Child Safeguarding Statement

Gartan Outdoor Education Centre (OETC) provides an outdoor education service to children and adults.

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 Management of Gartan OETC has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

  1. 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.

  1. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is: Sean McCrudden

  1. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP is: Marty McCann

  1. Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of Centre life and must be reflected in all of the Centre’s policies, procedures, practices and activities In its policies, procedures, practices and activities, the Centre will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare: 

The Centre will:

  • recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;

  • fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;

  • fully cooperate 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;

  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

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

  1. The following procedures/measures are in place:

  • In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the Centre, the Centre adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for Centre staff which are published on the DES website.  

  • In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the Centre adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) 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 Centre-

  • Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the Centre’s Child Safeguarding Statement 

  • Ensures all new staff  are provided with a copy of the Centre’s Child Safeguarding Statement 

  • Encourages staff to avail of relevant training 

  • Encourages management to avail of relevant training 

  • Management maintains records of all staff training 

  • In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all Centre 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 outdoor education instructors, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015.

  • In this Centre, Management has appointed the above named DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the child safeguarding statement.

  • All outdoor education instructors employed by the Centre are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015.

  • In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, management 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 Centre’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to this statement. 

  • The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the DES website or will be made available on request by the Centre.

 

  1. This statement is publicly displayed within the Centre and has been provided to all members of Centre personnel, and Donegal ETB Senior Management.  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.  

  1. 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 management on 9th March 2018 

And has been reviewed 31 October 2023