We in Willowbridge School have a responsibility for the Pastoral Care, general welfare and safety of the children in our care and we will carry out this duty by providing a caring, supportive and safe environment, where each child is valued for his or her unique talents and abilities, and in which all our young people can learn and develop to their full potential. All staff, teaching and non-teaching should be alert to the signs of possible abuse and should know the procedures to be followed. The Child Protection Policy sets out guidance on the action, which is required where abuse or neglect of a child is suspected and outlines referral procedures within our school.
The general principles, which underpin our work, are those set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and are enshrined in the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, the Department of Education (Northern Ireland) guidance “Pastoral Care in Schools- Child Protection”(DENI Circular 99/10) and the Area Child Protection Committees’ Regional Policy and Procedures(2005).
The following principles form the basis of our Child Protection Policy.
It is a child’s right to feel safe at all times, to be heard, listened to and taken seriously.
We have a pastoral responsibility towards the children in our care and should take all reasonable steps to ensure their welfare is safeguarded and their safety is preserved.
In any incident the child’s welfare must be paramount, this overrides all other considerations.
A proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents and families; but where there is conflict the child’s interest must always come first.
You will find a full copy of our Child Protection Policy below.