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Parents

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Parents Association

In St. Michael’s House SNS, we are very fortunate to have a very actve Parents' Association. As a parent of a child in Raheny School, you are automatically deemed a member of the Parents' Association. Parents are encouraged to come to meetings, join in achieves and to bring in lots of new ideas. The PA runs many events throughout the year, which help to raise valuable funds for our school. As our catchment area is so vast, the PA can be an meeting parents who can advise and support each other. The focus is on FUN, so if you can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to join in.

The PA meets every 8 weeks and the Annual General Meeting is held in September /October each year. All are welcome to these meetings.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list for Minutes of the PA Meetings, updates about events, or have any other queries, the Parents' Association can be contacted via email at smhrahenypa@gmail.com

The Parents' Association help organise and/or provide assistance for the following:

  • Credit Union Savings Scheme
  • Communion and Confirmation Party
  • Graduation Dance
  • Coffee mornings for parents
  • Bag Packing in Dunnes Stores, Donaghmede
  • Teas/Coffees for Special Events

The Raheny school’s Parents' Association is affiliated to the National Parents' Council

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Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment

Written Assessment of Risk of St. Michael’s House Special National School

In accordance with section 11 of the Children First Act 2015 and with the requirement of Chapter 8 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, the following is the Written Risk Assessment of St Michael’s House. Special National School, Raheny.

1. List of School Activities

  • Training of school personnel in Child Protection matters
  • Classroom Teaching & Supervision
  • One to one teaching/ One to one activities
  • Care of Children with special needs, including intimate care needs
  • Curricular Provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay safe
  • Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils
  • Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint restrictive practice
  • Clinicians working directly with pupils
  • Sports Coaches
  • Students participating in work experience
  • Recreation breaks & movement breaks for pupilsv
  • Outdoor teaching activities
  • School outings
  • Use of toilet/changing/shower areas in school
  • Use of off-site facilities for school activities (DCU, Horse Riding, Swimming, Raheny school pupils on work experience)
  • School transport arrangements including use of bus escorts
  • Administration of Medicine
  • Administration of First Aid
  • Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils
  • Recruitment of school personnel including teachers, special needs assistants, chef, secretary,/ cleaners, volunteers, visitors, contractors present in school during school hours
  • Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school
  • Use of video/photography/other media to record school events
  • Communicating with children/pupils in school

2. The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities –

Training of school personnel in Child Protection matters
  • Harm not recognised or reported promptly
  • Procedures not followed correctly
Classroom Teaching
  • Harm by pupil to other pupils and staff
  • Harm by school personnel
  • Physical abuse, bullying
One to one teaching/ One to one activities
  • Harm by school personnel
  • Harm by school students
Care of Children with special needs, including intimate care needs
  • Harm by school personnel
Curricular Provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay safe
  • Non-teaching of same
Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils
  • Harm from other pupils, unknown adults in the school entrance, immediate environment/ school grounds area
Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint restrictive practice
  • Injury to pupils and staff
Clinicians working directly with pupils
  • Harm to pupil
Sports Coaches
  • Harm to pupils
Students participating in work experience
  • Harm to pupil
  • Harm to student
Recreation breaks & movement breaks for pupils
  • Harm by pupil to other pupils
  • Harm to student by staff
  • Harm to staff by student
Outdoor teaching activities
  • Harm to pupil – possible flight risk
School outings
  • Harm to pupil from unknown persons in the community
  • Harm by pupil to others
  • Harm from staff
Use of toilet/changing/shower areas in school
  • Harm to pupil
Use of off-site facilities for school activities (DCU, Horse Riding, Swimming, Raheny school pupils on work experience)
  • Harm by school staff
  • Harm by volunteers
  • Harm by unknown persons in the community
School transport arrangements including use of bus escorts
  • Harm to pupil
  • Harm by pupil
  • Harm by bus escorts
  • Harm by bus driver
  • Harm not recognised or promptly/ properly reported
Administration of Medicine
  • Harm to pupil
Administration of First Aid
  • Harm to pupil
Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils
  • Harm to pupil
  • Harm by pupil
Recruitment of school personnel including teachers, special needs assistants, chef, secretary, cleaners, volunteers, visitors, contractors present in school during school hours
  • Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported
Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school
  • Bullying
  • Access to inappropriate content
Use of video/photography/other media to record school events
  • Harm to pupil by posting images on-line
Communicating with children/pupils in school
  • Many pupils cannot disclose any incidence of abuse or any incidence relating to chid protection because of their inability to communicate or because of their level of intellectual disability

3. The school has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm identified in this assessment –

Training of school personnel in Child Protection matters
  • Child Safeguarding Statement, Risk Assessment & DES procedures made available to all staff
  • DLP& DDLP to attend PDST face to face training when it becomes available
  • All current staff have completed Túsla training module & online training offered by PDST
  • New permanent staff complete Tusla online course
  • BOM to maintain records of staff and board training
  • Access to SMH clinical personnel for additional advice and guidance
  • Classroom Teaching
    • Adequate staffing
    • Awareness that other staff members can/ will enter the room at any time
    • Glass in door of classroom to allow other staff to look in and view staff and pupil activities (If a decision has been made by the class teacher to cover part of the window, this action must be explained/ justified by a separate risk assessment, showing all other strategies that were used first).
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Recording and documentation of behaviours of concern
    • CALM training and annual re-accreditation
    • Anti-Bullying Policy
    • Health and Safety Statement and Policy
    • Classroom organised to meet the needs of pupils
    • Teaching Council Code of Practice
    • Sexual Harassment/ Staff Code of Conduct
    • Positive Working Together document in place
    One to one teaching/ One to one activities
    • Whenever, 1.1 occurs open doors until 2.1 restored
    • Table between teacher/SNA and pupil, unless using a TEACCH station
    • Glass in window
    • Easy access to room by other members of staff
    • Teacher or other staff member to be informed/ aware that a child is having a 1:1 session
    Care of Children with special needs, including intimate care needs
    • Policy on intimate care
    • Other staff to be made aware that the staff member is toileting a pupil
    • 2 SNAs required when intimate care is involved during the toileting process
    • When one SNA is only required to assist a child, the door should be left slightly ajar
    • All understand that another staff member may discreetly check on staff and pupil for child protection/ safety reasons
    • Protected disclosure Policy in place
    Curricular Provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay safe
    • School implements SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe relevant and appropriate to the needs of the students
    • Monitoring of implementation via medium planning & whole school plan.
    • Differentiate the programme to the needs of the child and understand the risk and vulnerability of the children.
    Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils
    • Arrival and dismissal supervised by Principal, Teachers, SNAs and Bus Escorts
    • Different entry/exit points to and from school to cater for individual needs and minimise risk
    • Staggered leaving times, to facilitate only one bus loading at a time
    • H&S Risk Assessment: Alighting and embarking on school transport (displayed on front automatic doors)
    • Bus supervision document (displayed on hall door)
    Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restrictive practice
    • Policy on Positive Behaviour Support & Use of Restrictive Practice
    • Management of behaviours that challenge including appropriate use of physical and mechanical restraint
    • Recording of behaviours of concern
    • Approval sought by SMH Positive Approaches Monitoring Group before prolonged use of any restraint
    • CALM training for teachers and SNAs
    • Health and Safety Statement and Policy
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Positive Behaviour Support Plans in place for some pupils
    • School can refer pupils to SMH Clinical Co-ordinator of Team 3 regarding cause and management of behaviours that challenge
    Clinicians working directly with pupils
    • Memorandum of Agreement between St. Michael’s House Organisation and St. Michael’s House Schools signed on 29.11.2017
    • Use of room with a door containing a glass panel
    • If the Resource room is used, the class teacher must be informed and the door must remain open.
    Sports Coaches
    • Pupils are never left alone or in a group without school staff present
    • Ensuring vetting of coach by the swimming pool or other relevant centre/affiliate body
    Students participating in work experience
    • Work Experience/Student Protocol in place
    • Child Safeguarding Statement and Policy
    • Check Garda Vetting is in place by the student’s own school/ college, if over 16 years of age
    • Students not to be left alone with pupils or to give them this responsibility
    • It is a condition of the school agreeing to facilitate student-placements/ observations by students under the care of SMH personnel (e.g. nursing, physio, O/T disciplines), SMH organisation is required to ensure that all Safeguarding requirements have been met
    Recreation breaks & movement breaks for pupils
    • Staggered times for use of playground
    • Adequate staffing
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Anti-Bullying Policy
    • Behaviour guidelines for individual pupils
    • Yard Supervision Rota
    • OT/ Physiotherapy recommendations and guidelines are followed/ implemented where relevant
    • CALM Training and annual re-accreditation
    • Teaching Council Code of Practice in place
    Outdoor teaching activities
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Health & Safety Statement and Policy
    • Policy on pupils who go missing from school
    School outings
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Staffing ratio planned in advance to ensure high level of supervision
    • Balanced approach to inclusion and consideration of health and safety risks
    • Appropriate vetting for volunteers or students assisting if applicable
    • Code of Conduct
    • Bus drivers are vetted by own contractor. Ensure that the bus driver is not left alone with pupils
    • Policy on pupils who go missing from school
    • Parents to sign permission slips for all school outings
    Use of toilet/changing/shower areas in school
    • Child Safeguarding Statement and Policy
    • 2 SNAs to be involved in intimate care of pupils
    • Students from other colleges/ schools and volunteers not to be involved in showering or toileting programmes, alone.
    Use of off-site facilities for school activities (DCU, Horse Riding, Swimming, Raheny school pupils on work experience)
    • Adequate personnel so that no pupil is left unattended
    • Volunteers/ students vetted
    • Intimate care policy
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Policy on pupils who go missing from school
    • Staff authorised to use personal phones to contact school when off-site
    • Risk assessment completed for the class prior to the commencement of intended activity
    • Risk assessment for 1:1 pupils to attend
    School transport arrangements including use of bus escorts
    • Vetting of bus drivers by contractor
    • All bus escorts are vetted prior to taking up a position
    • Bus escort to provide supervision
    • Seating plan for pupils designed to prioritise safety
    • Bus Escort Protocol in place re: handover of students, recording and reporting of incidents, pupil sickness/seizures, etc.
    • Reporting procedure for incidents
    • 1.1/2.1 taxi, if required and sanctioned
    • Medication procedures in place
    • Child Safeguarding Statement and Policy
    Administration of Medicine
    • Medical provision/ Illness in school
    • Health and Safety Statement
    • Health and safety Officer
    • SNA staff trained in Safe Administration of Medication
    • All staff to be aware of medication protocols for the pupils in their classes
    Administration of First Aid
    • Health and Safety Statement
    • First Aid Training for all SNAs
    • All injuries to the head are reported to parents/ guardians
    • All to be aware of those students in their care who are allergic to certain preparations and/or types of plaster
    Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils
    • Child Safeguarding Statement and Policy
    • Anti-Bullying Statement and Policy
    • Code of Behaviour
    Recruitment of school personnel including teachers, special needs assistants, chef, secretary, cleaners, volunteers, visitors, contractors present in school during school hours
    • Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff
    • Staff to view Tusla training module & any other online training offered by PDST
    • Vetting Procedures
    • All volunteers must be vetted
    • No child is ever left unsupervised by school staff, in areas where visitors or contractors may be working
    • Memorandum of Agreement between St. Michael’s House Organisation and St. Michael’s House Schools signed on 29.11.2017
    Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school
    • Internet safety/ Use of photos and text-a parent procedures
    • Anti-Bullying Policy
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Pupils always supervised while on computer/tablet and never left alone while engaging in online school-work
    Use of video/photography/other media to record school events
    • Parent Guidelines – memo from School Management
    • Parent permission sought for the use of images of child
    Communicating with children/pupils in school
    • Staff are trained in total communication. Staff use appropriate method of communication for each child
    • Heightened awareness by staff and vigilance when participating in personal care.
    • Reporting any concerns (e.g. unusual or repeated bruising, burns, cuts etc) to teacher and
    • recording on body-mapping charts. Reporting to DLP/DDLP if it is felt there are child
    • protection issues

    Important Note:

    : It should be noted that risk in the context of this risk assessment is the risk of “harm” as defined in the Children First Act 2015 and not general health and safety risk. The definition of harm is set out in Chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary Schools 2017.

    In undertaking this risk assessment, the board of management has endeavoured to identify as far as possible the risks of harm that are relevant to this school and to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to manage all risks identified. While it is not possible to foresee and remove all risk of harm, the school has in place the procedures listed in this risk assessment to manage and reduce risk to the greatest possible extent. This risk assessment has been completed by the Board of Management on 30th April 2020. It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.

    Signed:


    Chairperson, Board of Management

    Signed:


    Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

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    Health and Safety Statement 2019-2020

    1. Health and Safety Policy

    The Board of Management has a commitment to ensure that the school is as safe as is reasonably practicable. The safety statement outlines the health and safety management system that the school has in place.

    The Board of Management brings to the attention of its staff the following arrangements for safeguarding the safety, health and welfare of those employed, working and/or visiting the school.

    This policy requires the co-operation of all employees. It shall be reviewed annually or more frequently if necessary, in the light of experience, changes in legal requirements and operational changes. St. Michael’s House health and safety department shall carry out a safety audit annually and a report made to the Board of Management nominee (the Principal) for health and safety. All records of accidents and ill-health will be monitored in order to ensure that any safety measures required can be put in place to minimise the recurrence of such accidents and ill-health.

    The Board of Management is committed to:

    • Manage and conduct school activities so as to ensure the safety, health and welfare of staff, pupils and all visitors (clinicians, parents,etc.);
    • Prevent improper conduct or behaviour likely to put staff and others’ safety and health at risk;
    • Provide safe means of access and egress;
    • Provide safe plant and equipment;
    • Provide safe systems of work;
    • Prevent risk to safety and health from any article or substance;
    • Provide appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision;
    • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing where hazards cannot be eliminated;
    • Prepare, review and revise emergency plans;
    • Designate staff for emergency duties;
    • Provide and maintain welfare facilities;
    • Appoint a competent person to advise and assist in securing the safety, health and welfare of staff.

    Signed:


    Chairperson, Board of Management

    This safety statement has been prepared following consultation with employees, both staff and management.

    2. Introduction and School Profile

    This safety statement outlines the health and safety policy of St. Michael’s House Special National School, Raheny and in doing so aims to fulfill the requirements of all relevant legislation, in particular the:

    • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005,
    • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007.

    The Board of Management under the patronage of St. Michael’s House runs Raheny school. As such Raheny SNS will adopt and follow SMH policies and procedures as appropriate and where requirements are not set out by the Department of Education and Skills.

    Raheny SNS is a school that provides a service to pupils with Moderate and Multiple General Learning Disabilities. Both ambulant and non-ambulant pupils would require some form of assistance when leaving the building.

    The school is located on Raheny Road and is a two storey building. The junior classrooms, canteen, hall and staffrom are located on the ground floor and the senior classrooms, multisensory room, soft play room, library, home economics room, assisted bathroom, medical room, meeting rooms are located on the first floor.

    The school staff consists of:

    • 58 pupils
    • 10 teachers (including the Deputy principal)
    • 24 SNAs
    • 1 Administrative Principal
    • 1 school secretary, 1 chef and 2 cleaners

    Clinicians visit the school at varying times during the week.

    2.1 Resources for health and safety in the school

    St. Michael’s House health and safety department provide advice and support to the school in relation to health and safety matters. Additional health and safety resources that are required are requested through the Board of management.

    3. Roles and responsibilities

    3.1 Board of Management:

    • Complies with its legal obligations as employer under the 2005 Act;
    • Ensures that the school has written risk assessments and an up to date safety statement;
    • Reviews the implementation of the SMS (Safety Management System) and the safety statement;
    • Sets safety and health objectives;
    • Receives regular reports on safety and health matters and matters arising from same are discussed;
    • Reviews the safety statement at least annually and when changes that might affect workers’ safety and health occur;
    • Provision for the particular needs of individual pupils;
    • Reviews the school’s safety and health performance;
    • Allocates adequate resources to deal with safety and health issues;
    • Appoints competent persons as necessary, to advise and assist the Board of Management on safety and health at the school.

    3.2 St. Michael’s House – patron body

    • To support the Board of Management in fulfilling it duties under health and safety legislation
    • Provide advice around health and safety issues and concerns as requested

    3.3 Designated person for safety and health acting on behalf of the Board, e.g. the Principal:

    • Complies with the requirements of the 2005 Act;
    • Reports to the Board of Management on safety and health performance;
    • Manages safety and health in the school on a day-to-day basis;
    • Communicates regularly with all members of the school community on safety and health matters;
    • Ensures all accidents and incidents are investigated and all relevant statutory reports completed;

    3.4 Post-Holders (with particular functions in safety and health):

    • The Deputy Principal with duties related to safety and health must fulfill the duties as assigned.
    • Although ultimate responsibility for safety and health rests with the employer, the deputy principal must fulfill those duties assigned to which he/she agreed. These include:
      • Complete a Health and Safety Audit of the school every two months with the safety representative;
      • Review all classroom audits every two months with the safety representative.
      • Reports to the Principal on safety and health performance;
      • Organise a fire drill once a term.

    3.5 Safety Representative

    In accordance with Section 25 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, Raheny School recognises the right of all employees to elect a Safety Representative and also recognises the duties and rights attached with such a position.

    The role and statutory rights of the Safety Representative are summarised as follows:

      A safety representative has the right to information as is necessary to ensure the health and safety of employees at the place of work.
    • The Safety Representative shall be informed when an inspector from the H.S.A. enters the place of work, and shall accompany the inspector on an inspection tour, if requested.
    • The Safety Representative has the right to make representation to the Board of Management on any aspects of health and safety.
    • The Safety Representative, in conjunction with the Deputy Principal, may investigate accidents and dangerous occurrences provided he or she shall not interfere or obstruct the performance of statutory provisions.
    • The Safety Representative has the right to make oral or written representation to inspectors on any health and safety issue.
    • Receive advice and information from H.S.A. inspectors.
    • Attend interviews with employees after an accident / dangerous occurrence, if required.
    • Carry out safety inspections with prior consent and agreement.
    • Investigate potential hazards and complaints made by other teachers or employees.
    • Accompany an inspector on the investigation of an accident by prior request to do so.
    • Receive, without loss of remuneration, time off from his/her regular duties for the purpose of acquiring knowledge to discharge his/her functions, and time off to discharge this function.
    • The Safety Representative shall not be placed at any disadvantage in relation to his employment for discharging his/her function.
    • In the absence of the Principal and Deputy Principal have responsibility for H&S in Raheny SNS.

    3.6 Teaching/Non-teaching staff:

    • Comply with all statutory obligations on employees as designated under the 2005 Act;
    • Read and understand the Safety Statement;
    • Co-operate with school management in the implementation of the safety statement;
    • Formally check classroom/immediate work environment to ensure it is safe and free from fault or defect;
    • Check that equipment is safe before use;
    • Select and appoint a safety representative(s);
    • Take care of their own safety and that of any person who may be affected by their action or omissions at work;
    • Report accidents, near misses, and dangerous occurrences or faulty equipment to relevant persons as outlined in the safety statement;
    • Use Protective Equipment provided and safe systems of work to eliminate unavoidable risks.

    3.7 Other School Users:

    Other school users, e.g. pupils and visitors should comply with school regulations and instructions relating to safety and health.

    3.8 Contractors

      The St. Michael’s House technical services department organises and manages any building related works.

      Contractors must comply with statutory obligations as designated under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 and any other relevant legislation such as the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006.

    • Raheny School will make available the relevant parts of the safety statement and safety file (where one exists) to any contractors working in the school on behalf of the school.
    • Raheny School will provide the school regulations and instructions relating to safety and health.
    • Contractors must make available relevant parts of both their safety statement and risk assessments in relation to work being carried out.
    • The contractor must make direct contact with the principal before initiating any work on the school premises.
    • Any noise should be avoided wherever possible during school hours and shall at all times be reduced to the minimum necessary.
    • The contractor and his workmen shall not create any hazard, permanent or temporary, without informing the principal and shall mark any such hazard with warning signs or other suitable protection.

    4. Risk Assessment

    Hazards

    Raheny School is committed to identify hazards and to make suitable provisions for the elimination or reductions of those found to be present. To this end, it shall secure the assistance of competent external safety advice in conjunction with its internal resources to fulfill this role on an annual basis or as required as deemed necessary. These hazards shall be identified in a systematic manner through the use of a safe system audit. This will involve inspection of the school, examinations of the work place, equipment, procedures and records to date.

    Our staff and visitors who may detect a hazard or hazardous operation are requested / obligated to report such without delay to the Principal. The hazards listed below are the main risks to staff while working in Raheny SNS. These include:

    • Challenging Behaviour in the classtroom or playground (Appendix 1)
    • Slips, trips and falls (Appendix 2)
    • Manual handling (Appendix 3)
    • Chemical handling and storage (Appendix 4)
    • Food Safety (Appendix 5)
    • Administration and storage of medication (Appendix 6)
    • School Trips General (Appendix 7)
    • Unauthorised access and egress (Appendix 8)
    • Alighting and Embarking on School transport (Appendix 9)
    • First Aid (Appendix 10)
    • Playgroung equipment and general supervision (Appendix 11)
    • Safe use of assistive equipment (Appendix 12)
    • Fire in the school (Appendix 13)

    Pregnant Employees

    Raheny School provides specific risk assessment for their pregnant employees. The risk assessment is reviewed as regularly as needed and is discussed with the staff member on an on going basis.

    5. Welfare Facilities

    Raheny School provides suitable welfare facilities in accordance with applicable statutory provisions. We recognise that this provision is an essential element in securing safety, health and welfare for all.

    Suitable washing and sanitary facilities

    To include water flush toilets with washing facility which is subject to daily cleaning.

    Canteen

    There is a staffroom available for staff, which includes facilities to make tea/coffee and heat/prepare their own lunches. Staff must co-operate in maintaining a high standard of hygiene in this area. All hot drinks are required to have a lid if taken from the staffroom.

    Drinking Water

    Of suitable drinking quality as provided by council services.

    Medication/ Intoxicants

    Employees must not come to work whilst under the influece of intoxicants or whie taking medication that may affect their ability to carry out duties safely.

    Clothing/ Jewellery/ Accessories

    Comfortable, respectable clothes and footware must be worn. Jewellery must be kept to a minimum, e.g. no dangly earrings, necklaces, bracelets

    6. Emergency procedures, fire safety, first-aid, accidents and dangerous occurrences

    6.1 First Aid and Medical Attention.

    • All SNAs are trained in First Aid. First Aiders are requested to attend refresher courses every two years.
    • The First - Aid box is provided and stationed in the secretary’s office. A second one is kept in the assisted bathroom upstairs. It is the responsibility of the Staff Representative and the Deputy Principal to ensure these boxes are fully equipped.
    • When a child is enrolled in the school information is sought on any known allergies and / or sickness and specific illnesses such as diabetes etc.
    • In case of a medical emergency, an injured person should be brought to the nearest hospital.
    • It is important that First - Aiders keep records of any treatment given.
    • It is also the schools policy that in case of an accident or injury to a pupil, the pupils’ parents or guardian is contacted and invited to the school to take the pupil to the doctor depending on the severity of injury.
    • Failure to contact parents/guardian in the event of an emergency means that the pupil is taken to Temple Street Hospital.
    • If necessary the insurance company may be informed.

    6.2 Emergency Evacuation

    On discovery of Fire

    1. 1. Operate the fire alarm system – by breaking the glass in the Manual Fire Alarm Break Glass Unit (red break glass window to raise the alarm, green break glass window to open doors). (N.B. The Fire Alarm System may operate automatically).
    2. Call the Fire Brigade immediately:
      1. Lift receiver and dial 999
      2. Give the operator your telephone number (8511600) and ask for the Fire Brigade.
      3. When the Fire Brigade replies say there is a fire at:

      St. Michael’s House Special N.S., Raheny Road, Raheny, Dublin 5 State clearly that it is a St.Michael’s House School providing a service to people with learning disabilities, and wait for the fire brigade to repeat the address correctly before ringing off.

      Do not replace the receiver until the address has been repeated by the fire brigade.

    3. Locate the room on fire, evacuate and close all doors, evacuate building. (Please note if the fire is a single burning item consider extinguishing the fire using appropriate equipment if safe to do so.) The principal and secretary will go to the fire panel and see where the fire is. The secretary will check the lift to ensure it is empty. Use exits furthest away from fire.
    4. If you hear the Fire Alarm:
      1. Leave building, close all doors and go to the relevant assembly point-see evacuation map.
      2. In the case of a staff member with the responsibility for a pupil/s this staff member has to ensure that the pupil/s are evacuated safely from building (see class evacuation plan).
      3. Visiting clinicians who are engaged with pupils will evacuate students they are working with and assemble at nearest assembly point – see evacuation map.
    5. Evacuate all occupants and move them away from fire area in the direction of the appropriate exit- see evacuation map.
    6. Move ambulant occupants first, then move those requiring assistance as soon as possible.
    7. Be familiar with the mobility of pupils (as detailed on the Fire Safety – Class Evacuation Plan) and evacuation chair and albac blanket usage for certain students.
    8. Every teacher will take charge and will ensure no one is left in the classroom or toilet.
    9. The secretary will stay by the intercom system to inform staff and non-ambulant pupils in the stairwell of progress and whether to evacuate or not.
    10. The principal will take charge of padlock keys, medication, mobile phone and roll books and will collect them on exit. She will also liaise with the Respite Houses and inform them of the fire.
    11. Staff and pupils should remain in appropriate assemble point and the principal will conduct roll call to ensure all persons are safe at the assembly point and will be able to inform the fire brigade accordingly.
    12. The principal will assist the fire brigade upon their arrival.
    13. If the staff and pupils are required to evacuate the school grounds, the new assembly point will be the Grange Woodbine Club.
    14. If the principal is absent, the deputy principal will ensure the pupils are out of the classroom and will then take on the duties of the principal. If the secretary is absent, the kitchen chef will take over her duties.

    Fire Safety Equipment

    The school is also aware of its duties under the Fire Services Act of 1981, in the provision and maintenance of the following: -

    1. Fire detection equipment.
    2. Fire extinguishers and other means of fire prevention.
    3. Warning systems.
    4. Exit signs.
    5. Emergency lighting and notices.
    6. Appropriate instruction and training of staff.
    7. The holding of evacuation drills.
    8. Safe means of escape.

    Fire fighting equipment is located around the school and the locations can be seen on the emergency evacuation maps.

    • There is a fire fact file present, which is regularly updated and documented
    • Grace Winston (Deputy Principal) and Rachel McGrath (Staff Representative) have been designated as the local fire and deputy fire officers.
    • Staff will be trained by SMH In House Fire Advisor
    • They will be trained by SMH In House Fire Advisor in the use of fire extinguishers.

    6.3 Accident Recording & Notification

    • The importance of recording all accidents and dangerous incidents is recognized by the school to identify possible hazards and to reduce further risks.
    • Any accident or dangerous occurrence must be notified to the principal or person in charge as soon as is reasonably practicable.
    • The principal will then carry out an investigation into the incident (as deemed necessary). A full record of the incident will be written into the school’s Accident Book, or more detailed notes will be kept in the child’s file, depending on the nature of the accident. Accidents may be also recorded on the SMH Accident e-form, if required.
    • All serious accident/ incident forms will be submitted into an SMH database that will allow reports to be generated to monitor accidents and challenging behaviour incidents.
    • The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 requires the School to notify the HSA if the following applies:
      • The incident is included in the dangerous occurrences outlined in the 12th Schedule of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 and
      • If any person is prevented from performing his/her normal work for more than three consecutive days after the incident (not including the day of the incident but including non working days)
      • In the case of death. If an accident is fatal the scene of the accident must be left undisturbed for 3 days after notice has been given, other than for rescue purposes.
      • A pupil that is injured as a result of a work related activity and requires medical treatment by a registered medical practitioner

    Notification to the HSA must be given. This is completed on line through the HSA website by the SMH Admin Manager in the North East region.

    6.4 Procedure for percutaneous bites

    • Any staff member that has received a bite needs to:
      • Encourage bleeding of the wound under running water
      • Wash the wound thoroughly
      • Cover the wound with a waterproof dressing
      • Report the incident to the Principal
      • Infection control Nurse or Nurse Manage on Call to be advised
      • Follow Guidelines as Per Policy Document “Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Blood Exposures St. Michaels House”

    7. Procedures to be implemented in the event of an assault on an employee

    Raheny school endeavours to provide a safe environment for all it’s staff. It has a duty under Section 8 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees. Circular 0061/2017 and Circular 0062/2017 outlines the regulations and procedures regarding the Scheme for Leave of Absence following Assault for registered teachers and special needs assistants (SNA) employed in schools. Assault is defined as:

    physical contact from a third party causing physical injury to a teacher/ SNA in the course of the teacher’s/ SNA’s duties and during approved school activities.

    In the event of an assault the following procedures should be followed:

    1. The incident should be reported immediately to the Principal, or to the Deputy Principal, in the Principal’s absence.
    2. The staff member involved will remove him/her self from the situation to a safer environment.
    3. The incident will be recorded on the school’s Significant Incident Report Form.
    4. The staff member will be seek medical assistance, where necessary.
    5. If the staff member is absent for three days or more, the Health and Safety Authority will be notified by the Principal.
    6. The incident will be reported to the Gardai, where appropriate.
    7. The school will ensure that all appropriate safeguards have been put in place to protect persons at risk and to prevent, in so far as is practicable, the occurrence of assault.
    8. The Application Form will be completed by the teacher/ SNA and the Principal, will be forwarded to the Department of Education and Skills (DES) within a week of the incident occurring and be accompanied by copies of the required reporting documentation. Where in exceptional cases the teacher/ SNA is unable to complete his/her part of the application within a week of the incident due to physical incapacity, this period may be extended by the employer – applications must be forarded within a reasonable period in this event.

    8. Health and safety training for staff Information. Training & Instruction

    Raheny School will endeavour to provide instruction, information and training for each employee in relation to their safety, health and welfare. It is our wish to have a workforce and pupils that are pro-active and aware of health and safety. We will provide adequate finances to obtain this objective.

    There are a number of training requirements that have been identified for staff that are working in Raheny SNS. They are as follows:

    • Health and safety Induction training including Hand Hygiene and Fire Safety
    • Manual handling training
    • Challenging Behaviour and CALMS training
    • First Aid training
    • Risk assessment training (Prinicpal & DeputyPrincipal)
    • Teachers also avail of ongoing training themselves; these records are stored on school file
    • Clamping on school transport (where appropriate)

    Mandatory Health and safety training and training that is run by SMH is provided and organized through the SMH Staff Training and Development department.

    The principal or nominated person monitors the training needs for the staff in the school. The SMH Staff Training and Development department can be contacted to obtain this information when requested. This person contacts the Staff Training and Development department to organize any training/refresher that is required. Any other training deemed necessary is organized and provided by Raheny SNS.

    9. Consultation

    The safety statement will be brought to the attention of all staff upon commencement of employment as per Section 20(3) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. All staff are required to read and sign off as having read the safety statement. The safety statement will be reviewed on an annual basis. Changes will be made as and when necessary to reflect changes within legislation, work processes or introduction of work equipment that affects the contents of the safety statement. Any changes will be communicated to the staff team as required.

    9.1 Safety representative

    Raheny School recognises that employee involvement in health and safety is an integral part of the operations of the school, and sees health and safety as being of value within these operations.

    Thus the Board of management encourages employees to elect from their ranks a Safety Representative.

    The Safety Representative will consult with the Principal and the Board of management through procedures on any relevant health and safety issue. The Board will at all times consider and act, if appropriate, on any issue brought to their attention by the Safety Representative.

    The Board of Management will provide any necessary training and information to the Safety Representative in accordance to Section 25 Part 4 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, to enable the Safety Representative to fulfill his/her duty.

    10. Measuring performance

    The Board of Management will measure, monitor and evaluate its safety and health management system to make sure it is robust. This will be measured against agreed standards such as:

    • Legislative requirements;
    • The school safety and health policy and the written risk assessments contained in the safety statement;
    • Safety and health objectives, as part of the school plan
    • The Board of Management meetings will contain Health and Safety on the agenda

    Health and safety audits

    An annual health and safety audit will take place of the building and its activities. This will be completed by the health and safety department of SMH. The Board of Management is provided with a comprehensive report on its findings and recommendations for any corrective actions that are required.

    Internal safety inspections

    Every two months the Deputy Principal and Staff Representative will complete a health and safety checklist of the building. This is to highlight any environmental or system issue that will need to be addressed. Reports are then submitted to the Principal. On a quarterly basis these checklists are discussed with the Chairperson of the Board to review on-going health and safety issues for the school. Every classroom team will complete a health and safety checklist of their classroom every two months. This is to highlight any environmental issue that will need to be addressed.

    Results from audits will be combined with information from on going measuring of performance to improve the school’s overall approach to safety and health management.

    11. Non-compliance by employees

    If employees disagree with the Safety Statement, every effort will be made to ensure that they fully understand the relevance and importance of the Safety Statement. If an employee continues to not comply with the Safety Statement, this will be discussed with the School Principal and if non-compliance persists, the Principal will refer to the DES Grievance Procedures.

    12. Links to other school policies

    This statement shoud be read in conjunction with the schools Code of Behaviour, Anti Bullying Policy and the school's Enrolment Policy.

    13. Ratification and Review

    This statement was ratified by the Board of Management on 4th April 2019 and will be reviewed annually. This policy will be made available to parents/ guardians of children in the school and placed on the school’s website.

    Signed:


    Chairperson, Board of Management

    Signed:


    Principal

    Date of next review: December 2021.

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    Anti-Bullying Policy

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    1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) , the Board of Management of St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS) has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013. This policy focuses solely on bullying that involves pupils who attend SMH SNS.
    2. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
      • A positive school culture and climate which:
        • provides a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere
        • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity
        • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment
        • promotes respectful relationships across the school community.
      • Effective leadership
      • A school-wide approach
      • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
      • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that:
        • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils
        • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying, when appropriate
      • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
      • Supports for staff
      • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies)
      • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

      This anti-bullying policy operates in conjunction with the SMH SNS Code of Behaviour and together these policies recognise the individuality of each child's needs to be accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of every child to education in a disruption free environment.

    3. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

      Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

      The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

      • deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
      • cyber-bullying and
      • identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community, and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

      Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

      However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

      Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

      Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

      Bullying can be:

      Emotional
      • Being unfriendly, name calling, excluding
      • Tormenting e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures
      • Passing on malicious gossip
      • Excluding another child from play, social activities or class work
      Physical
      • Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
      Verbal
      • Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing, taunting, ‘slagging’
      Cyber
      • All areas of internet, such as email and internet chat room misuse
      • Mobile threats by text messaging and calls, social networking
      • Misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera and video facilities

      Identity Based Behaviours Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community).

      Homophobic and Transgender
      • Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation
      • Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation
      • Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian...used in a derogatory manner
      • Physical intimidation or attacks
      • Threats
      Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community
      • Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background
      • Exclusion on the basis of any of the above
      Sexual
      • Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching
      • Harassment

      Bullying is usually distinguished from friendly teasing or conflict situations. SMH SNS differentiates between these two as outlined by the following:

      • Typical peer conflict situations involve:
        • Equal power between students
        • Students involved may be friends
        • Negative actions don’t follow a pattern
        • Conflict not premeditated and no real intention to cause harm
        • Followed by sincere remorse
        • Interest in repairing relationship
        • Both students play active role
        • Students may be supported by other peers
        • There is an intention to resolve a situation.
      • Bullying involves:
        • Imbalance of power between students
        • No real friendship between students
        • Negative actions are repeated
        • Actions are purposeful and possibly premeditated
        • Bully shifts blame, no sincere remorse
        • No interest in repairing relationship
        • Incident is one-sided
        • Target is alone without peer support
        • Intention is to gain power, control, or items.
      • 4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows: (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
        • All class teachers
        • Principal (Deputy Principal, in his/her absence)
        • St. Michael’s House clinicians e.g. psychologists and/ or social workers will be called upon when dealing with bullying, if required.

        Any teacher may act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it.

      • 5. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and trans phobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows (see Section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):

        School – wide approach

      • A school wide approach to the fostering of respect, trust, care, consideration and support for all members of the school community.
      • Promoting tolerance, understanding, respecting and accommodating people’s differences.
      • Planned transition times between different activities, lessons, etc.
      • Explicit teaching of what behaviours and actions that constitute being a good friend.
      • Choosing groups and team in lessons to prevent pupils being left out or bullied.
      • Examining good dynamics.
      • Providing positive role models and celebrating positive behaviour.
      • Awareness of cyber bullying and tackling same when appropriate.
      • Structure break times and/or lunchtime so that particular pupils can be given their own space if required, using the 1-1 room downstairs.
      • Explicit teaching of acceptable and unacceptable ways of expressing feelings, how the behaviour can affect others, calming down as an alternative to expressing their anger and frustration inappropriately.
      • Recognising pupil’s individual achievements in the area of social interactions and reinforce them through the use of praise and rewards.
      • Because of the difficulties with ‘reading’ social situations, students with a moderate general learning disability need to be taught how to distinguish between bullying and accidents or misunderstandings e.g. using Social Stories.
      • Where appropriate, the inclusion of SPHE targets in the pupil’s Individual Education Plan, aimed at establishing and maintaining positive peer relationships.
      • Identifying of risk times and places and adequate supervision and monitoring at this time. Places include classrooms, corridors, stairwells, school grounds, school tours and areas of unstructured activities. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers.
      • Monitoring the use of communication technology within the school.
      • Distributing the school’s anti-bullying policy to all new parents/ guardians when their child is enrolling into the school.
      • Implementing regular whole school measures e.g. a dedicated notice board in the school on the promotion of friendship. Class rules will be established in September. Rules will be few, simple and easy to understand.
      • Encouraging a culture of telling or reporting incidents of bullying. Pupils should know that when they report incidents of bullying they are behaving responsibly.
      • Ensuring that all pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g. teacher, SNA, parent/guardian, and witnesses. Non-verbal pupils will be facilitated by using visual supports and Lamh.
      • Implementation of Curricula

      • The full implementation of the SPHE curriculum and the RSE and Stay Safe Programmes.
      • Extended SPHE/ social skills curriculum e.g. pupils learn about their own strengths and areas where they need support, writing stories/ poems or drawing pictures about bullying, reading stories about bullying, making up role plays, having discussions about bullying and why it matters, discussing scenarios ‘What if…’
      • Development of social skills through PE, Music, Drama, Language and Communication and Visual Arts.

      Links to other Policies

      The following policies are relevant to bullying: Code of Behaviour, Child Protection Policy, Bus Supervision and Yard Supervision, Internet Safety/ Acceptable Use Policy.

    4. 6. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):

      The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationship of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame).

      Stage One

      PARENTAL CONCERN

      Any pupil or parent/ guardian may bring an alleged bullying incident to a teacher in the school. Should a parent/guardian have any concerns, which need to be discussed with the relevant teacher, all staff members are more than willing to facilitate such a meeting. Parents can liaise with the relevant teacher using the home school notebook or make a call to the school office to arrange a convenient time for all parties involved. This arrangement ensures that all concerns are dealt with in a dignified, meaningful manner, without infringing on valuable teaching time.

      As it is a serious accusation to make against a child, the school requires a signed ‘statement’ from a parent/ guardian who believes their child is being bullied. This statement should include as much detail as possible relating to who, when, where, and what happened over a period of time. Parents will be advised in writing that the alleged perpetrators' parents need to be told and may be given a copy of the statement. A copy of this statement may then be presented to the parent(s) of the alleged perpetrator.

      All reports will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher. Teaching and non-teaching staff such as SNA’s, secretary, bus escorts, house mother and cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher.

      PARENT AND/OR SCHOOL STAFF CONCERN

      Teachers respect the need to support the esteem of each party involved in an incident. When the relevant teacher becomes aware that a child is regularly involved in incidents he/she will start a record of such incidents/ reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding it. These will be recorded in the Green class folder or in a class notebook for confidential information.

      The purpose of this record is:

      • To aid memory by recording details of the incident
      • For clarity in assessment of the situation
      • To identify behaviour and assess frequency and seriousness of the situation
      • For planning and intervention
      • To support both the perpetrator and victim
      • To use as the basis for future discussions with the parents of both children

      The teacher will investigate and act appropriately as per procedures. If the relevant teacher suspects that bullying occurred, the Principal/Deputy Principal should be informed.

      Parents of those involved should be notified and given an opportunity to discuss the matter with the relevant teacher.

      If not too serious, the situation could be monitored for a while.

      Victim and alleged perpetrator to be treated seriously and with fairness.

      If the situation is serious and is continued for a time, then the Principal will make a referral to St. Michael’s House Psychology Department.

      Direct contact between parents of both children will be encouraged and facilitated by the school. However it must be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents/ guardians) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents/ guardians and the school.

      The relevant teacher will continue to monitor the situation and talk to victim and perpetrator(s) periodically and speak to parents.

      The relevant teacher will repeat the discussion with class (es) about rights, responsibilities, by using role-play, etc.

      A record should be kept of how the matter was handled and the outcome. When the class moves on, the succeeding teacher should be informed of any problems.

      INVESTIGATING A REPORT OF BULLYING

      Stage One

      Staff investigating a report of bullying will adopt the following:

      • A calm, unemotional, problem solving approach
      • Incidents are best investigated outside of the classroom situation
      • Teachers will speak separately to the children involved
      • Parents will be informed where it has been determined that bullying has occurred
      • Once the bullying of the child has ceased, the teacher will check with the child on a regular basis that no further difficulties have arisen.

      Should the action taken at this stage prove not to have resolved the issue, the staff will proceed to stage two.

      Stage Two

      The Principal will arrange to meet with the parents of the child who is seen to be bullying and separately with the parents of the victim of bullying. In the event that a referral to St. Michael’s House Psychology Department has been made, then the psychologist from St. Michael’s House will be invited to attend the meeting. The co-operation of parents is essential.

      The children themselves may be required to attend part or this entire meeting. The child who is bullying will be placed on report. This means that school staff monitors the child’s behaviour in all areas during the day.

      The child has on-going meetings with his/her teacher and together they agree a review for that day. All positive behaviour, progress on work etc. will be noted. At the end of the day, the teacher writes his/her own comment. The purpose of this report is to focus as much as possible on the positive qualities and efforts of the child, and to motivate the child to move away from negative behaviour.

      Initially a review of the reports will be carried out on a weekly basis, in a meeting with the Principal, teacher, parents and child. If progress is being made, longer intervals between meetings may be decided upon. The co-operation of parents is essential.

      The child who is the victim of bullying will also meet with the Principal and his/her parents. The aim of such a meeting(s) will be to address the child's emotional needs and devise strategies for the child to deal with the bullying. This may involve reinforcing the programme being covered in class, or other strategies.

      If the situation is not resolved, the Principal will inform the Board of Management.

      Stage Three

      In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template at Appendix 3.

      In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:

      • Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased,
      • Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable,
      • Whether the relationship between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable,
      • Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents/guardians or the school Principal or Deputy Principal.
      • Where a parent/ guardian is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent/guardian must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
      • In the event that a parent/guardian has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parent/ guardian of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

      The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Appendix 3 to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:

      • In cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred; and
      • Where the school has decided as part of its anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances, i.e. cyber bullying, bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.
        • When the recording template is used, it must be retained by the relevant teacher in question in the classroom green folder and a copy maintained by the principal. At the end of the year, this is then placed in the pupil’s file in the secretary’s office.
        • All serious instances of bullying behaviour should be reported to the HSE or the Designated Liaison Person may consult with the HSE if unsure whether to make a report or not.

      When a case of bullying has been brought to the attention of the Board of Management, any resolution or final actions will also be reported to them.

      Established Intervention Strategies

      • Teacher interviews with all pupils
      • Negotiating agreements between pupils and following these up by monitoring progress. This can be on an informal basis or implemented through a more structured mediation process
      • Working with parents/ guardians to support school interventions
      • No Blame Approach
      • Circle Time
    5. 7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):

      Help, support and counselling will be given as is appropriate to both victims and the bullies. We will support the victim in the following ways:

      • By offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about experience with their class teacher, or another teacher if they choose.
      • By informing the victim’s parents/ guardians.
      • By offering continuing support when they feel they need it.
      • By offering opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem.
      • By providing learning strategies that allow for the enhancement of the pupil’s self worth.
      • By consulting with St. Michael’s House clinic team to discuss coping strategies.
      • By taking one or more of the disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying.

      We will also discipline, yet try to help and support the bully in the following ways:

      • By talking about what happened to discover why they became involved
      • Informing the bully’s parents/ guardians
      • By continuing to work with the bullies in order to get rid of prejudiced attitudes as far as possible.
      • Consult with the St. Michael’s House clinic team to discuss strategies to modify behaviour.
      • Establishing the function of the behaviour (i.e. attention, escape, intrinsic reinforcement or access to a tangible object) in order to put in place appropriate consequences on the child’s Behaviour Plan.
      • Support the individual pupil by teaching the child new ways to express themselves.
      • Parents/ guardians will be informed to ensure the consistency of the Behaviour Plan between home and school to promote a generalised approach.
    6. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

      The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible. The following areas have been identified as hot spots for bullying in our school:

      • Playground
      • Blind spot at side of school
      • Stairs
      • Corridors
      • Buses
    7. Prevention of Harassment

      The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

    8. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 9th December 2020.

    9. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and is readily accessible to parents on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

    10. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website when ready and will be accessible to parents on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

    Signed:


    Chairperson, Board of Management

    Date of next review: December 2021

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    Child Safeguarding Statement

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    St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS), Raheny is a special school providing primary & post-primary education to pupils from age four to eighteen.

    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 SMH SNS has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

    1. 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
    2. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Mary Downes
    3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP is Grace Winston
    4. The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. In its policies, procedures, practices and activities, the school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

      The school 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 and 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; and
      • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

      The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.

    5. 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 school, the school 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 school 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 school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 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 defined in the 2015 Act) the school-
        • Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
        • Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’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 reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for 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 school the Board has appointed the abovenamed DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the s child safeguarding statement.
      • All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under 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 school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures.
      • The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school.

      Note: The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management shall also include in this section such other procedures/measures that are of relevance to the school in question.

    6. This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association (if any) and the patron. 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.
    7. 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 30th April 2020.

    Signed:


    Chairperson, Board of Management

    Signed:


    Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

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    Positive Behaviour Support & Use of Restrictive Practices

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    1. INTRODUCTION

    In keeping with the ethos of St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS), this policy reflects our commitment to providing a safe and secure learning environment for all pupils. It applies to all staff in SMH SNS.

    SMH SNS promotes the use of positive approaches with children with behavioural support needs and a restriction free environment. On occasion, the use of restrictive interventions may be required as a last resort and for the purpose of protecting a child's wellbeing and the wellbeing of others, but this is always the least restrictive approach possible, for the shortest period of time possible and proportionate to the risks.

    This policy has been reviewed in conjunction with St. Michael’s House (SMH) Positive Behaviour Support Policy (2019), and Policy on the Use of Restrictive Practices (2019). SMH categorises restrictive practices as mechanical, physical, environmental and chemical. SMH SNS use these restrictive practices, in exceptional circumstances, as outlined in this policy.

    2. RATIONALE

    Our school in the first instance applies the principles outlined in our Code of Behaviour which provide guidelines to staff on the use of day to day positive behavioural management strategies. These are designed to help all pupils to modify/manage their own behaviour in the long-term. We apply a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) model where the pupil is supported on a three-tiered level: a school wide PBS approach, a classroom based PBS approach and an individually targeted approach. With the latter, every pupil who presents with behaviours of concern has a Positive Behaviour Support Plan (PBSP). This plan is specific to the pupil, developed by the teacher and special neds assistants, with clinical advice as appropriate/available and in consultation with the pupil's parent(s)/guardian(s), whose signed consent is sought for the plan.

    This PBS approach is about understanding the function of a behaviour through recording and analysing data followed by the teaching of functionally equivalent skills to replace the behaviour of concern. The PBS approach acknowledges that children develop their safety awareness and behavioural self-management at different rates and communicate their need for support in managing their behaviour in different ways. As teachers, we modify our approach through listening to the message being communicated. Positive Behaviour Support Plans outline all the proactive strategies to be put in place to reduce a pupil's challenging behaviour and its impact on him/her/others. If these strategies and supports are not always sufficient to maintain the safety and wellbeing of the child or others, the plan will include a reactive strategy for what to do when the behaviours are occurring, such as a low arousal approach or removal of other pupils to a place of safety.

    As much as possible, our reactive strategy is based upon the message/function of the behaviour. This means that we facilitate a child to ‘solve the problem’ (access our attention, change their location, finish work, request pain relief, etc) using other skills. We do this to resolve the incident as quickly and as safely as possible. Our philosophy is to regulate before we educate. This is particularly important for pupils with anxiety and /or ASD.

    In exceptional circumstances, where there is a risk that a person may be in immediate danger as a result of aggressive challenging behaviour or from a health and safety point of view, the use of restrictive strategies may be necessary (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Act 37a). In such instances, this policy on the use of restrictive practice applies.

    If it is necessary to use a restrictive practice, it must be the lowest level of restriction that is effective for a particular intervention and should applied for the least amount of time possible. The detail of how and in what circumstances the restrictive practices are used with the pupil is included in his/her School Positive Behaviour Support Plan. The guidelines below are followed which include constant monitoring and review.

    The Board of Management takes seriously its duty of care to pupils, employees and visitors noting that:

    The paramount concerns are for the safety and welfare of the pupils in the school as well as for the safety and welfare of the adults who look after them. Therefore, we will aim to implement our duty of care to all affected by our work at all times.

    3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

    The policy is based on guidance from the following:

    • Education and Welfare Act 2000
    • Safety, Health and Welfare At Work Act, 2005
    • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application)(Amendment) Regulations 2007 (as well as other statutes and standards)
    • Children First Guidelines 2011
    • Department of Education Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017
    • Guidelines for Schools on Supporting Students with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties - An information guide for Primary Schools: DES 2013
    • St. Michael’s House: Policy on the use of Restrictive Practices
    • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
    • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    • NCSE (2015) Policy advice paper No. 5: Supporting children with ASD in schools
    • Mental Health Commission (2010) Code of Practice: Guidance for persons working in mental health services with people with intellectual disabilities.
    • Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) (2016). Guidance for designated centres on restraint procedures (2014, updated 2016).

    This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies and structures:

    • Safeguarding Statement
    • Anti-Bullying
    • Code of Behaviour
    • Health and Safety Statement
    • Admissions Policy
    • Intimate Care
    • Home School Communication Policy/ Grievance Procedure
    • Data Protection Policy
    • Supervision Policy

    4. AIMS

    • To provide clear guidelines to staff, pupils and parents/guardians regarding the use of restrictive practices in our school, including the use of time out of class and withdrawal from class.
    • To create a culture within the school where there is minimal use of restrictive practices, where any restrictive practices used are: the least restrictive possible, used for the shortest duration possible and proportionate to the presenting risks.
    • To promote the children's development of effective relationships, mood management and interpersonal skills.
    • To develop individual proactive strategies (outlined in a pupil's Positive Behaviour Support Plan), where applicable, that reduce the likelihood of challenging behaviour occurring and manage its impact on the child/others if/when it does occur.
    • To ensure that parent(s)/guardian(s) are consulted and consent to the ways in which their child's behaviour is supported while at school.
    • To adopt and maintain a low arousal approach throughout the school, keeping the environment as calm as possible.
    • To manage serious incidents if they occur.
    • To reduce the risks associated with serious incidents such as injuries to pupils, staff or others or serious damage to property.

    5. DEFINITIONS

    Restrictive Practices

    The term Restrictive Practices refer to the use of mechanical restraint, physical restraint, environmental restraint or chemical restraint for the purpose of requiring a child to refrain from behaviour that may cause damage or injury.

    Mechanical Restraint

    The application and use of materials or devices on or close to a child’s body that he/she cannot easily remove and that restrict freedom of movement of a part or all of their body or that restrict his/her normal access to the body or parts thereof. Some examples of mechanical restraints are: belts, straps, harnesses, modified seatbelts (guards/locks/harnesses), restrictive clothing, cuffs, splints, bed rails, recliner chairs and wheelchair trays.

    Physical Restraint

    The use of physical interventions such as holding or guiding/blocking a child or part of his/her body, for the purpose of preventing his/her free movement (MHC, 2010). Examples of such interventions are: standing in the way of a child so as to block/guide them in another direction, some holds used for medical/nursing procedures and certain restrictive CALM techniques.

    Note: CALM escape, release and de-escalation techniques are exempt from this category, as they are not restrictive in nature.

    Chemical Restraint

    The use of medication to control or modify a child’s behaviour when no medically identified condition is being treated (HIQA, 2016). This form of restraint is also known as ‘psychotropic medication as restraint’, which is defined as the use of sedative or tranquilising drugs for the treatment of problem behaviours (MHC, 2010), where this use extends beyond a short-term measure of up to 3 months. Chemical restraint is only considered as a last resort and on prescription of a medical practitioner.

    Note: Drug treatments for any underlying medical or psychiatric conditions that a person may have are not included in this category. Treatment for anticipatory anxiety prior to procedures such as phlebotomy, medical/dental examination and/or treatments are also not considered to be restrictive practices.

    Environmental Restraint

    The use of environmental design or barriers to intentionally restrict a child’s movement in, use of or leaving of an area. Such measures include, but are not limited to: locked doors, close tables that prevent a mobile child from leaving a chair, removing powered mobility or alternative communication devices, handles/catches out of reach and strategies that involve the withdrawal or separation of the person from others.

    In schools, because of the developing safety awareness of children and the necessity to maintain a safe environment for them, it is necessary to restrict the children's access to certain areas and their unsupervised exit from the building. In this school, the following restrictions apply as standard practice, in order to provide a safe and calm learning environment for pupils:

    • locked/fobbed/coded doors: school entrance, staff rooms, staff offices, kitchen
    • Certain classrooms and communal pupil areas
    • Handles/catches out of reach on some presses and classroom doors
    • Locked presses (e.g. for chemicals, cleaning products, sharp objects)
    • Window restrictors
    • Playground gates/grounds secured

    Various terms can be used to describe environmental restraint strategies that involve separating or withdrawing a child from others e.g. time out, time away, withdrawal, use of quiet space, single separation, seclusion etc.

    In the interest of clarity, 4 categories of separation strategy are defined here:

    • Access to a Separate Area: When a child goes into a separate unlocked area by choice. This may be scheduled, as part of their routine, or in particular circumstances e.g. through use of a break card or communication book. Access to a separate unlocked area is not a restrictive strategy.
    • Withdrawal: When a child is encouraged into a separate unlocked area or others are moved out of the area he/she is in. This is a restrictive strategy.
    • Single Separation: When a child is alone in a separate locked area. Single separation is a highly restrictive strategy of last resort. It should only be considered when all other less or non-restrictive strategies have been ruled out. Any use of single separation must be recorded (reasons for, duration, persons involved in the decision). The child must be continuously monitored and supervised during any period of single separation and the strategy must be discontinued at the earliest possible safe time.
    • Seclusion: Seclusion is unsupervised single separation in a locked area. This is a prohibited practice in this school and is in line with SMH Positive Behaviour Support Policy (2019).

    Note: The Department of Education and Skills (as cited in NCSE, 2015) provides for "small safe spaces" in schools that teach children with special educational needs. These rooms are used by children who choose to access it as a "separate area" (non-restrictive) and/or for the small number of children whose individualised School Behaviour Support Plan includes the strategies of withdrawal or single separation.

    Note: Access to a Separate Area and Withdrawal are not restrictive strategies in and of themselves, but they becomes restrictive if physical restraint (as defined above) is used when bringing the child to a separate area or when removing others from the area. It is important to note that blocking or physical guiding are forms of physical restraint when they are used to control or direct a child's movement.

    6. NON-RESTRICTIVE PHYSICAL AND HEALTHCARE INTERVENTIONS

    Some interventions used in SMH SNS to support children's physical or healthcare needs may appear similar in design or approach to restraints, but are not restrictive. Such interventions include:

    • Supporting/holding limbs during personal care or therapy sessions/exercises and transitions
    • Drug treatment prescribed by a medical practitioner for underlying medical/psychiatric conditions or for anticipatory anxiety relating to procedures
    • Providing a child with physical prompts/guiding through an activity, including physical reassurance where appropriate e.g. in busy/dangerous environments.
    • Protective helmets worn due to seizures/recurrent falls
    • Wheelchairs/ buggies (for mobility reasons or reduced exercise tolerance/stamina)
    • Shower/bath/toileting aids, standing/walking frames, sleeping/lying positioning systems
    • Straps/harnesses/trays used for postural purposes
    • Arm splints, body suits and harnesses that are prescribed for orthopaedic or tone management purposes

    The above interventions are not considered to be mechanical or physical restraints or restrictive practices provided they are required for the purpose of improving or maintaining a child’s health or comfort and not used with the intension of restricting the child's freedom of movement.

    Two important exceptional circumstances are:

    • if the child resists, refuses or appears distressed by the physical/healthcare intervention, or
    • if the child presents with a mixture of behavioural and postural/medical needs, to the extent that the intervention could be perceived by the child or by others as restrictive in nature.

    Note: If either of the above exceptional circumstances occurs, the intervention much be considered to have a restrictive element and approval for use must be sought from the Positive Approaches Monitoring Group (PAMG) in these instances.

    7. PROHIBITED PRACTICES

    The following practices are expressly prohibited for all school staff working with pupils in all situations:

    • Any use of a restrictive practice, meeting any of the above definitions for a mechanical, physical, environmental or chemical restraint, which has not been given the appropriate level of approval (see table under Restrictive Practices below for the level of approval required for different levels and types of restrictive practice), except in emergency circumstances (as outlined in policy)
    • Any abusive use of physical, mechanical, environmental or chemical restraint
    • Any infliction of pain, discomfort, negative consequences, punishment or humiliation on a pupil or threats thereof
    • Any use of seclusion (unsupervised single separation)

    N.B. Should a staff member observe or suspect the conduct of a prohibited practice, this should be treated as a safeguarding concern and the Child Safeguarding Statement of the St. Michael's House SNS should be followed.

    8. POSITIVE APPROACHES MONITORING GROUP (PAMG)

    The Positive Approaches Monitoring Group (PAMG) is a St. Michael's House committee. It exists to promote the use of positive non-restrictive practices with the children and adults who use St. Michael's House services. The PAMG performs 4 key functions: approval (assessing and granting or refusing approval for the use of restrictive practices with the children and adults who use SMH services); monitoring the use of restrictive practices throughout SMH services; recording and reporting (maintaining a database of all approved restrictive practices); and advice and education (encouraging staff to explore alternatives, employ least restrictive strategies and fade out the use of existing restrictions).

    The PAMG is chaired by the SMH Director of Quality Improvement and Safety Development. The group meets as 3 sub-groups, so as to consider and make timely decisions on the proposals that are referred to it. Membership of the sub-groups is by invitation of the Director of Quality Improvement and Safety Development and includes a mixture of clinical staff, managers, persons in charge, and school staff. The 3 sub-groups are:

    • Mechanical & Environmental Restrictive Practices (Adult Services)
    • Physical & Chemical Restrictive Practices (Adult Services)
    • Children's Services for all restrictive practices

    9. CALM TRAINING

    The Board of Management of SMH SNS expects that all teachers, Special Needs Assistants and bus escorts (in exceptional circumstances) are trained in crisis management and physical intervention techniques. This training is provided by CALM (Crisis Aggression Limitation Management). All CALM-trained staff must complete a 2 day theory course on de-escalation strategies. In many schools this is followed by an initial 2 day course on physical intervention techniques and escape techniques, which is re-accredited every year. CALM training covers both non-restrictive and some restrictive strategies. The focus is on de-escalating situations before behaviours become difficult to manage and on reacting to behaviours in the least restrictive way possible. In-house practice sessions are organised periodically throughout the year. SMH has 4 trained tutors who are licenced to deliver this physical intervention training. Their training is refreshed every year.

    10. WHOLE SCHOOL POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT APPROACHES

    Whole school positive behaviour support approaches are non-restrictive and are appropriate in a context of a school setting. They are included in the Policies and Procedures of the School relating to: Code of Behaviour and Positive Behaviour Support and to the Use of Restrictive Practices.

    Policy & Procedures:

    • School policies and procedures (Code of Behaviour and Positive Behaviour Support & Use of Restrictive Practices) - parents are asked to read and sign these policies.

    Training:

    • CALM training (theory and practice) for all school staff (practise of techniques at staff meetings throughout the year)
    • CALM escape, release techniques
    • Annual Re-accreditation of CALM Physical Intervention Training
    • Training available to schools from Middletown, National Council for Special Education, clinicians, etc.

    Education Based:

    • Proactive strategies (non-restrictive) e.g. Sensory breaks, visual schedules, use of rewards, verbal supports, praise, reassurance, positive reminders, offering choices, short tasks only, calm stance and facial expression of staff, careful use of tone of voice and choice of words by staff, planned ignoring, change of staff, distraction/diversion, use of humour, negotiation, outlining limits/boundaries, selective attention, time given to process/cool down, close supervision, relaxation music, chewy tubes, hand or foot massage, deep pressure, messy play, movement breaks.
    • Reinforcement Strategies e.g. token systems, First/ then cards, visual schedules
    • Physical touch and hugs for the purpose of comforting a pupil when upset
    • Physical touch for the purpose of sensory programmes, P.E., oral motor programmes
    • High fives, pats on the arm, hand-over-hand support for encouragement/reward/prompting
    • Wellbeing and low arousal strategies
    • Access for pupil's to a separate area, or comfort areas, sensory and soft play rooms, areas to increase access to exercise
    • Access to 1:1 teaching areas, individual workstations, timetables
    • Removal of possessions from a pupil during the school day (if required to help the pupil with focus and attention)
    • Access to increased pupil staff ratio’s, specialist staff, preferred staff if and where possible
    • Use of a break card by a pupil to indicate the need for a break from normal school activity to a less demanding task either inside or outside the classroom, as indicated on a choice board, or previously agreed
    • De- escalation strategies, i.e. what staff do in response to the early warning signs to help intervene as early as possible. This will be individual to the child.

    Environmental:

    • In all school settings, some environmental restrictions are necessary for the safe operation of the school and for the safety and wellbeing of the children. The environmental strategies used in this school are listed under point 5 (Definitions) above. These are undertaken to safeguard vulnerable pupils from leaving the school building unsupervised or to prevent access to unsafe areas or equipment.
    • The non-restrictive strategies of separate areas and/or withdrawal strategies are used with individual children on occasion, as/if appropriate and when necessary, in order to support them to regulate and to maintain their safety and wellbeing and that of others. (see Point 5. Definitions above).

    11. RESTRICTIVE PRACTICES

    These practices are restrictive in nature and therefore must be discussed with the Principal in the first instance. They require team discussion, parental consent and approval of the School Principal, and, in certain instances, the Board of Management and St. Michael's House Positive Approaches Monitoring Group (see table below for details of how the various levels of restrictive practices are decided, documented and approved):

    Note: The Principal may approve an intervention provisionally and agreed with parents and in some instances with relevant multi-disciplinary staff, while waiting on approval from PAMG.

    Whole-School Restrictive Practices

    Approach Documentation Person Responsible
    Any new or additional general environmental restrictions not already listed in the school policy (e.g. new locked areas) School’s policy to be amended Any policy amendments are submitted to the Board of Management for approval

    Individualised Restrictive Practices

    Approach Documentation Person Responsible
    Withdrawal (see definition above)

    Detailed in the pupil's School Positive Behaviour Support Plan (PBSP), which:

    • is in place for any pupil with specific behavioural support needs
    • is individualised to the pupil
    • is informed by risk assessment
    • is written by school staff with clinical advice if available
    • has signed consented of parent(s)/guardian(s)

    Plan is developed by Teacher & Special Needs Assistants (SNAs), in conjunction with the Principal, with advice of clinicians as available/appropriate.

    Plan has signed consent of Parent(s)/Guardian(s).

    CALM Techniques Levels 1&2:

    • T1 Basic Posture
    • T2 Turning
    • T3 1-Person Guiding
    • Modified Seatbelt (e.g. Angel Guard or seatbelt lock)

    'Modification to Seatbelt on Transport' form, signed by parent(s)/guardian(s).

    Detailed in pupil's School PBSP (See above).

    As above.

    Individualised Restrictive Practices Requiring PAMG Approval

    Approach Documentation Person Responsible
    CALM Techniques Levels 3&4:
    • T4 Comfort Hold
    • T5 Secure Comfort Hold
    • T6/1 Directing (Part 1&Part 2)
    • T6/2 Cross Hold
    • T9 Figure of 4
    • T11 Seated
    • T26 Armchair Descent
    • T29 Child Restraint

    Detailed in the pupil's School PBSP (see above).

    'CALM Post-Incident Report' form is completed after any/each use of strategy.

    PAMG Request for Approval (with copy of School PBSP attached).

    Plan is developed by team: teacher, relevant clinician(s), parent/guardian, in consultation with the School Principal.

    Plan has signed consent of Parent(s)/Guardian(s).

    Form is submitted to PAMG.

    Transport harness/vest

    Detailed in clinical report or guidelines, as appropriate.

    'Modification to Seatbelt on Transport' Form is completed and signed by parent(s)/guardian(s).

    PAMG Request for Approval Form.

    As above.

    Wheelchair or buggy use with an otherwise ambulant pupil (other than for physical/ healthcare reasons)

    Detailed in pupil’s School PBSP (see above).

    PAMG Request for Approval Form (with copy of School PBSP attached).

    As above.

    Straps/trays/reins to keep a pupil from standing up or to otherwise control his/her movement

    As above.

    As above.

    Gloves, splints, helmets, all-in-one clothing to manage a pupil's self-injurious or injurious behaviour or to maintain their dignity.

    As above.

    As above.

    Medication prescribed for the management of behaviour.

    Detailed in pupil’s School PBSP (see above).

    Medical/ Psychiatry Guidelines

    PAMG Request for Approval Form (with copy of School PBSP & Medical/Psychiatry Guidelines attached).

    Clinician submits PAMG Request for Approval Form.

    Single Separation(see definition above)

    Detailed in pupil's School PBSP (see above).

    Recorded on 'Use of Single Separation' record sheet (reason for use, times, duration, etc) PAMG Request for Approval (with copy of School PBSP attached).

    Plan is developed by team: teacher, relevant clinician(s), parent/guardian, in consultation with the School Principal.

    Plan has signed consent of Parent(s)/Guardian(s). Principal reports to next BOM meeting (no identifying details given).

    Emergency Use of Restrictive Practices

    Approach Documentation & Reporting Person Responsible

    Best practice guides that restrictive practices should only be used as part of a planned approach, with appropriate documentation, recording and governance (approval).

    On occasion, however, emergency situations arise which require an immediate decision to be made by those caring for or supporting the pupil to use a restrictive practice in order to safeguard the safety and wellbeing of the pupil or others.

    Record the use of the strategy in contemporaneous notes to include notes on:
    • what led to the decision to use the practice
    • what non-restrictive strategies were first tried/considered and why these did not suffice in the situation
    • when and for how long the strategy was used
    • how the pupil reacted to its use
    • any adverse effects noted
    • PAMG Request for Approval (with copy of above notes/record attached).
    If restrictive strategies are used in an emergency situation, with a pupil for whom they are not detailed in a written PBSP:
    • the parent/guardian must be notified (on the day).
    • Reported by Principal at next BOM meeting.
    • Seek interim approval from PAMG.

    12. POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT PLANS

    These are devised for pupils who present with behaviours of concern. These are written by the teacher and class team with input from the multi-disciplinary team. This plan should ideally contain the following:

    • a brief history of the pupil
    • a brief outline of likes/dislikes
    • an outline of what strategies work well for the pupil including how best to communicate with them
    • an exact description of the behaviours of concern
    • an outline of known triggers and frustrations
    • a functional assessment of the behaviour using information from several sources such as parents, staff, carers.
    • de-escalation strategies to employ when behaviours start to occur
    • reactive strategies (following unsuccessful proactive strategies) including any recommended physical interventions which may be employed
    • parents/guardians signature

    This policy recognises that each staff members’ understanding of behaviours and all prevention techniques are essential to ensure behaviours do not escalate.

    13. CONSIDERATIONS WHEN USING CALM PHYSICAL RESTRAINTS:

    Deciding whether or not to use a CALM Physical Restraint

    The school endeavours to encourage staff to do a dynamic risk assessment i.e. STOP AND THINK before employing a CALM physical intervention as follows:

    ACTION CONSIDER CHOOSE

    STOP & THINK

    Adopt a calm, non-threatening stance and posture

    Use a slow controlled voice

    Give clear visual or verbal directions

    Pause and allow time for compliance

    The likely outcomes if restraint is used against the likely outcomes if it is not

    The short term risks versus long term risks

    Balancing the best interests, health and safety of the pupil with the best interests, health and safety of the other pupils, staff and general public

    Persons who are more likely to achieve a positive response

    Best place and time available

    The minimum use of force necessary to achieve the desired result, while at all times striving to respect the dignity of the pupil.

    Last resort/ Early intervention

    All restrictive practices, including CALM Physical Restraint should be used as a last resort. This does not mean that all other possible strategies must be tried and tested beforehand; it means that staff must make a considered judgement balancing the risks involved, thus allowing informed decisions to be made. Some pupils may have stereotypical patterns of behaviour which alert staff to a developing crisis. Early action may prevent a risk of injury, thus justifying the use of the physical intervention and this should be included in the pupil’s Risk Assessment. All staff may be made aware of this and of the procedures to follow to avert a crisis.

    Using a CALM Physical Restraint

    If a CALM Physical restraint is used staff must ask themselves the following questions:

    • Am I trained? If not is there a trained member of staff nearby who can help?
    • Am I using the minimum force for the shortest time?
    • Is the intervention I’m using correct?
    • Can I reduce the amount of pressure?
    • How best can I communicate with the pupil and with other staff?
    • Can I manage this? Should I ask someone else to take over?
    • Did I test for compliance at regular intervals?

    All restrictive practices, including CALM Physical Restraint should be used as a last resort. This does not mean that all other possible strategies must be tried and tested beforehand; it means that staff must make a considered judgement balancing the risks involved, thus allowing informed decisions to be made. Some pupils may have stereotypical patterns of behaviour which alert staff to a developing crisis. Early action may prevent a risk of injury, thus justifying the use of the physical intervention and this should be included in the pupil’s Risk Assessment. All staff may be made aware of this and of the procedures to follow to avert a crisis.

    14. POST INCIDENT SUPPORT

    Following an incident the priority is to look after the pupils and staff involved before reports are filled out and reviews held.

    Debriefing/ Recovery

    Pupils are assisted to recover from an incident by staff. Useful strategies to assist a pupil to recover should be identified in the pupil’s Risk Assessment. Staff may need to take a break from the site of the incident to recover. This time is afforded to them, particularly when dealing with a very stressful situation, by calling on support from an adjacent class. Ideally time should also be set aside at a later stage to carry out an Incident Review.

    Incident Reports

    Incident reports should be filled out by the staff after an incident. The following is a guide to what form to fill out and the criteria for recording. School management can also be contacted for guidance.

    FORM CRITERIA
    Incident Recording Form Filled out and kept in class file for recording low level behaviours that do not result in any injury to staff or damage to property but are worthy of recording.
    Use of Single Separation Form When Single Separation is used following all the guidelines outlined above.
    Use of CALM Form When a CALM technique is used following all the guidelines outlined above.
    ABC Forms Filled out as assessment tool for behaviours to identify patterns/functions of behaviour. Have varying formats. Used for analysis purposes only.
    ABC Forms Filled out as assessment tool for behaviours to identify patterns/functions of behaviour. Have varying formats. Used for analysis purposes only.
    Challenging Behaviour Form This is filled out when someone has received an injury as a direct result of challenging behaviour, when there has been a near miss of a significant incident that has the potential to be a risk to safety and/or significant damage to property. This form is filled out by staff and approved by the Principal. It is kept on file as per school guidelines for recording and keeping of information. The school refers it to HSA if the injured person is out of work for 3 or more consecutive days as a result of the injury.

    The best time to fill out an incident report is when the situation has settled and the pupil and staff have had time to recover. The report is signed by the Principal or Deputy Principal who will review the interventions used by staff, decide if any further action is required, to provide any further care or reassurance to pupils or staff, and to inform any future recommendations.

    Risk Assessment Review

    Following incidents where physical intervention has been used, the teacher and SNAs involved in the incident will meet with the Principal to review any existing Risk Assessments. Input from the psychologist will be sought where required. Any changes to risk assessments will be discussed with parents and, where a higher level of intervention is being sought, this must be approved by SMH PAMG.

    15. COMPLAINTS AND ALLEGATIONS

    The school seeks to engage positively with parents regarding all aspects of their pupil’s education, care and management. Parents of pupils who engage in high risk behaviours that challenge are prioritised for meetings/phone calls with the Principal or Deputy Principal. The school will endeavour to keep parents informed in a manner that is reasonable and in the best interests of their pupil. This will take the form of meetings, phone calls, home communication books or letters.

    How to make a Complaint

    Parents wishing to make complaint should in the first instance contact the Principal who will furnish the parent with a copy of the Complaints Procedure.

    Staff wishing to make a complaint should in the first instance contact the Principal who will furnish the staff member with a copy of the Complaints Procedure.

    Should the complaint concern the Principal, contact the Chairperson, Board of Management who will provide a copy of the Complaints Procedure.

    16. REVIEW AND MONITORING

    A report will be made to each BOM meeting detailing the number of restrictive practices used since the last meeting.

    The Principal conducts an annual audit of interventions used and sends it to CALM Headquarters, Scotland. Feedback from this yearly audit will be presented to the BOM and will be available to all staff and the clinical co-ordinator of the team attached to the school to view.

    17. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

    All stakeholders in the education of the pupils will take responsibility for implementing this policy.

    18. IMPLEMENTATION AND COMMUNICATION OF THIS POLICY

    The Board of Management ratified this policy on 6th February 2020. At the outset of the introduction of this policy, all parents/guardians will be informed about the policy. It is available to all parents on request and on the school website. Use of restrictive practices with specific pupils are detailed in their individualised School Positive Behaviour Support Plan and discussed with parent(s)/guardian(s) in advance. The consent of the parent(s)/guardian(s) is sought for PBSPs.

    Signed:


    Chairperson, Board of Management

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    Parents Complaints Procedure

    Admissions Policy

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    1. INTRODUCTION

    This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school.

    The policy was approved by the school patron on 9th June 2020. It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.

    The relevant dates and timelines for St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS), Raheny admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.

    This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year concerned.

    The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

    2. CHARISTERISTIC SPIRIT AND GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHOOL

    St. Michael’s House School, Raheny is a special school under the Patronage of St. Michael’s House. The school supports the principles of:

    • Inclusiveness of all students
    • Equality of access and participation in the school of all students
    • Parental/ guardian choice in relation to enrolment
    • Respect the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, language and ways of life in society.

    The school is managed by the Board of Management (BOM) representative of the Patron, Parents/ Guardians, School staff and the community.

    3. ADMISSION STATEMENT

    SMH SNS will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

    1. the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
    2. the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
    3. the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
    4. the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
    5. the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
    6. the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
    7. the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
    8. the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or
    9. the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has special educational needs

    As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’, ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

    SMH SNS, Raheny is a school which, with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, provides an education exclusively for students with a category or categories of special educational needs specified by the Minister, i.e. a moderate general learning disability, and does not discriminate in relation to the admission of a student who does not have the category of needs specified.

    4. CATEGORIES OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS CATERED FOR IN THE SCHOOL

    SMH SNS, Raheny with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, provides an education exclusively for students whose primary assessed disability is Moderate General Learning Disability (GLD).

    The school is coeducational catering for students aged 4 to 18 years. The BOM is bound by the DES rules which provide that students may only be admitted from the age of 4 years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years, and as per DES regulations, students leave school at the end of the school year in which they turn 18. To facilitate this age band, the range of classes extend from primary to post primary and are based on relevant and appropriate peer groupings. There is capacity for 8 classes in the school. There are currently 4 primary and 4 post primary classes.

    CATCHMENT AREA

    The catchment area for this school is north of Collin’s Avenue, Donnycarney, Dublin 9; east of Swords Road, following onto the R132; south of R106, Swords, Co. Dublin; stretching to the east coastline. See attached map.

    GOVERNANCE

    The school operates within the regulations as outlined in the Rules for National Schools and the relevant circulars and directives issued by the Department of Education and Skills (DES). It is funded by grants from the DES. The school is under the administration of the Primary / Special Education Sections of the Department of Education & Skills. Teachers, Special Needs Assistants, Ancillary Staff and Bus Escorts are funded by the DES. Additional staffing allocations are determined by the National Council for Special Education.

    SCHOOL ETHOS

    SMH SNS is a co-educational school for students with a moderate learning disability where the students are treated with dignity and respect and are enabled to participate, to the best of their ability, in an educational programme tailored to their individual needs to help support them to live a full and independent life within their families and their communities.

    SMH SNS is multi-denominational and welcomes students of all religions and none. There is no religious instruction provided. A values-based programme is integrated into the life and ethos of the school and seeks to promote respect, love, tolerance and caring for one another and our environment.

    CURRICULUM

    Our school is a stimulating centre of education where each person is cherished as an individual whose ability, potential and needs are recognised and nurtured. The curricular programmes provided by the school are adapted to meet the particular educational needs of each student and a variety of methodologies and strategies are adopted to maximise the students’ learning potential. The teachers, staff and multi-disciplinary team provide a challenging, sensitive and caring environment which fosters personal, social, academic development, independence and achievement. All students have an Individual Education Plan designed specifically for them.

    St. Michael’s House Special School, Raheny delivers the state curriculum under the Guidelines for students with Moderate General Learning Disabilities and where applicable, programmes that lead to ASDAN and/ or Junior Cycle Level 1 and Level 2 Awards.

    CLASSROOM CAPACITY

    Classroom capacity varies according to the range of needs of the children we are catering for at a particular time. As a result, class groups may vary in size depending on the number of students within a class presenting with additional needs.

    SCHOOL YEAR

    The school operates a school calendar for primary schools which is effective from the week of 1st September to the week of 30th June with traditional openings and closing at Summer, Christmas, Easter and Mid-terms as laid down and directed in Circulars issued by the DES regarding Standardisation of the School Year.

    SCHOOL MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAM - SCHOOL AGE TEAM (SAT)

    In addition to fulfilling the formal role of School Patron, as required by the DES, St. Michael’s House, as part of PDS (Progressing Disability Services) provides clinical support to the school in the form of a multi-disciplinary team which combines the expertise from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, pediatrician and dietician. Access to the SAT is on a referral basis. Referrals are then prioritized by SAT and there can be a waiting list. New applicants may be discussed with the MDT team as part of the admissions process.

    Teaching and school staff collaborate with clinicians as appropriate to enhance the educational potential for students and where required to devise guidelines and programmes to maximise the student’s educational and social functioning.

    Please note successful applicants may not have automatic access to additional supports such as Special Needs Assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, clinical support or nursing staff. If a school place is offered, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is the agency that processes applications for SNAs and bus escorts. The NCSE requires that a student’s need for access to such additional resources must be clearly outlined in the relevant professional reports. Decisions relating to clinical support will be made by the clinical team.

    5.ADMISSIONS OF STUDENTS

    This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

    1. the school or an age/needs specific class is oversubscribed (section 6 below for further details)
    2. a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student .

    Note: The Code of Behaviour includes the Positive Behaviour Support & Use of Restrictive Practice Policy and a copy will be provided to parents.

    SMH SNS provides an education exclusively for students whose primary assessed disability is Moderate General Learning Disability (GLD) and may refuse admission to a student, where the student does not have the specified category of special educational needs provided for by this school.

    An application will be valid when the documents listed below (see 1-4) have been received by the school by the final date for receipt of applications as published in the Annual Admissions notice.

    1. Fully completed application form signed by one or both parents/guardians
    2. A birth cert for the student
    3. Proof of address for the student (utility bill, household, dated within the last four months)**
    4. Psychological assessment (completed not more than 2 years earlier than the date of application). It is important that this report clarifies the cognitive level of functioning of the student, the recommendation of a place in a special school, and, where appropriate, the need for additional support of a special need’s assistant and bus escort, stating clearly the grounds for each.

    ** Used in case of oversubscription only

    Note: The school does not facilitate visits prior to the closing date of applications. However, an appointment will be made with parents/guardians whose children are being offered a place to view the school and to collect all documentation relating to the admissions process.

    6. OVERSUBSCRIPTION

    In the event that the school is oversubscribed or exceeds the number of vacancies in an age/needs appropriate class within the school, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice:

    1. The student lives within the designated catchment area of the school
    2. The availability of an age &/ needs appropriate class to meet the needs of the student
    3. Students with a moderate GLD, as stated in psychological assessment
    4. Students with a moderate GLD and additional special needs, as stated in psychological assessment

    In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply:

    Priority will be given to applicants in order of age, prioritizing the youngest child, for each class age group, within the school.

    In the event that more than one student shares a date of birth, catchment will be used as the deciding criterion, with the child living closest to the school and therefore, availing of a shorter journey to and from school, as the determined by Google Maps, will be offered the school place.

    7. WHAT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED OR TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT

    n accordance with section 62(7)(e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school:

    1. a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí,
    2. the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;
    3. the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;
    4. a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;
    5. a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school;
    6. the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school,
    7. The special educational needs of the student will be taken into account to ascertain that they have the assessed disability catered for in this school.

      This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned. This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting lists (up until 31stJanuary 2025 only).

    8. DECISIONS ON APPLICATIONS

    All decisions on applications for admission to SMH SNS, Raheny will be based on the following:

    • Our school’s admission policy
    • The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable)
    • The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications

    (Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 15 below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.)

    Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used to make a decision on an application for a place in our school.

    9. NOTIFYING APPLICANTS OF DECISIONS

    Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice.

    If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned. Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details).

    Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details).

    10. ACCEPTANCE OF AN OFFER OF A PLACE BY AN APPLICANT

    In accepting an offer of admission from SMH SNS, you must indicate—

    1. whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and
    2. whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

    11. CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH OFFERS MAY NOT BE MADE OR MAY BE WITHDRAWN

    An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by SMH SNS, Raheny where—

    1. it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.
    2. an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.
    3. the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or
    4. an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above.

    12. SHARING OF DATA WITH OTHER SCHOOLS

    Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students.

    Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another Board of Management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

    1. an application for admission to the school has been received,
    2. an offer of admission to the school has been made, or
    3. an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

    The list may include any or all of the following:

    1. the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;
    2. the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;
    3. the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;
    4. a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

    13. WAITING LIST IN THE EVENT OF OVERSUBSCRIPTION

    In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, waiting lists of students whose applications for admission to SMH SNS, Raheny were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought. The waiting lists will be organised in accordance with the available spaces in an age/ needs appropriate class.

    Placement on the waiting list of SMH SNS, Raheny is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy.

    Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

    14. LATE APPLICATIONS

    All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act.

    15. PROCEDURES FOR ADMISSION OF STUDENTS TO OTHER YEARS AND DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR

    The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school to classes or years other than the school’s intake group are as follows:

    Places will be offered to students where vacancies arise in age &/ needs appropriate classes throughout the school, priority given to youngest child, section 6.

    The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is sought, are as follows:

    Where a vacancy exists or becomes available in an age &/ needs appropriate class, the next suitable applicant on the waiting list will be offered the place.

    16. DECLARATION IN RELATION TO THE NON-CHARGING OF FEES

    The board of SMH SNS, Raheny or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

    1. an application for admission of a student to the school, or
    2. the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

    17. ARRANGEMENTS REGARDING STUDENTS NOT ATTENDING RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION

    There is no religious instruction programme in SMH SNS, Raheny.

    18. REVIEWS/ APPEALS

    Review of decisions by the Board of Management

    The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

    The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

    The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

    Note: Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

    Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review in writing of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

    Please refer to DES Circular 0069/2020, New Arrangements and Procedures for Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 Effective from 12 November 2020 Onwards’ for DES procedures and timeframe on Section 29 Appeals.

    Right of appeal

    Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission.

    An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.

    An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.

    Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management).

    Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management).

    Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.

    The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills. .

    This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 18th June 2020.

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    Signed:


    John Lawless, Chairperson, Board of Managemnet

    Admissions Notice 2022-2023

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    A copy of the school’s Admission Policy and the Application Form for Admission for the 2022 – 2023 school year is available as follows: –

    To download at: www.smhraheny.net

    On request: By emailing rahenyschool@smh.ie or writing to: St. Michael’s House Special National School, Raheny Road, Raheny, Dublin 5.

    PART 1 - Admissions to the 2022 - 2023 school year

    Application and Decision Dates for admission to 2022 – 2023 school year

    The following are the dates applicable for admission to this school:

    he school will commence accepting applications for admission on 8th November 2021
    The school shall cease accepting applications for admission on 21st January 2022
    The date by which applicants will be notified of the decision on their application is 11th February 2022
    The period within which applicants must confirm acceptance of an offer of admission is From date of offer to 25th February 2022

    Note: the school will consider and issue decisions on late applications in accordance with the school’s admission policy.

    Failure to accept an offer within the prescribed period above may result in the offer being withdrawn.

    Number of places being made available in 2022 - 2023 school year

    The number of places being made available in junior school is 8** (4-6 & 7-8 year olds only)
    The number of places being made available in senior school is 0

    **subject to change, depending on category of disability of child being offered a place.

    PART 2 - Admissions to the 2021 - 2022 school year

    Information regarding the admission process for the Intake Group for the 2021 - 2022 school year

    In respect of the 2021 - 2022 school year, the total number of applications for admission received by the school was 23.

    Breakdown of places allocated for the 2021 - 2022 school year:

    Number of places available: 2
    Number of applications received: 23
    Number of Offers made and accepted under each criteria:
    • The availability of a place for the child in a classroom of compatible peers to ensure a positive educational experience for all existing pupils and any new applicants: 2
    • The child will be able to tolerate a classroom environment alongside other pupils:2
    • The pupil/teacher ratio will be appropriate to the needs of the child: 2
    • The impact on the educational and welfare interests of all pupils in the school: 2
    • The capacity of the school to provide an appropriate educational service and the necessary nursing/medical support (where applicable): 2
    • The capacity of the school to provide a suitable physical environment for the needs of the child:2
    Total number of offers made 2
    Number of names placed on waiting list for the school year concerned. 12

    Information on this form was correct at time of publication.

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    CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

    INTRODUCTION

    St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS) Raheny is designated by the Department of Education and Skills as a school for students with moderate general learning disability.

    This Code of Behaviour was drawn up in consultation with the school community to ensure that school policy is compliant with legal requirements and good practice as set out in the “Developing Code of Behaviour Guidelines for Schools” (NEWB 2008), Children First – National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011), DES Circular 0061/2006 and St. Michael’s House Positive Behaviour Support Policy.

    The intellectual ability, stage of development and understanding of the student will be borne in mind at all times in relation to their behaviour in school.

    RELATIONSHIP TO THE CHARACTERISTIC SPIRIT OF THE SCHOOL

    Our school aims to foster self-esteem, confidence and a positive image, thus enabling our pupils to become valued and valuable members of their communities. We believe that pupils must be guided towards positive, responsible self-behaviour if they are to achieve their potential in all aspects of their development. We expect the highest standard of behaviour possible in this school. We will strive to engender good behaviour in a caring and positive environment. 

    The school actively encourages pupils to become involved in processes to avoid conflict and to find solutions to conflict. We have been gradually introducing Restorative Practice which allows the participants to become active participants in the process and to find solutions to the situations that are causing conflict. Promoting a sense of equality and fair play is essential when developing strategies for resolving conflict

    Our Code of Behaviour will be most effective where there is respect, openness and co-operation between staff, parents, guardians and pupils. We will maintain a close working relationship with all partners to ensure that the Code is understood by all and thereby works for the personal and social development of every pupil.

    AIMS OF THE CODE

    The aims of the code of behaviour are:

    • To provide a safe and secure learning environment for all our students
    • To ensure that the individuality of each chid is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to an education in a safe and disruptive-free environment
    • To respect and safeguard the dignity and the particular needs of individual students
    • To allow the school to function in an orderly way where students can make progress in all aspects of their development
    • To promote positive behaviour while noting the difference between children and the need to accommodate these differences
    • To ensure that students behave in a respectful manner towards each other, school staff and the wider community
    • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, consequences and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner throughout the school
    • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration of others
    • To teach, foster and encourage socially acceptable behaviour within the school and the community at large
    • To assist parents and students in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the code of behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures

    WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH TO PROMOTING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR

    It is the responsibility of school management and staff along with pupils and their parents to work together to create a positive school climate that will support and promote good behaviour. In achieving this objective each partner has their own role and responsibilities.

    Board of Management (BOM)

    The Board of Management has overall responsibility for the preparation and review of the Code of Behaviour and the fair and consistent implementation of the Code of Behaviour. All serious matters regarding behaviour must be reported to the Board of Management.

    Principal

    The Principal has final responsibility for the day-to day running of the school. He/ she ensures that the implementation of sanctions is fair, equitable and appropriate. Any concerns with regard to behavioural issues must be reported to the Principal.

    Deputy Principal

    The Deputy Principal supports the Principal in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour. In the absence of the Principal he/she acts for the Principal.

    School Staff – Teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs)

    All teachers are responsible for discipline within his/her classroom as well as the orderly assembly and dismissal of his/her class at break time and at the end of the day. Pupils are never left unsupervised in St. Michael’s House Special National School, Raheny between 09:30 a.m. and 03:10 p.m. Teachers make pupils aware of the school rules at the beginning of each school year. Teachers of older classes guide pupils towards the agreement of class rules at the beginning of the school year. Any sanctions for minor behaviour are dealt with by the class teacher. Teachers are also responsible for reporting concerns regarding pupils’ behaviour to the Principal as they occur. 

    SNAs liaise with and support the teacher at all times in the maintenance of discipline and a calm working environment in the classroom. They assist pupils in their care needs to enable them to work successfully to the best of their ability. All new members of staff are made aware of the Code of Behaviour when they come to the school. Matters relating to the Code of Behaviour can be discussed at all staff meetings, but especially at the first staff meeting of the year.

    Parents

    On enrolment of their child, a copy of the Code of Behaviour will be given to parents. Parents are requested to support the school staff in keeping the rules of the school. This can be done by:

    1. Ensuring their child attends school regularly and punctually;
    2. Encouraging and helping their child to co-operate with the school’s rules;
    3. Helping their child with homework, where applicable and supporting the child to achieve their Individual Education Plan goals;
    4. Attending meetings in school as requested.

    The staff of our school always welcomes the opportunity to discuss with parents, any behavioural problem that may arise from time to time. With mutual respect, trust and goodwill these occasional problems are readily solved.

    STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOUR

    The most effective methodology in attempting to manage behaviour that might challenge is to try to prevent it happening in the first place. All members of the school community are expected to behave in ways that show respect for others. Behaviour will reflect values such as respect, kindness, courtesy, fairness, forgiveness, respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict. Standards are also a way of signalling the kinds of behaviours that are not acceptable in the school e.g. behaviour that is hurtful, demeaning, behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning or is threatening and/or causes physical hurt to other pupils and/or staff.

    Promoting high standards of behaviour is the central aim of this code of behaviour. Teachers, staff and the wider school community employ a range of strategies for promoting good behaviour at class and at school level. Students are more likely to behave well when they understand why the code is important and their part in making it work. They need to see that the code works in a fair manner. A code of behaviour works well when there are good relationships between teachers, SNAs, students, parents and the wider school community.

    Co-operation and communication with parents/guardians/respite carers is seen as an important factor in encouraging positive behaviour. The following models of communication are used at all levels within the school:

    • IEP process
    • Informal and formal parent/teacher meetings
    • Through student’s home/school notebook
    • Letters and notes to and from school to home/respite
    • Meetings held in school
    • End of year report
    • Phone calls to and from home/respite
    • Parents Association

    THE PLAN TO PROMOTE POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR

    A whole school approach will help to create, maintain and foster a positive school climate that will support and promote good behaviour. We aim to achieve this by:

    • Creating a positive and encouraging attitude to students at all times
    • Creating a calm, well organised and caring environment
    • Promoting self-esteem amongst the students at all times
    • Creating a sense of fairness and consistency, taking into account the competence, understanding and functional abilities of the students. These are crucial in deciding on the appropriate responses to behaviours.
    • Making rules positive, “do’s” rather than “don’ts” in a language that is appropriate to the student’s ability to understand
    • Developing and supporting positive, respectful relationships between students and staff
    • Using class and school settings to promote and encourage positive behaviour e.g. Assembly
    • Using positive language appropriate to the student’s level of understanding that is affirmative, respectful and fair.

    ENCOURAGING AND PROMOTING GOOD BEHAVIOUR

    Good behaviour is encouraged and promoted in the school by the factors listed below. All of these strategies will be implemented in the classroom, on the school bus, in the playground and on school related activities within the community.

    • Modelling positive everyday interactions between teachers, SNAs and students
    • Good school and classroom routines with clear boundaries for students
    • Involving students in the preparation of school and classroom rules
    • Developing student’s communication skills as the ability to communicate effectively has a significant impact on behaviour
    • Developing student’s social skills through the SPHE programme and throughout the school day
    • Good communication with parents and in particular, parents informing the school where situations arise at home that might influence behaviour in school
    • Recognising and affirming good behaviour
    • Fostering respect for themselves and others
    • Encouraging students to participate to the best of their ability
    • Encouraging good attendance at school

    School Rules

    The school rules are kept to a minimum and are positively stated in terms of what the students should do:

    • Be kind and use your good manners with everyone in our school
    • Be co-operative at all times
    • Behave in a safe way
    • Always try to do your best
    • Listen and follow instructions from staff
    • Tell the truth
    • Share with others and take your turn
    • Show respect for yourself, other students and staff and for the school environment
    • Use kind, helpful words when talking to people in school

    Class Rules

    Each teacher will develop class rules with the students, reflecting the school rules, in a language and manner appropriate to the age and stage of development of the students, embracing the concept of FAIRNESS, to reflect Restorative Practices. Class rules are displayed in the classroom and referred to regularly. Award systems are used to encourage good behaviour. We recognise that students in our school may need to be taught how to relate cause and effects of behaviour in more tangible ways, e.g. through the use of pictures, charts, film or role play. We also recognise that students use a variety of approaches to internalise and learn new skills. Students will be encouraged, praised and listened to at all times by the adults in the school. Praise is earned by maintenance of good standards of behaviour as well as by particular noteworthy personal achievement. Rates of praise for behaviour should be as high as for academic work.

    Activities to encourage Positive Behaviours

    • Circle time in the classroom
    • Explaining positive behaviour regularly and revising class/school/playground rules
    • Role play and social stories
    • Encouraging participation in games and fun activities together
    • Assembly
    • Providing individualised supports to enable students to participate in the school community

    Incentives / Praise / Positive Strategies

    The following are some examples of how incentives / praise may be given to students

    • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
    • A comment in the student’s home/school journal
    • Choice of favourite activity
    • A trip / outing within the local community
    • A visit to another staff member / school principal for commendation
    • A word of praise in front of the class group by a staff member / principal
    • A reward system of stars, stickers, appropriate to the age and maturity level of the chid
    • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege to the student
    • A mention to parent / guardian
    • Receipt of certificate to encourage continued good behaviour

    SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

    Regular attendance in school helps a student to make and maintain friendships and be fully included in the life of the school. Parents are required to notify the school if a student is absent for any reason.

    The procedures to be followed by parents in relation to a student’s absence are:

    • Parent must let the school know of their child’s absence for any reason;
    • Parents must inform the school of all pupils absences in writing, using the home school communication copy;
    • Parents may inform the school in the home/school diary or phone the school in advance of a planned absence;
    • Parents need to give detailed information to the school about the reasons for absence following a period of absence;
    • Failure to notify the school about a student’s absence may be followed up by a phone call is deemed necessary.

    The school co-operates fully with the requirements of the Education Welfare Act in reporting students attendance and absences from school.

    IMPLEMENTING THE CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

    Responding to inappropriate behaviour in school

    Incidents of misbehaviour are classed as minor, serious and gross. Minor incidents are generally dealt with by the class team. Serious breaches of school rules will be notified to the school principal. Gross breaches of behaviour may lead to the suspension or expulsion of the student and will only be applied in consultation with the Chairperson and/or the Board of Management.

    Sanctions

    The purpose of sanctions is to bring about a change of behaviour by

    • Helping students to learn that their behaviour is inappropriate
    • Helping them to recognise the effect of their actions and behaviour on others
    • Helping students (in ways appropriate to their age and understanding) that they have choices about their own behaviour and that choices have consequences
    • Helping them to learn to take responsibility for their behaviour

    Sanctions will be proportionate to the behaviour and will be in accordance with the level of understanding of the student. It is important to note that this school recognises that an insistence on an apology is not always necessary, required, helpful after an incident of misbehaviour, as this may escalate a situation, and is not always within the level of understanding of the pupils.

    Strategies/ Sanctions for minor misbehaviour may include:

    • Reminder of school rules
    • Redirection to another activity
    • Reasoning with the student based on communication and level of understanding of the pupil
    • Verbal reprimand based on communication and level of understanding of the pupil
    • Temporary separation from peers within the class for a specified period of time
    • Change position in classroom
    • Temporary loss of privileges, e.g. extra duties or responsibilities
    • Temporary removal to another classroom
    • Detention during break time (under supervision) to allow time to calm down
    • Time in a quiet space to allow the student to regulate their behaviour
    • Communication with parents/guardians to advise of behaviour and seek support

    Pupils will not be deprived of any part of the curriculum except on the grounds of health and safety.

    Serious Misbehaviour

    From time to time, parents and staff can find some behaviour difficult and stressful to address. There are times when a student presents with behaviours that cause concern for their well-being and sometimes their safety and/or the safety of others. Examples of serious misbehaviour include behaviour that is hurtful and/or offensive (including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation) to others and spitting. Any staff member who deals with an incident of inappropriate behaviour must report to/ consult with the class teacher. An account of these incidents will be recorded on the school’s Significant Incident Report. Parents should be informed of serious incidents of unacceptable behaviour.

    When the usual strategies are not effective, behaviours are analysed using the antecedent-behaviour-consequences (ABC) checklist which examines:

    • Possible causes / reasons for behaviours
    • The nature and frequency of the behaviour
    • What happens as a result of the behaviour

    This type of assessment enables staff to make adjustments to the environment, to the programme or teaching strategies. Data on behaviour may be shared with members of the Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) in order to seek advice on how best to address the behaviour and needs of the child. An individualised behaviour programme / plan may be put in place to support the student. When put in place, such plans must be adhered to and reviewed regularly, staff must be aware of these plans and be familiar with implementation guidelines.

    In exceptional circumstances, a shorter school day may be introduced to allow a student become accustomed to school routines and expectations. The plan will be shared with school staff and parents/guardians to try to ensure consistent implementation. The plan will be monitored by the principal and school team to ensure its effectiveness.

    MISBEHAVIOUR ON THE YARD

    To pre-empt incidents of misbehaviour on yard, our whole school approach focuses on RESPECT– respect for yourself, respect for others, respect for the environment. We encourage pupils to take responsibility should they accidentally hurt another child, thus showing respect for that individual.

    Incidents of misbehaviour on the yard will be dealt with by the teacher on duty in the first instance. The teacher on duty who notices misbehaviour will do the following;

    • Impose a period of “time out” where the student will be asked to remain in a specified place until told to return to play;
    • Incident will be recorded in the incident book or on the Significant Incident Form, depending on the level of the behaviour;
    • Inform the class teacher;
    • For significant incidents, the child may be removed from the yard for a full breaktime. The principal will speak with the child and the parents will be informed by the teacher through the home school communication book or telephone call.

    DEALING WITH CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOL

    A small number of students engage in physically challenging behaviour at times. While staff make every effort to anticipate such incidents and to de-escalate the situation quickly, there are times when a behaviour intervention is required. Staff have been trained in using CALM techniques which may be used to maintain the safety of a student or others. Parents will be informed if it has been necessary to use CALM techniques to help a student regain control and regulate their behaviour.

    Gross Misbehaviour

    Where serious behaviours of concern continue to disrupt the smooth running of the school and/or threaten the safety of others, a student may be suspended or have their school day reduced to protect the welfare of others.

    Serious assault that causes injury to others, or that has the potential to cause serious harm or damage, will be considered gross misbehaviour and may lead to immediate suspension. A single incident may constitute gross misbehaviour. Such incident(s) will be brought to the attention of the Board of Management and the appropriateness of the placement for the student may need to be reviewed. The incident will be investigated to determine the appropriate response from the school.

    In the most serious incidents, expulsion may be considered. This measure will only be used as a last resort. The Board of Management will ensure that:

    • Fair procedures are used for suspension and expulsion and that all staff are aware of these procedures
    • Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that fair procedures are accessible to those from different language or cultural backgrounds
    • There are no undue delays in the investigation and in making decisions about the imposition of suspension or expulsion
    • All matters to do with an investigation are dealt with in confidence
    • In circumstances of particular complexity, the school authorities may seek legal advice to support their decision making.

    Suspension

    For the purposes of this document, suspension is defined as:

    "Requiring the student to absent him/herself from the school for a specified, limited period of school days" (Developing a Code of Behaviour: A Guide to Schools NEWB 2008)

    Before serious sanctions such as suspension/expulsion are used, communication between the school and parents will take place. Suspension will be in accordance with Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.

    During the period of suspension, the student retains their place in the school. The Board of Management has the authority to suspend and this authority has been delegated to the principal. This authority, however, has limits, for example the Board of Management of SMH SNS has given approval to the Principal to suspend a pupil for a period of three school days, where a BOM meeting cannot be called in a timely fashion. 

    The grounds for suspension include:

    • The student’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of others or to the teaching process
    • The student’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to the safety and welfare of others or to the pupils own safety and wellbeing
    • The student is responsible for serious damage to property

    The principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of others. Parents / guardians may be requested to collect a student from school during the day if their continued presence constitutes a threat. Parents/guardians may be asked to keep a student home from school for a number of days and this form of suspension will be notified to parents/guardians by the principal.

    All suspensions, for whole days or part of a day will be recorded by the principal and reported to the BOM.

    When any sanction, including suspension, is completed, a student will be given the opportunity and support for a fresh start. The school will arrange, where possible, for a member of staff to provide support to the student during the re-integration process.

    Procedures in respect to Suspension

    The procedural steps will include:

    • Parents will be informed by phone or in writing. The letter will confirm:
    1. Period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end
    2. Reasons for the suspension
    3. Arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student.
    4. Provision for an appeal to the Board of Management
    5. Right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998, section 29)
    • Written notification will be signed by the Secretary to the B.O.M. and has the benefit of ensuring that there is a formal and permanent record of having informed parents. It also ensures that parents are clear about what their son/daughter is alleged to have done. It serves the important function of underlining to parents the seriousness with which the school views the alleged misbehaviour.
    • Except in the case of immediate suspension, parents will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. Parents and pupil will be given an opportunity to respond before a decision to suspend is made and before any sanction is imposed. This meeting will provide an opportunity to ask questions about the misbehaviour, and for the school to explore with parents how best to address the student’s behaviour.
    • A pupil will not be suspended for more than 3 days by the Principal. If a proposal in excess of 3 days is being considered, the matter will be referred to the B.O.M.
    • A period of up to 5 days may be sanctioned by the Chairperson in circumstances where a meeting of the B.O.M cannot be convened in a timely fashion.
    • The BOM can place a ceiling of 10 days on any one period of suspension imposed by it.
    • The Board will formally review any proposal to suspend a student, where the suspension would bring the number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current year to 20 days or more.

    Expulsion

    Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case. A student is expelled from school when the BOM makes a decision to permanently exclude him/her from the school. The BOM has the authority to expel a student. Expulsion of a student will only be undertaken in extreme cases of gross misconduct that seriously disrupts the smooth and safe running of the school. This measure will generally only be undertaken after every effort has been made to support, help and address behaviours of concern so as to avoid the expulsion. However, a single serious assault on another person may be considered grounds for expulsion.

    Before the expulsion of a student, the BOM will notify the local Education Welfare Office in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act 2000.

    Procedures in respect of Expulsion

    The procedural steps will include:

    • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal;
    • The principal will make a recommendation to the BOM to consider permanent exclusion of the student;
    • The BOM will consider the principal’s recommendation and will invite both the principal and the student’s parents / guardians to a hearing on the issue;
    • In the absence of the principal and the parents/guardians, the BoM will deliberate on the recommendation of the principal, the responses of the parents/guardians and any other relevant information;
    • The BOM will write to the parents/guardians to inform them of their decision. Where the BOM recommends expulsion, the parents/guardians will be informed of their right to appeal the decision and that a period of 20 school days will elapse before the decision of the BOM is confirmed.
    • The school will participate in any consultations arranged by the Education Welfare Officer in respect of the decision to expel.

    APPEALS

    Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, gives parents (and students over the age of 18) the right to appeal decisions made by the BOM to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills. Appeals must be lodged within 42 calendar days from the date the decision has been notified to parents.

    RECORD KEEPING/ MONITORING/ RECORDING BEHAVIOUR

    A system of Record Keeping/Monitoring/Recording behaviour will be implemented throughout the school. This will enable the school to balance subjective opinion with factual information about what is actually happening and to review triggers or patterns of behaviour over time. It will use consistent terminology. Regular monitoring will:

    • Alert school staff to emerging problems for a particular student /group of students
    • Show trends and patterns, for example, the time of day, location or circumstances associated with either poor behaviour or instances of particularly good behaviour
    • Provide information about successes and what is working well
    • Avoid the risk of labelling a student unfairly from class to class or year to year, by providing factual data for any judgement about behaviour

    A record system will allow the school to track an individual student’s behaviour and to check whether efforts to change behaviour are working. All interventions aimed at helping the student to deal with unacceptable behaviour will be recorded, including contact with parents or referral to clinicians. Positive responses by a student and evidence of changed behaviour will also be recorded, as will any sanction used, together with the reason why the sanction was imposed. These records, along with copies of all communication with parents/ guardians will be retained in the pupils files, which are kept in the secretary’s office. Class teachers shred personal records at the end of each year. Parents and students will be made aware that a record is being kept and will have access to the information at all times. All reports will be managed within the school in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.

    The principal will monitor all records and will make an annual report to the Board of Management.

    LINKAGE TO OTHER POLICIES

    This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies:

    • Child Protection Policy
    • Admissions Policy
    • Statement of Strategy for School Attendance
    • Anti-Bullying Policy
    • Physical Intervention/ Restrictive Practice
    • Health and Safety Statement
    • Parent School Communication Policy
    • Data Protection Policy
    • Records Retention Schedule

    POLICY REVIEW

    The school will be happy to discuss any concerns a parent/guardian may have about behaviour or about any aspect of the Code of Behaviour. The school will provide parents with a copy of the code and will require parents to sign up to supporting the code prior to the enrolment of a student.

    This policy was reviewed in January 2019 and ratified by the Board of BOM on -------------.

    Signed: ………………………………………….

    Chairperson, BOM

    Date for review: ………………………………………..

    Download Links

    School Self Evaluation Report

    Numeracy

    Roll Number: 19373U

    Evaluation period: November 2014 - June 2015

    Report issue date: 15th June 2015

    School Context

    • This is a school for pupils with a moderate learning disability, ranging in age from 5-18 years. Many pupils present with additional difficulties such as sensory needs, Autistic Spectrum Disorder Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties or hearing impairment.
    • The school currently has 58 pupils enrolled, an administrative principal, 10 class teachers and 20 SNAs.
    • In 2012 the school introduced the ASDAN programme to the senior school and plans to introduce L2LP in Autumn 2015.
    • The school building is 3 years old and is generally very well resourced, with an IWB in every classroom and both multi sensory and soft play rooms.

    Focus of the evaluation.

    This was evaluated through teacher questionnaires, audits of resources and assessments and through discussion at staff meetings. There was broad agreement on the issues below.

    Areas of Strength: Numeracy

    Areas for Development

    • All areas of the Numeracy curriculum are being taught in every class room.
    • The school is generally well resourced.
    • There is strong emphasis on functional numeracy.
    • A wide variety of teaching approaches are used.
    • Differentiation is in evidence across a very broad range.
    • Good use being made of ICT to teach numeracy.
    • Good collaborative practices.
    • Need for consistency in assessments used;
    • Need for specific numeracy resources.
    • Need to raise pupilsproficiency to deal with money.
    • Need for an agreed approach to numeracy homework.
    • Need for improved use of numeracy displays to reflect and augment teaching.
    • Need for teacher training in Numicon.

    Priorities for self improvement:

    • All pupils will have a numeracy target based on Money included in their IEP;
    • Have a school tuck shop once a week;
    • Offer pupils the opportunity to bank with the Credit Union within the school once a week.
    • Teachers will use the CAT as 1 of their assessment tools.
    • Increase agreed resources and use agreed text books.
    • Teachers to complete summer course in Numicontraining (where possible).

    School Self Evaluation

    Strand: Measures
    Strand unit: Money -Current levels of Ability across the School

    Skill

    Not Addressed

    In Progress

    Achieved

    Understands that money pays for goods Grad.-1 J.1-2
    j.2-2
    j.3-2
    Gr.-1
    Rec.-1
    J.1-4
    J.2-3
    J.3-4
    S.1-7
    S.2-7
    S.3-
    S.4-5
    Gr.-5
    Sorts & matches coins Rec.-4
    J.1-1
    J.3-1
    S.4-2
    Rec.-1
    J.1-5
    J.2-2
    J.3-2
    S.1-4
    S.£-2
    Gr.-1
    Rec.-1
    J.1-4
    J.2-3
    J.3-3
    S.1-3
    S.2-7
    S.3-4
    S.4-4
    Gr.-6
    Recognises coins & notes Rec.-6
    J.1-1
    J.3-1
    S.4-2
    Gr.-1
    J.1-6
    J.2-5
    J.3-2
    S.1-7
    S.2-1
    S.3-6
    Gr.-4
    J.3-3
    S.2-6
    S.4-4
    Gr.-6
    Uses correct vocabulary Rec.-6
    J.1-6
    J.2-2
    J.3-2
    S.4-2
    Gr.-1
    J.2-3
    J.3-3
    S.1-7
    S.2-2
    S.3-6
    S.4-1
    Gr.-5
    S.2-5
    S.4-3
    Gr.-1
    Calculates simple bills Rec.-6
    J.1-1
    J.2-5
    J.3-4
    S.1-5
    S.4-2
    Gr.-1
    J.1-5
    J.3-2
    S.1-2
    S.2-1
    S.3-4
    S.2-6
    S.4-1
    Gr.-1
    Uses a savings account J.1-6
    J.3-6
    Rec.-2
    J.2-3
    S.1-4
    S.4-4
    Gr.3

    Parent and Pupil Voice

    Parent’s voice

    • 30% of parents responded and of these 64% identified money as a priority learning area.
    • 82% would like their children to get numeracy homework.
    • A few parents felt that homework could be a strain if pupil was tired after school.

    Pupil’s voice

    Student Voice Survey Interview 4th June 2015
    6 students present (Senior 1 to Senior 4 classes)

    Do you like money?
    All replied yes for the following

    • You can buy things in the school tuck shop
    • Buy stuff to eat
    • Buy clothes with money
    • If you have 50c, can buy sweets
    • Can buy crisps, drink and bar/ chocolate

    What is money for?

    • Tuck shop
    • Shop with Mam and Dad to buy milk, bread, rashers and stuff for breakfast
    • Buy drinks in the tuck shop

    Do you save any money?

    • 50c under my pillow to buy shoes
    • Can get money from the bank
    • Save money with the credit union (in school)

    School Self Evaluation Plan for Improvement

    Improvement Targets

    Required Actions

    Success Criteria

    Persons Responsible

    Time frame for actions

    All Pupils will have an Numeracy IEP target based on money. Agee a smart money target for each child Raising of competency with money based /money related skills. Teacher + Parents Sept - June
    Teachers will use CAT for assessment & planning. CAT template to be accessed from shared folder. Completion of assessments D.P. Sept. 2015 onwards for money skills; Sept 2016 for all of Numeracy curriculum
    Pupils will get regular money based home work. Teachers will devise and agree on a homework policy. Raising of competency with money based /money related skills. Teachers & parents November onwards
    School tuck shop to be held once a week. Agree & purchase stock & pricing, reflecting levels of ability. Rotate duty around classes. Conduction of monetary transactions by all pupils. Teachers Seniors- Jan 2015, Juniors- Sept 2015.
    Teachers to get Numicon training Teachers to access CPD summer course in Numicon. July 2015 onwards

    School Self Evaluation Plan for Improvement

    Year

    Literacy: Oral Language

    Numeracy: Money

    2013-14 Pupils will improve their Oral Language performance
    2014-15 Pupil profile folders to be set up which will include informal assessment targets in Oral language & communication. Reading programme Edmark to begin in Senior school Permanent teaching staff to complete Numicon training. Basic numeracy resources to be purchased over next number of years. CAT to be used as a planning & assessment tool. Tuck shop to be held on weekly basis. Credit Union banking to run on a weekly basis. IEPs to contain a numeracy target. Money homework to be given weekly. To review School Numeracy Policy.
    2016-17 Standardised assessment to be administered. Computing money?
    2016-17 Debit cards for senior pupils? Class piggybanks?
    2017-18
    2018-19
    2019-20

    Class Allocation & Placement Policy

    1. INTRODUCTION

    This policy was formulated as a result of a consultative approach between the School Principal and School Staff of St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS) with the intention of providing a clear plan regarding how class staff allocations and pupil placements* are decided. This plan is considered to be essential for the school to meet both individual needs and also to ensure the overall well-being of our pupils and staff.

    This policy will also provide parents with information regarding the decision-making process involved in placing their child in a particular class and as it outlines the factors that are taken into consideration when creating class groups in SMH SNS.

    *In this policy, ‘class allocation’ refers to assigning staff to classes and ‘class placement’ refers to placing pupils in class groupings.

    2. RELATIONSHIP TO THE CHARACTERISTIC SPIRIT OF THE SCHOOL

    SMH SNS is committed to providing an individualised education programme for each pupil with the intention of enabling children to reach their full potential. Through a considered approach, the School Principal aims to balance the individual strengths and needs of each pupil with the strengths and needs of each child's class grouping and also with those of the whole school community. The School Principal also aims to allocate staff to classes and place children in class groupings in such a way that enables Teachers and Special Needs Assistants to support children in their learning in the best way possible. Provision is also made, where possible, to provide for the professional development of school staff by supporting a variety of teaching experiences.

    3. RATIONALE

    This policy ensures that school staff and parents have a clear understanding of how decisions in relation to class placements are reached when the School Principal is considering in which class to place each child. This policy outlines the transparent consultative process conducted by the School Principal with school staff to gain the input of those working directly with each child.Information is sought regarding each child's individual and collective strengths and needs as they are divided into class groupings. The intention of this policy is also to reassure parents that their child's individual needs are taken into consideration by the School Principal during the planning of class placements with the aim of ensuring that all children benefit from a happy school life.

    4. AIMS

    This policy aims to:

    • To facilitate the smooth, efficient running of the school
    • To provide for the safety, health and well-being of all pupils and school staff
    • To ensure that all children enjoy a happy school life
    • To provide for the educational and care needs of all pupils in a balanced way
    • To maximise the learning opportunities of each child through prudent class placement which utilises to the optimum, the varied range of individual teaching expertise in special educational needs within the teaching staff and also the individual knowledge and skills provided by the Special Needs Assistants
    • To provide a consultative process through which the School Principal can liaise with school staff who can then express their views and have input into class allocations and class placements
    • To provide for the professional development of school staff through varied class allocations
    • To communicate to parents in a transparent way the process that is used by the school to decide on class placements
    • To ensure that a balance of needs exist in each class so that all pupils’ needs can be met equally and fairly
    • To ensure that the schools’ ability to meet the needs of existing pupils is not negatively impacted by the admission of new pupil(s) where the professional reports of applicants indicate that their needs as reported, could, in the professional judgement of the principal and Deputy Principal, taking into consideration the criterion contained in this policy, create an imbalance in the needs of proposed class placement options.

    5. DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

    The pupil/teacher ratios and staffing allocations of Teachers and Special Needs Assistants made available to the school by the Department of Education and Skills and the National Council for Special Education are considered to be a significant factor when determining class placements for pupils and staff.

    6. STAFF ALLOCATIONS

    The allocation of teaching and assisting duties within the school is a matter for the School Principal. However, it is the policy of the school to, where possible, reach collective agreement and consensus when distributing teaching and assisting duties.

    “The School Principal is responsible for the creation, together with the Board, parents of students and the teachers, of a school environment which is supportive of learning among the students and which promotes the professional development of the teachers”. (Education Act – Section 23)

    The School Principal facilitates this process in a fair and equitable way by consulting with staff in the following ways:

    SMH SNS currently has nine special classes. In the third term of each year, all Teachers and Special Needs Assistants are requested to complete the Consultation Re. Class Preference Form in which they list the classes that they would prefer to be assigned to for the coming year in order of preference.

    When allocating classes, it is preferable for collective agreement to be reached with options such as deferring a move for a year being considered and additional professional development undertaken.

    7. CRITERIA FOR DECIDING STAFF ALLOCATIONS TO CLASSES

    In deciding on allocations, the School Principal will allocate classes according to the Consultation Re Class Preference Form completed by school staff. The School Principal will also take other factors into account when making these decisions such as:

    • Experience in teaching and working with children with a moderate general learning disability and /or autism and complex needs
    • Contribution to overall school development in relation to teaching and learning
    • Range of classes already taught/not taught or worked with
    • Motivation
    • Personality
    • Special talents
    • Opportunities for development, such as SESS In-Service Courses
    • Flexibility and adaptability

    Some teachers may have larger classes than colleagues. This normally ‘evens itself out’ over a number of years, so that an equitable workload is achieved.

    Class allocation relies heavily on compromise and consensus. If this is not possible to reach, the School Principal will make an informed decision based on suitability, experience (whether a particular teacher has had the class before), special talents, courses taken and what is in the best interests of the children concerned. An interview is not held for the purpose of allocating classes.

    8. NOTIFICATION OF STAFF PLACEMENTS AND PUPIL ALLOCATIONS

    Class allocation is usually completed by the end of June. However, in the case of temporary staff who are not CID holders, allocations will be made following appointment.

    9. PUPIL PLACEMENTS

    A great deal of thought goes into placing children in classes each year. The process is also time- consuming, as the School Principal focuses on each child’s needs. Every effort is made to place each child in a learning environment where they will be most successful. This learning environment incorporates several factors.

    The School Principal uses the following criteria when compiling classes. This criterion is used to inform decision-making on an individual and collective basis with the aim of ensuring a balance in the overall needs of pupils across classes. This criteria is used in conjunction with the criteria ‘balance of needs’ that is contained in the SMH SNS Admissions Policy.

    • Age
    • Language and communication
    • Behaviour
    • Sensory
    • Application to work
    • Care needs
    • Personality
    • Attachments
    • Additional Information

    This policy is intended to inform parents of the placement procedures already in place at SMH SNS. The following section addresses parents’ questions regarding those procedures by providing responses to typical questions posed by parents.

    10. FURTHER INFORMATION FOR PARENTS – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    How are children placed in classes?

    Each year, the Principal and Deputy Principal meet to look at pupil placement. Teachers will be consulted, particularly if there have been challenges in the class in any given year. This information is then used by the School Principal to inform her decision-making regarding the compilation of class lists.

    Parents of existing pupils are informed of their child’s class, teacher’s name, SNAs names and the Christian names of the other children in the class in the form of a social story that can be read to their child throughout the summer, in preparation for the new academic year.

    Throughout this process, changes and adjustments are made. Each time a change is made it can cause a chain reaction of other changes.

    Due to all of the points mentioned above, the final decision on pupil placements needs to rest with the School Principal. This is necessary, as the School Principal is the only person who is in possession of all of the information regarding every child’s needs and can therefore take an overall view of what is best across all classes.

    My child is NEW to SMH SNS. How does the school place a child when they don’t know him/her as well as the other pupils?

    Through the admission process, the School Principal is already aware of a significant amount of information in relation to each pupil, i.e. information gained from the professional reports submitted prior to the closing date for admission for the following September.

    Further information is gained by the school when new pupils are invited to the school for a transition visit to see the building and meet some of our school staff. The school principal will have the opportunity to observe the child on this visit and parents will be asked if there is any additional information that the school should know to assist in placing the child in their class for the coming year.

    When will I know my child’s class placement?

    Most parents will know their child’s placement by the end of June. However, where new staff have to be appointed, parents will be informed as soon as is practicably possible.

    Can I request a particular Teacher and/or Special Needs Assistant for my child either in writing or in discussion with the School Principal and/or my child’s present Teacher?

    You may, if you give the specific reasons, in writing before June. However, parents are requested to please remember that there are no guarantees that all requests can be granted.

    Parents should be reassured by the fact that all staff, who know their child and have been working with them on a daily basis, are consulted by the School Principal as part of the decision-making process.The School Principal will always endeavour to match the individual needs of each pupil with the best possible class placement for every child. However, whilst parents may have reasons for their child to be placed in a particular class, they are not privy to the individual needs of the other pupils in SMH SNS and therefore, are not in a position to make the best decision for the overall needs of each class. It is considered to be essential that the needs of all children are considered equally and it is the remit of the School Principal to examine the multiple factors, as per earlier criteria, regarding pupil placements.

    Can I request my child’s class is placed with another child in a class? Or, can I request my child NOT be placed with another particular child?

    Consideration is given to attachments/friendships that a pupil may have formed during the year and this is part of the placement criteria that the School Principal refers to when compiling class lists. We are very aware of how important it is to foster and support ‘buddies’/friendships among our pupils in every way possible. Equally, if a child has repeated difficulty with another pupil, the School Principal will try to separate non-constructive relationships in as far as is practicably possible.

    Do teachers request that certain pupils are placed in their class?

    No. Teachers are concerned about their class balance. Teachers want their colleagues to have successful years with their pupils. Additionally, Teachers are expected to be able to meet the needs of a variety of pupils and adapt to changes from year to year.

    When I get my child’s class placement, will it be changed?

    The vast majority of pupils remain in their assigned class, however, it may be necessary to move children to ensure the safety, well-being and happiness of all pupils is maintained and all pupils have the best opportunity to maximise their opportunities for learning.

    Parents are advised that moving a pupil may cause a chain reaction within the class balance and it may be necessary to move other children to ensure that the overall needs of everyone are best met. While we always consider the individual child, parents must realise that their child is part of a complex equation in school placements. So, a degree of flexibility and trust is requested of Parents in relation to changes in pupil placements.

    If a parent has concerns about their child’s class placement or that their child is moved class, they may talk to the School Principal about any concerns and be assured that those concerns will be shared with the Teacher so that your child’s anxieties will be addressed. Teachers are expected to have the skills to help our pupils’ transition and subsequently, adjust to their new class and staff and by working together we can try to create the right environment so that all our pupils can be happy in school.

    Finally, we want to stress to parents that all information about their child is valued and heard. Teachers want to construct the smoothest transitions possible for their pupils. Parents can also help by being as positive and encouraging as possible to their children during the transition process to a new class, which impacts pupil, parent and teacher a great deal

    11. CLASSROOM ALLOCATION

    The Blue, Yellow, Red and Green Rooms are located together on the ‘Junior Corridor’ downstairs. Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter Classes are located together on the Senior Corridor. Graduation Class and the Number 1 Room are located at the far end of the Senior Corridor.

    In as far as is practicably possible, classes following similar curriculum will be located together in the school building.

    12. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

    All staff, under the guidance of the School Principal, participates in and contributes to the implementation of an effective and equitable class allocation policy. Grievances are dealt with at school level by the School Principal and will only transfer to the Board if a compromise cannot be reached.

    SUCCESS CRITERIA

    The school evaluates the success of the policy through;

    • Participation of all staff in the policy
    • Smooth hand over of classes
    • Calm and happy pupils
    • Feedback from all staff
    • Staff satisfaction
    • Parental satisfaction

    13. REVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION

    A review will be conducted based on the success criteria outlined, or where consensus and compromise is not achieved.

    14. RATIFICATION

    This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 6th February 2020. A copy has been given to all staff members and can be accessed in the secretary’s office. Parents can access this policy on the school website

    15. REFERENCES

    • Education Act 1998 – Sections 22 and 23
    • Circular 16/73