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Introduction

This policy was originally formulated in the early 2000’s. It was reviewed by the teaching staff during a two hour Croke Park session on Wednesday 9th January 2013.  It applies to all staff and children during school hours, break times, and on all school related activities.

Rationale

The rules for National Schools 121(4) and 124(1) obliges teachers to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of pupils and to participate in supervising pupils during school time and during all school related activities.

Legislation such as the Health Safety and Welfare at Work Act and recent Court judgments have placed a “duty of care” and accountability on schools that must be underpinned by a policy covering all possible eventualities.

Relationship to the Characteristic Ethos of the School

This policy is in keeping with the school ethos of providing a safe and secure environment for learning for all pupils and the wider school community.

Aims and Objectives

  • To develop a framework that effectively ensures, as far as is practicable, the safety of children while at play on the yard or while engaged in school related activities
  • To observe and monitor behavioural patterns outside the confines of the classroom
  • To contribute to effective school management and comply with relevant legislation.
School Procedures
  • All teachers who have signed up for supervision are assigned supervision duties. Each teacher upon appointment signs a supervision contract for 37 hours per school year. No teacher on the present staff has opted out of supervision duty and so 4 teachers are available for supervision.
  •  It is the policy of the school to supervise the school yard at all times during regular lunch breaks i.e. 11.00am to 11.10am and 12.25pm to 12.55pm.  Teachers assume a duty of care at 9.20am.  The Board of Management informs parents that the school does not accept responsibility for pupils dropped off earlier than 9.20am or children who are not collected promptly at 3.00pm.
  • A Rota for supervision is drawn up through consultation among the staff and this Rota is displayed on the staff room notice board.
  • The school yard in Ballycullane National School is quite broken and only areas which can be supervised by one teacher are used at any one time. These areas can vary over time and season.
  • Rules of the school yard are reviewed and revised continually and communicated to children regularly.
  • If parents indicate a worry about a particular child on the yard all teachers rostered for yard duty are informed of the concern so that the particular concerns can be addressed satisfactorily
  • Teachers on yard duty remain with the classes until the class teacher returns from break.  Teachers taking a course day can swap supervision duties with a willing colleague.  If a teacher is unexpectedly absent a volunteer colleague will assume his/her duties in a reciprocal arrangement
  •  Special Needs Assistant/s are on duty during lunch breaks.  While these Assistants provide individual supervision for designated Special Needs children, they can act in an observing and reporting capacity, bringing instances of misbehaviour to the attention of the teacher on yard duty.  The schools anti-bullying/discipline policy covers incidents of misbehaviour.
  • Children with injuries/complaints are dealt with directly by the teacher on yard duty.  Children are not permitted to report directly to the staff room if there is an incident on the yard.
  • A First Aid box and an Accident Report Folder are kept as a matter of procedure (See Accident and Injury Policy). All accidents where there is an injury of consequence should be noted in the Accident Report Folder by the teacher on supervision or by the relevant class teacher. Where teachers suspect that a child is unwell parents are alerted, usually by phone. Parents should always be informed of a head injury even if the child appears unaffected.
  • If children remain uncollected after 3.00pm, the school ensures that a duty of care is provided until a parent/guardian calls.
  • At all other times each teacher is responsible for the supervision of all children under their care.
  • No supervision is provided outside the school gate.
  • Unless unavoidable, teachers should never leave their classroom unsupervised.
  • Children who are withdrawn from their mainstream classroom for Resource or Learning Support should be collected at the classroom door by the relevant teacher.
Special Provisions

a)   Out of school activities such as games, swimming, tours

Back up provisions are put in place to ensure adequate levels of supervision are put in place.  The level of supervision is usually one adult per 10 children with individual teachers in charge of specific groups.

b)  Meet with Parent

In the unlikely event that a teacher is called from his/her classroom to meet with a parent, another member of staff may be released to cover. (This will usually be the Learning Support or Resource teacher). However, it is school policy to request parents to make an appointment in order to minimize the disruption to classroom teaching and learning.

c)   On wet days

  • Children remain in their classes.
  • The normal supervision Rota will apply for all breaks.
  • During the 10 minute break at 11.00am two Sixth Class pupils will be assigned to the Junior Room.
  • 12.25-12.55 When available an SNA will go to the Junior Room.
  • No running or rough games are allowed.
  • Children may play with board games/toys, draw, read, watch DVD   and when an adult is in the room go on computer.

d)   When visiting teachers such as P.E., Music, Language, take over a class, teachers should maintain a presence.  Neither SNA’S or pupils are left in sole charge of a class

e)   The school Safety Statement lists all hazards on the school yard and supervisors are accordingly briefed.

f)   Detention

Children who are on detention for break or who have to complete written work should remain in the Conservatory where they can be supervised by the teacher on yard duty.

g)  Collection during School Hours

Parents may request that their children be allowed leave during the school day due to health commitments etc. The following procedures are applicable

  • Written note for the class teacher either in homework journal or letter giving reason for withdrawal.
  • Sign the child out in attendance book supplied in hallway.
  • If child returns then sign time of return.

h)  Success Criteria and Review

  • Ensuring a safe child-friendly school yard
  • Providing well organised and safe out of school activities
  • Re-enforcing school rules termly
  • Reviewing supervision duties yearly
  • Altering or adjusting procedures deemed to be inoperable.
Implementation

This policy has been in operation since 2000 and the new additions to the policy will apply from the date of ratification by the Board of Management

References
  1. Primary Education Management Manual – Thompson Roundhall
  2. Insurance, Safety and Security in the school – Church & General
Ratification and Review

This policy review was presented to and ratified by the Board of Management in April 2013.

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