Statement of Aims

We have a duty to take reasonable care for the Health and Safety of all who work at Rathmichael National School, pupils and staff. Employees and pupils at our school are not expected to accept violence as part of their normal activities.

This policy applies to the school and to all places where the school’s pupils and/or staff may be involved in school activities.

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Applications) Regulations 1993, provides that the Health and Safety Authority must be notified when an accident/incident occurs in the workplace which requires treatment from a registered medical practitioner or treatment in hospital. An accident or incident which results in an employee being absent from work for 3 days or more must also be reported to the Authority.

Rathmichael National School therefore:

• Makes it explicitly known that it will not accept or tolerate violent, aggressive, intimidating, shouting or other threatening behaviour towards its pupils, staff or anyone else acting on its behalf;

• Will take appropriate preventive action to minimize potential risks, through environmental design, work procedures, risk assessments, instructions, information and training;

• Will take appropriate preventive action to minimize potential risks. The staff will be allowed to restrain a child as considered necessary in order to prevent him/her from harming others in the school;

• Will take effective and appropriate steps to deal with violent incidents by investigating all reported incidents, reviewing the service provided to the assailant, and taking all further appropriate legal action that is possible;

• Will use appropriate disciplinary procedure where violence occurs between employees;

• Will use appropriate disciplinary procedure where violence occurs between pupils and/or pupils and staff;

• Will be fully supportive of staff and others who experience violence, including the offer and/or provision of Counselling and/or other support services where appropriate;

• Will work in partnership with the Gardaí and other Agencies to identify assailants and

take steps to distribute information relating to those persons, in order to prevent or

discourage repeat violent offences;

In all cases the Principal will:

• make appropriate records of the incident;

• notify authorities where appropriate (see above);

• consider issuing a warning letter to the assailant about the inappropriateness of their behaviour;

• take further legal advice and/or action as is felt appropriate;

•notify the Board of Management of the incident and where necessary an emergency meeting of the board may take place. The board may notify its legal advisors of the assault. The board’s insurance company may also be notified.

Remedies:

Pupils repeatedly displaying violent, aggressive, intimidating, shouting or other threatening behaviour or assault will be referred, with the consent of parents/guardians, for psychological assessment in order to establish the pupil’s social and emotional needs and to determine how these can be best met. Where parents/guardians are reluctant to engage in this process the school will consider what other options might be open to it to protect the interest of the pupil and others.

Where the assault is committed by a parent/guardian, the parent/ guardian may be instructed in writing not to make direct contact with the teacher/school pending further consideration of the matter by the board. Subsequently the board should correspond with the parent/guardian stating:

  • That the board considers the assault unacceptable.
  • What action the board intends to take.
  • Outlining what pre-conditions should be met before access to the school is restored.

Sanctions in cases of assault to pupils, staff or others by another pupil

Assault, violent, aggressive, intimidating, shouting or other threatening behaviour towards others is a serious breach of school rules and will be treated as such in accordance with the Discipline Policy/Code of Behaviour, under which the possible sanctions include Suspension and/or Expulsion from the school.