This Policy was formulated in December 2007. It applies to all staff and children during school hours, break times and on all school related activities.
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 Health and Safety and Welfare at Work Act and recent Court judgements have placed a “duty of care” and an accountability on schools.
The extent of the teachers “duty of care” is to take such care of his/her pupils as a careful parent would of his/her children. This legal principle is known as ‘in loco parents’ The degree of supervision required of the teacher will vary with the circumstances and especially the age of the child.
A higher standard of care is required for very young children and the law holds children of very tender years incapable of contributory negligence.
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.
The aims of this policy are:
To develop a framework that effectively ensures, as far as is practicable, the safety of children in the classroom, on the school corridor, while at play on the yard or while engaged in school related activities.
To contribute to effective school management and comply with relevant legislation.
A teacher should be present in the classroom at all times. If the class teacher needs to leave his/her classroom, another teacher should be asked to supervise. An SNA should never be asked to supervise a class.
Children are expected to walk on the corridor at all times. Only one child at a time should be allowed to leave the classroom to go to the toilet.
When a whole class is in the corridor, coming in from the yard, before or after PE or at home time, they should be supervised by their teacher or another teacher.
It is the policy of the school to supervise the school yard at all times during regular breaks i.e. 10.50 – 11 a.m. and 12.30 – 1.00 p.m. No class should be in the school yard unsupervised at these times. The teachers on yard duty will ring the school bell when they are out on yard. If the teacher on yard duty is late, then the class teacher should stay with his/her class until the teacher on yard duty is on the yard.
At the end of each break, the teacher on yard duty should remain on the yard until all the classes have been collected by their class teachers.
If a child is injured on yard, then the SNA or another child should be sent to get the child’s class teacher. Under no circumstances, should the teacher leave the yard as the children are effectively unsupervised if this happens.
Teachers should not bring hot drinks to the yard.
Rules of the school yard are reviewed and revised continually and communicated to children regularly.
Supervision is provided before and after school from 8.50 a.m. in the morning and until the last child leaves the school premises in the evening.
Parents are informed that the school takes no responsibility for children before 8.50 a.m.
A rota for supervision is drawn up by the Deputy Principal in consultation with the Principal and is displayed on the Staff notice board.
If it is too wet for the children to go to the yard, they remain in their classrooms. Each teacher gets a five minute break in the morning 10.50-10.55 and 10.55 – 11.00 and a
15 minute break at lunch time 12.30 – 12.45 and 12.45 – 1.00. The children should eat their lunches during the actual break times and the class teacher should organise activities/work
for the rest of the time.
The rota for wet days is drawn up by the Deputy Principal in consultation with the Principal and is on display in the staff room.
Supervision duties are not compulsory and teachers have the option of opting out if they so desire. The Deputy Principal is responsible for maintaining the Register of Supervision. The Principal is responsible for making returns to the Department of Education in relation to the 37 hour contracts.
If parents indicate a worry about a particular child on the yard, all teachers rostered for the yard duty are informed of the concern so that the particular concerns can be addressed satisfactorily.
Teachers taking a course day can swap supervision duties with a colleague. If a teacher is unexpectedly absent a volunteer colleague will assume his/her duties in a reciprocal arrangement.
The three Special Needs Assistants are on duty during the breaks. These Assistants provide individual supervision for designated 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.
First Aid boxes and Accident Report books are kept as a matter of procedure (See Accident
and Injury Policy).
If children remain uncollected after 2.40 p.m. the school always ensures that a duty of care is provided by a teacher until a parent/guardian calls.
At 1.40 p.m. and 2.40 p.m., children are escorted to the junior yard by their class teacher who should remain with his/her class until they are all collected or the principal, deputy principal or assistant principal takes responsibility for them.
After School Activities
Teachers running after school activities assume responsibility for students as soon as is possible
Until then, they remain under the supervision of their class teacher.
A senior member of staff i.e. principal, deputy principal or assistant principal will remain on the school grounds while an after school activity is taking place and until all the children have been collected.
On out of school activities such as games, swimming, school bus, adequate levels of supervision are put in place. The level of supervision is usually one adult per 15 children.
Parents (or others) assisting with supervision will always be accompanied by a teacher.
If a teacher is called from his/her classroom to meet with a parent, another member of staff
will be released to cover.
When visiting teachers come to take a class, the class teacher is always present.
Ensuring a safe environment for all children.
Providing well organised and safe out of school activities.
This Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.
This Policy was ratified by the Board of Management on________________________and
circulated to all staff.
It will be implemented from February 2008.