The Governors and staff of Ashgrove Nursery School fully acknowledge that we have a fundamental responsibility for the safeguarding, care and welfare of the young children who attend Ashgrove Nursery School. We recognise that all staff, including vetted volunteers and students, play a full and active part in protecting our pupils from harm.

In the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it lists a number of statements, setting out the rights to which all children and young people up to the age of 18 should have. Our policies and practices are shaped in the context of these articles:

Article 3 – states that ‘when organisations make decisions which affect children, the best interests of the child shall be of primary consideration’.

Article 19 –provides that children have ‘The right to be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse by those looking after them’.

This is also reflected in The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 which details that ‘the welfare of the child must be the paramount consideration’ in all decisions concerning the child.

Ref also: Department of Education‘ Safeguarding and Child Protection in Schools, A Guide for Schools,’ last updated September 2019.

In our Policy we set about establishing a safe, secure and loving environment in which the children can reach their potential. We have developed clear procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse. We ensure that we practice safe recruitment procedures when checking the suitability of staff, students and volunteers who will be working with our children.

We raise awareness of Child Protection issues with the children through building nurturing, supportive relationships where the children, through their learning experiences, have the opportunity to express their emotions and feel comfortable to discuss their feelings according to their age and stage of development.

In doing so, we are equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.

Parents are informed of Child Protection Procedures during the Intake Process for starting Nursery School with further signposting provided on the Nursery School Entrance Hall Notice Board for Parents/Carers.

Our Policy is kept up to date and amended according to any further directives from the Department of Education, it is also reviewed and ratified at least annually, by our Board of Governors.

The Child Protection Policy in its entirety, is available from the Nursery School on request at any time. Concerns about a child’s safety at this school can be reported using the procedures outlined here.