Access Keys:


Child Protection

Child Protection

Rathfriland High School aims:

  • To seek to provide a safe, pleasant and regulated environment for all children.
  • To ensure the safety and welfare of pupils.
  • To foster a caring atmosphere where pupils feel valued and able to voice their concerns.
  • To develop an awareness amongst all school staff of potential signs of abuse in children.
  • To establish clear procedures to be followed in a case of suspected abuse.
  • To comply with relevant legal requirements and implement relevant DE guidance.

Mrs R Chalmers is the Designated Teacher for Child Protection

Mr D Barron, Mr P Robinson and Mr I Matthews are the Deputy Designated Teachers for Child Protection


The Role of the Designated Teacher

In accordance with DENI Circular 1997/4 'Designated Teacher - Rules and Responsibilities', the Senior Teacher shall act as Designated Teacher for this school and have responsibility for "activating the co-ordination arrangements by notifying the local Social Services office and a designated officer of the Education & Library Board in the event of a case, or a suspected case, of child abuse coming to light within the School".

In the absence of the Designated Senior Teacher, these responsibilities will be carried out by one of the Deputy Designated Teachers or the Principal.

The Role of the Pupil

Pupils are encouraged to discuss any concerns they might have on any issue with the Senior Teacher, the Principal, the Vice Principal, Tutor or any teacher to whom they can relate with ease.

The Role of the Staff

In addition to in-service training, all teachers have a responsibility to make themselves aware of the school policy and procedures and other relevant documentation.

Referral Procedures within the School

Any member of staff who has suspicions of possible abuse in any form, or who has been confided in by an individual pupil, should immediately report to the Senior Teacher as Designated Teacher for the school. No promise of confidentiality should be given where abuse is alleged.

The Designated Teacher may seek further advice and or information from the Principal, appropriate Year Tutor and where it is thought to be appropriate, may also meet with the  pupil concerned.

Depending on individual circumstances, the Designated Teacher will, if there is reason for concern and in consultation with the Principal, contact Social Services or the PSNI as appropriate.

The Designated Teacher will then inform the Child Protection Support Services for Schools at the SELB, of the school's suspicions and the action that has been taken. 

During the process of referral, the teacher concerned and the Designated Teacher should keep appropriate notes and times of information and contacts with the pupil concerned, signed and dated.

In all cases of suspected child abuse, the action to be taken by the school is that of informing Social Services and the SELB.  The school or any member of staff must not be involved in investigating the suspected abuse.


Child Protection Policy