Minister Bruton welcomes commencement of the Children First Act 2015 and announces publication of new child protection procedures for schools

The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton TD, today welcomed the full commencement of the Children First Act 2015 and announced that his Department has published new child protection procedures for schools which take into account the new statutory mandated reporting and child safeguarding requirements.

New provisions in the Act mean that teachers will be required to follow new reporting requirements in respect of their role as mandated persons.  The Designated Liaison Person however will still maintain their central role in the school’s child protection arrangements. The new procedures for schools set out the reporting requirements for registered teachers in respect of their role as mandated persons.

Schools will now have a statutory obligation to produce a Child Safeguarding Statement under the changes.  This Statement set outs a school’s commitment to keep children safe from harm. Procedures published today will give guidance and direction for schools to help them to produce this Statement and meet their obligations. In that regard, the Department has published user friendly templates to assist schools in preparing, publishing and reviewing their Child Safeguarding Statement.

Minister Bruton stated “I’d firstly like to thank all involved in the development of these important new procedures. The protection of children is of utmost importance to me and my Department and these new procedures give direction and guidance to schools authorities and to school personnel in relation to meeting their new statutory obligations under the Children First Act, 2015 and in the continued implementation of the best practice (non-statutory) guidance set out in Children First National Guidance 2017.  My Department is committed to ensuring that there is full compliance with the new procedures.”