant will be required to confirm their identity against some documentation, which gives their full name and address together with a signature and photograph. 

  • All successful applicants must agree to full vetting by An Garda Siochana. This may require the further provision of previous addresses and relevant information both in Ireland and abroad. 

Complaints & Accidents Procedures:

  • Emergency numbers are prominently displayed, and known by office staff.

  •  The telephone in the office is available for emergency purposes.

  • A first aid box is kept close at hand.

  • All accidents and complaints are to be reported to the Child Protection Officer, who will then enter them in a logbook.

  • The School Director will be informed of any new entries in this book.