Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (202)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

202. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills the measures being taken to ensure that the safety issues raised by a person (details supplied) are being addressed. [51981/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

In accordance with the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school. It is also the Board of Management of the school that is responsible for ensuring that all appropriate health and safety measures are in place.

In relation to child protection matters, the organisation with primary statutory responsibility for child protection is the Child and Family Agency. The role of the Department of Education and Skills is to provide guidance to all recognised schools in implementing their child protection obligations.  The Department has issued child protection procedures for primary and post-primary schools which set out very clear procedures for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse and which make clear the lead role of Tusla in the investigation of child protection concerns. In December 2017, the Department of Education and Skills, following consultation with the relevant education stakeholders, published updated Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 which take account of the new statutory requirements of the Children First Act 2015 which is now fully operational. Responsibility for ensuring that child protection requirements are complied with rests with the school board, the principal and the staff of each school.

The Department has recently received correspondence regarding a school from the person referred to by the Deputy. The Department has brought the matters raised in this correspondence to the attention of the board of management of the school in question and has sought its clarification as to the position regarding same.