Introductory Statement: This policy has been drawn up by the Board of Management of Bishop Murphy Memorial School in consultation with the staff and parents in our school.
- To ensure the safety of the arrival and dismissal of our pupils
- To encourage confidence and independence in every pupil
- Relationship to the characteristic ethos of the school: In Bishop Murphy School we value a safe environment and work towards providing that for the entire school community
- The duty of care to pupils applies not only in school but also, for example, on school tours and on other occasions when the children are in the care of a teacher.
- Duty of Care: The school must take reasonable care for the safety of pupils when pupils are under their charge. This applies not only to periods during break or playtime but also to the periods between the pupils’ arrival at school and the start of the school day and from dismissal in the afternoon. (Ref: Primary Education Management Manual 3:2.7).
- Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, and the regulations of the Department of Education and Skills, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school.
- The overall responsibility for the day to day management of school supervision rests with the Principal teacher. The terms of Circular 16/73, which issued to all primary schools, provide that the Principal Teacher of primary schools should organise supervision for the order and general behaviour of the pupils during school hours. In particular, s/he should organise and participate in the effective supervision of the pupils during breaks, lunch breaks, assembly and dismissal.
- Circular 18/03: “Rules 121(4) and 124(1) of the Rules for National Schools and Section 23(2) of the Education Act 1998 oblige teachers to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of pupils and to participate in supervising pupils when the pupils are on school premises, during school time and/or on school activities. Accordingly, the responsibility of all teachers individually and collectively to provide a duty of care at all times towards the pupils in the school in which they teach, including periods of supervision, is not changed.”
- Schools still refer to Circulars 11/51, 11/68, 24/71 and 11/95
Supervision before and after school:
- On the issue of supervision before and after school, it was decided on the advice of Allianz and CPSMA that pupils required a reasonable amount of time before school and after school to come and go into the school building, and that the school could reasonably be expected to supervise pupils for a period of 10 minutes at either end of the school day. Parents are advised that outside of these times pupils would be on the school premises at their own risk.
- Green v Mundow Circuit Court January 20th 2000.
‘Duty to supervise primary school pupils began since they arrived on the school premises and was not confined to the official day but spilled over for short periods before and short period afterwards.’
- On the issue of supervision before and after school, advice was given some years ago by Eoghan Fitzsimons, SC. The essence of that advice was that it was unreasonable to restrict supervision of children to the classroom hours; that children required a reasonable amount of time before school and after school to come and go into the school building etc
- The entrance gate will be opened at 8:45am. The pupils will leave their bags in their classrooms and go the school playground where they will be supervised by the Deputy Principal and SNAs on yard duty until 9am.
- Children are asked to make their way to their class line and are sent in to their classrooms.
- In the case of inclement weather; Children are to make their way to their classrooms and sit in their chairs. The Deputy Principal will supervise, along with SNAs until all classroom teachers are in their classrooms at 8:50am.
- All parents are notified by the Chairperson of the Board and Principal of the times at which the school accepts responsibility. A letter will be issued to parents at the commencement of the school year, the arrival and dismissal procedure will be a part of the parent information booklet, and general reminders will be extended to the parents during school year.
- Any pupil who arrives later than 9:00am must be signed in by a parent/guardian stating the reason for their late arrival.
- Late arrival will be noted by the class teacher on Aladdin which is the admin system fo recording attendances and absences.
- All pupils are taken to the school gate at 2:40pm.
- It is the policy of Bishop Murphy Memorial School to only release pupils into the care of adults who are known to the school i.e. parent, child carer or other adult appointed by the parent. Children in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th classes will not be permitted to walk home unless a written note by the parent/guardian stating that the child may be released unaccompanied has been furnished to the principal. The parents of pupils in 5th and 6th class will complete a disclaimer at the beginning of each school year either giving/not giving their child permission to walk home after school
- If a dismissal arrangement is to change the school must be informed either in person, by telephone call or in writing, otherwise the pupil will not be allowed to go until a telephone call has been made to the parent to confirm the identity of the adult collecting them.
- Ten minutes after the dismissal bell has rung, i.e. 2:50pm, all remaining pupils must be brought from the school gate to the supervising staff member by their class teacher. Due care and consideration will be given to students returning to the school from the St. Patrick’s Church carpark to report their non-collection to their class teacher. The supervising staff member (from the teaching staff) shall correspond to the supervision rota as organised by the principal. SNAs will provide supervision at the school gate. All teaching staff will remain on the premises until 2:50pm as part of a collective response to supervision.
- The supervising teacher will then make a telephone call to the parents of the children to inform them their child has not been collected and to ask them to arrange for them to be collected as soon as possible by an adult.
- Contact numbers for parents are available to all supervising teachers and a phone is available in the office.
- All late pickups must be logged in the late arrival/dismissal book.
- On the first incidence of late collection the parent must sign the late dismissal book and will receive a verbal warning from the supervising member of staff.
- On the second incidence the parent must sign the late dismissal book and will receive a verbal warning from the supervising member of staff.
- In the case of a third incidence the parents will receive a written warning from the Principal.
- In the case of a fourth incidence of late collection the parents must meet with the principal in order to discuss the issue.
- In the case of a fifth incidence of late collection the parents will receive a written warning from the Chairperson of the Board of Management
. · If a pupil is not collected by 3:30pm on any occasion, and contact cannot be made with the parents/guardians of the pupil, the teacher will contact An Túsla and Fermoy Garda Station who will be asked to take the pupil into their care. All parents will be made aware of this practice.
- It is the responsibility of the parent to provide a valid and current contact number upon which they can be reached in the event of non-collection.
Attempted collection by a parent who has been denied access in a Court Order
- A person who has been denied access to a child through a court order will not be permitted on to the school premises. (A copy of a Court Order currently in place must be shown to the Principal). Where a court order is in place denying access to one of the child’s parents, it is the responsibility of the primary custodian to provide evidence of a court order to the school at the earliest possible opportunity.
- If the parent who has been denied access becomes threatening and insists on attempting to remove a child from the school, the principal will call An Garda Síochána.
- If a parent wishes to collect his/her child early from school they must notify the school in advance; in person, by telephone call or by writing. They must provide a reason for their early departure, and the time they wish to collect their child.
- In the case of an appointment, e.g. dental/doctor appointment, an appointment letter must be provided.
- The class teacher will send the pupil to the office at the appropriate time, as provided by the parent and place a note on Aladdin informing the Principal of the occurrence.
- The parents must sign the pupil out from the office in the sign in/out book.
- A 24 hours personal accident insurance cover for all pupils is available to all students
- If pupils are required to be on the school premises before official starting time e.g. for school tours / choral work etc., written notification is sent to the parents in advance and a teacher must be on site.
- If pupils are required to be on the school premises after official closing time e.g. for school tours/ choral work, sports events, training etc., written notification is sent to the parents and a teacher must be on site.