Reporting a Concern
If you have a concern or complaint please follow the relevant procedure below
How a Parent can make a Complaint
If a parent has a potential child protection concern:
I have a concern about my/a child’s safety
I can talk to the class/form teacher
If I am still concerned, I can talk to the Designated Teacher Mrs Michelle Judge/ Deputy Designated Teacher Mr Jim Devine for Child Protection or the Principal Mrs S Cullen
If I am still concerned, I can talk/write to the Chair of Board of Governors
Monsignor Peter O’Reilly
If I am still concerned I can contact the NI Public Services Ombudsman
Tel: 0800 343 424
At any time I can talk to the local Children’s Services Gateway Team [Western Trust 02871314090] or the PSNI Central Referral Unit at 028 9025 9299
If you have escalated your concern as set out in the above flowchart and are of the view that it has not been addressed satisfactorily, you may revert to the school’s complaints policy. This policy should culminate in the option for you to contact the NI Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) who has the legislative power to investigate your complaint.
If a parent has a concern about a child’s safety or suspect child abuse within the local community, it should be brought directly to the attention of the Children’s Services Gateway Team.
Dealing with Allegations of Abuse Against a Member of Staff
Lead individual learns of an allegation against a member of staff and informs the Chair/Vice Chair of Board of Governors as appropriate.
Guidance on the Next Steps
Lead individual then establishes the facts, seeks advice from the key agencies as appropriate, usually through informal discussion.
Following on from establishing the facts, seeking advice from Key Agencies and discussion with the Chair and/or Board of Governors to agree a way forward from the options below.
Precautionary suspension is not appropriate and the matter is concluded.
Allegation addressed through relevant disciplinary procedures.
Precautionary suspension under Child Protection procedures imposed
Alternatives to precautionary suspension imposed
Procedure where the School has concerns, or has been given information, about possible abuse by someone other than a member of staff
Member of staff completes the Note of Concern on what has been observed or shared and must ACT PROMPTLY. Source of concern is notified that the school will follow up appropriately on the issues raised.
Staff member discusses concerns with the Designated Teacher or Deputy Designated Teacher in his/her absence and provides note of concern.
Designated Teacher should consult with the Principal or other relevant staff before deciding upon action to be taken, always taking care to avoid undue delay. If required, advice may be sought from a CPSS officer.
Child Protection referral is required
Designated Teacher seeks consent of the parent/carer and/or the child (if they are competent to give this) unless this would place the child at risk of significant harm then telephones the Children’s Services Gateway Team and/or the PSNI if a child is at immediate risk. He/she submits a completed UNOCINI referral form within 24 hours.
Designated Teacher clarifies/discusses concern with child/ parent/carers and decides if a child protection referral is or is not required.
Child Protection referral is not required
School may consider other options including monitoring the situation within an agreed timescale; signposting or referring the child/parent/carers to appropriate support services such as the Children’s Services Gateway Team or local Family Support Hub with parental consent, and child/young person’s consent (where appropriate).
Where appropriate the source of the concern will be informed as to the action taken. The Designated Teacher will maintain a written record of all decisions and actions taken and ensure that this record is appropriately and securely stored.