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St. Mary's Primary School, Stewartstown, Co Tyrone

Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding @ St. Mary's P.S.

Mr Reilly is the Designated teacher for Child Protection and Safeguarding. You can talk to him if you have a concern or are worried.


Deputy Designated Teacher

Mrs Hamill is the Deputy Designated Teacher. Both members of staff have received additional training to support them with this aspect of their work.


Pastoral Care and Child Protection

In St. Mary's we have a responsibility for the care, welfare and safety of all our pupils. In our school we respect each and every individual child and aim to provide a warm and caring environment so that each individual feels safe, secure and valued. The atmosphere within our school is one that encourages ALL children to do their best. We strive to ensure that each individual achieves his/her potential academically, socially, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our Pastoral Care is permeated throughout all aspects of school life and isbased upon the strong Catholic Ethos which prevails. Mutual respect, tolerance and forgiveness are the values that we promote.


In St Mary’s, every effort is made for children:

  • To set and achieve personal, social and academic goals.
  • To help them gain maximum benefit from their time in school.
  • To develop independence of mind and to take responsibility for their actions.
  • To develop self-esteem, self-discipline and self-respect.
  • To develop an understanding of themselves as individuals, recognising their own self worth, strengths, interests, etc.
  • To develop respect and tolerance for others.
  • To develop an understanding of the world in which we live.
  • To foster relationships where they feel happy and secure.

Class teachers strive to form good working relationships with children in their care. They form strong and positive links with parents, to ensure effective communication exists. Supervisors, classroom and domestic assistants, and indeed all members of the ancillary staff, help to ensure the health and safety of each child and strive to enhance each individual’s learning.

Children are always encouraged to do their best in all aspects of school life. Class teachers promote the children’s self esteem through praise and rewards. Each week, a boy and girl receive a certificate of merit based on a positive contribution they have made to school life. Each month, three children from each classroom receive a certificate for either good behaviour, effort in class or homework.

Parental Concerns

Parents are always welcome to discuss their child’s progress or any other issue of concern they may have. To accommodate parents in this, and to ensure they receive an adequate period of uninterrupted time, parents are asked to contact the school and make an appointment to meet the child’s teacher and/or Principal. 

Child Protection

It is consistent with the aims and objectives of Catholic Education that we all have a duty to protect children from abuse or the risk of abuse.

The following principles form the basis of our Child Protection Policy.

  • The welfare of the child must always be paramount.
  • At all times there must be a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency approach to commitment of protecting, supporting and safeguarding children from harm.

The right of confidentiality for parents, carers, teachers and children must be respected. Information will only be shared in the interests of the child’s welfare.


Bullying is a highly distressing and damaging form of abuse and is not tolerated in our school. All staff are vigilant at all times to the possibility of bullying occurring and we will take immediate steps to stop it from happening, to protect and reassure the victim and to discipline the bully. Parents of both victim and bully will be contacted when bullying behaviour has been identified. Any complaint made by a parent/child concerning bullying, will be investigated by the designated teacher for Child Protection.
The sanctions taken against the pupil who bullies may include loss of privileges or loss of positions of responsibility. His /Her behaviour will be monitored until the staff are satisfied that the problem has been eradicated.

To prevent our pupils from being abused we teach them about the risks of possible abuse, help them to recognise unwelcome behaviour in others and develop the confidence and skills they need to keep themselves safe. Children are taught about these different aspects through Personal development and Mutual Understanding.

Implementation of Procedure

Mr Martin Reilly is the designated member of staff for child protection. In his absence Mrs M Hamill will assume responsibility for child protection matters as the Deputy Designated Teacher for child protection.

If a child or young person makes a disclosure to a teacher or other member of staff which gives rise to concerns about possible abuse, or if a member of staff has concerns about a child or young person, the member of staff must act promptly.
He/she should not investigate – this is a matter for Social Services – but should report these concerns immediately to the designated member of staff to discuss the matter with her and make full notes.
The designated teacher will decide whether, in the best interests of the child or young person, the matter needs to be referred to Social Services. If there are concerns that the child or young person may be at risk, the school is obliged to make a referral. Unless there are concerns that a parent may be the possible abuser, the parents will be contacted immediately.
The Principal may seek clarification or advice and consult with the Designated Officer from the Southern Education Board/ESA or the Senior Social Worker before a referral is made. No decision to refer a case to Social Services will be made without the fullest consideration and on appropriate advice. The safety of the child is our first priority.

How a Parent can make a Complaint if concerned about their own or another child’s welfare

Department of Education Guidelines

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