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Child Protection Guidelines 
National Guidelines for Child Protection from the Department of Health and 
Children

These guidelines define clearly the nature of the principal types of child abuse. With reference to schools, the guidelines note that “teachers have a general duty of care to ensure that arrangements are in place to protect children and young people from harm”.

It notes that it is the responsibility of the Board of Management to
(a) Have clear procedures which teachers and other staff must follow where they suspect, or are alerted to, possible child abuse, including where a child discloses abuse.
(b) Designate a senior member of staff to have a specific responsibility for child protection. The Principal/designated person is responsible for ensuring that the standard reporting procedure is followed so that suspected cases of child abuse are referred promptly to the local Health Board or An Garda Siochana.
(c) Monitor the progress of children considered to be at risk
(d) Contribute to the prevention of child abuse through curricular provision
(e) Promote in-service training for teachers an d members of the Board to ensure that they have a good working knowledge of child protection issues and procedures
(f) Have a clear written procedures in place concerning action to be taken where allegations are received against school employees.

It notes that the person (teacher) to whom the information is disclosed should be listened to carefully and supportively to obtain relevant facts. Confidentiality must never be promised to the person making the disclosure and the requirements to report to the health board must be explained in a supportive manner. The discussion should be recorded accurately and the record retained. The teacher should then inform the Principal/designated person who is responsible for reporting the matter to the Health Board for the Garda.

If a student informs someone in school that they’ve been sexually abused, the adult reporting that information to gardai MUST NOT name the alleged abuser. Otherwise the adult reporting the abuse becomes, in law, the prosecutor of the accused. The person in school who is told by the young person of the abuse must explain to the minor and to their parents, that the abused young person must name the abuser to gardai, otherwise the gardai cannot take action. A counsellor in school is not obliged to hand over their notes unless these are requested by the Judge in court. If the Judge requests the notes the counsellor can then write to the Court asking what they want specifically. The Courts cannot currently request as evidence a counsellor’s memo to himself/herself.

 

Marist Brothers

The College was founded in 1954, the Marian Year, by the Marist Brothers, one of the largest teaching orders in the world with schools in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, North and South America and of course Ireland.

A belief in the importance of Catholic education, which inspired St Marcellin Champagnat in 1817 when he founded the Brothers, gives the College is special character and ethos where the family spirit of Jesus and Mary manifests itself in close co-operation between parents, students, teachers and Brothers in relationships that are life-giving and nurturing.

Purpose and Philosophy

The Catholic School is committed to the development of the whole person, since in Christ, the perfect person, all human values find their fulfilment and unity. Its duty to cultivate human values in accordance with its particular mission to serve all man has its origin in the figure of Christ. Its task is fundamentally a synthesis of culture and faith, and a synthesis of faith and life. (Sacred Congregation for Christian Education, 1977)

The Marist School, as envisaged by Father Champagnat (founder of the Marist Brothers - now St Marcellin Champagnat) offers families and approach to education which draws faith, culture and life into harmony. It is an approach which stresses the values of self-forgetfulness and openness to others, which presents culture as a way of drawing people together, and proposes knowledge as a duty of service. Marist schools, which provide a particularly favourable setting for Christian education, give priority to a pastoral care that is adapted to the needs of young people, and which gives particular attention to pupils who are in difficulty. Marist Schools, which are open to any family that accepts our educational approach, encourage dialogue between persons of different cultures and different beliefs.

The Marist view of their own roles as educators has been articulated in a recent booklet entitled In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat which enunciates the basic principle that

to bring up children properly we must love them and love them all equally

From this principle flows the five particular characteristics which have been identified as the "Marist style". These are

Presence,

Simplicity,

Family Spirit,

Love of Work,

In the Way of Mary.

The booklet (In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat) expands on these characteristics with phrases such as

  • present to young people in ways that show that we care for them personally
  • establish relationships with them in their own space and in their own culture
  • we seek to be neither obsessively vigilant nor negligently laissez-faire
  • contacts are genuine and straightforward
  • an atmosphere of humility and modesty
  • our way of educating is rooted in real life.
  • live as members of a loving family intuitively do
  • build community
  • each person should feel at home amongst us
  • respect the dignity and need of each young person
  • our leaders develop an organisational approach which reflects our values by encouraging a spirit of partnership and shared responsibility, while, at the same time, allowing for the responsible autonomy of each person involved in the educative process.
  • hard-working educators who are generous of heart
  • work as self-fulfilment
  • foster teamwork, helping the students to acquire a co-operative and socially sensitive approach to serving others in need
  • journey of faith
  • Mary urges us to do whatever Jesus tells us.

Thus the Marist school

  • educates in gospel values (especially hope, love, justice, reconciliation and freedom)
  • develops tolerance
  • provides a systematic and co-ordinated Religious Education programme
  • makes collaborative decisions based on Christian principles and values
  • nurtures the Christian vocation to share the faith and helps students discover their particular vocation in the church and in the world
  • welcomes and involves parents as partners and assists them in their primary task of handing on the faith
  • provides for faith experiences for all its members (especially through Eucharistic worship, retreats, prayer and the sacraments).
  • gives active recognition to the role of the chaplain, the catechist and the counsellor
  • places strong emphasis on a sense of self-worth and self-esteem
  • ensures that the uniqueness and dignity of each person is respected and responded to (especially through its pastoral care practices)
  • does not define the success of one individual in terms of superiority over others
  • facilitates the harmonious development of the spiritual, social, emotional, moral, intellectual and physical endowments of each person
  • provides a broad curriculum which cultivates cultural and aesthetic elements as well as intellectual and physical
  • encourages, supports and actively promotes the ongoing personal, Christian and professional formation and retraining of all staff
  • expresses a distinctly Christian view of what it means to be human
  • responds to the expectations and needs of today's young people
  • offers a curriculum which is relevant to individual students
  • values openness to change and is sensitive to opportunities for innovation and diversification
  • develops knowledge and skills for coping with technological change
  • sees education as a life-long process
  • exercises a prophetic role in society especially on such issues as Justice, Peace and the Environment
  • makes Mary known and loved as one who will lead to Jesus
  • leads students to imitate Mary by listening to God in their lives and by being attentive to and serving others
  • leads staff to be a caring presence for each other and for the students
  • fosters a family spirit that manifests itself in close co-operation between parents, students and teachers.

 

The Marist Brothers are the Trustees of the school. They fulfil the role of Patron under the terms of the 1998 Education Act.

The Trustees' role is to be supportive of the Board, Staff and Principal, to listen to the concerns and proposals expressed by the Board and to respond appropriately in keeping with the Trustee's responsibilities and agreed procedures. The Trustees are therefore committed to building up mutual trust, vision and energy towards the solution of the problems facing the College at this time.

The Trustees intend, despite the continuing difficulties being experienced by all religious communities in relation to ageing personnel and the shortage of vocations, to continue to be involved in the life of the College for as long as Brothers are available. The Marist Brothers will therefore continue to maintain a community at Marian College, whose presence will continue to be supportive of the College and which will offer a real and meaningful opportunity for continuing involvement in the Christian education of young people, especially those experiencing greatest difficulty in any way.

The College Community is part of the Europe West Central Province of the Marist Brothers which consists of Marist Communities in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Provincial, Bro Brendan Geary, is based in the Netherlands and the Irish representative on the Provincial Council is Bro PJ McGowan, Marist Brothers, Clondalkin, Dublin.

At present, the Marist Community at Marian College consists of Bro John Hyland (Superior), Bro Declan Duffy and Bro Bonaventure Frain.

Board of Management


Since 1988, the school has been managed by a Board of Management which both symbolises, and gives expression to, the partnership between the Marist Brothers, the lay-teaching staff and the parents of the students who work together for the well-being of all of our students.

The eight person Board operates under the terms of the Articles of Management for Catholic Secondary schools. The Marist Brothers, as Trustee owners of the school, have four nominees on the Board while the staff and the parents have two nominees each. The Board of Management is selected for a three year term, the Chairperson of the Board is appointed by the Trustees, while the Principal of the school, who acts as Secretary to the Board, is not actually a member of the Board.

Under the terms of these articles, the conduct, management and financial administration of the school is under the control of the Board which exercises its powers subject to the general supervision and control of the Trustees, and in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Education.

The Board is responsible for the day-to-day expenses of running the school and it must ensure that expenditure does not exceed income. It must ensure that all furnishings and equipment are suitable and adequate. It is also responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings under its care, including internal and external painting and decoration, the maintenance of the grounds, trees and all boundary fences and gates, and the upkeep of the internal roads and tarmacadam areas. However, no extension, improvement or replacement of the school building can be undertaken by the Board without the approval of the Trustees and in addition the Board must submit a forward budget and annual accounts to the Trustees.

Subject to such direction as may be given from time to time by the Board, the Principal shall control the internal organisation, management and discipline of the school, including the assignment of duties to members of the teaching and non-teaching staff.

No member of the Board in his/her individual capacity may interfere with the administration of the school by the Principal or with the duties assigned to any officer or member of the staff, teaching or non-teaching.

The Board shall appoint all DES-paid teachers (following the appointment of a Selection Committee who shall undertake the selection process).

No criticism of an individual teacher may take place at Board meetings without written notice from the Principal to that teacher (and/or the School Steward) and an opportunity is given to the teacher to be present and heard and/or be represented at the Board before any such matter is discussed or decided upon.

The Principal shall, with the approval of the Board, appoint all members of the non-teaching staff. The Principal shall have the right of suspension of such staff. If the question of dismissal arises, it shall be a matter for decision by the Board.

The current Board was appointed in October 2012 and completes its term of office in October 2015. The Trustee nominees are Bro P J McGowan(Chairman), Bro John Hyland, Mr Frank Murray and Ms Ann Sheppard. The Parent nominees are Ms Deirdre Joyce and Ms Zorica Nedovic-Budic. The Staff nominees are Ms Oonagh McCaul and Mr John McEvoy. The Board meets monthly throughout the year.

There are two joint staff-Board sub-committees. They are the Planning sub-committee and the Finance sub-committee.

The Board’s relationship with the Trustees are outlined in two formal documents known as Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 which have been drawn up by the Marist Brothers.

Under the terms of Schedule 1 which deals with the property at Marian College, the Board is responsible for the buildings contained in the main block (including the hall), the smaller block (Prep block), the swimming pool and its associated areas, the former art room, the grass areas in front of the College, the concrete and tarmacadam areas on the property, and the maintenance of all walls and trees in the College.

The Trustees are responsible for the Brothers' residence (including sheds, greenhouse and garage), the parking space in front of the residence, the green areas bounded by the House, the Pool and the Prep Block, the area of the former all-weather pitch and access thereto, and the strip of land between the main drive and the former Sandymount High School.

The Trustees have decided to make the all weather pitch available to the Board for a nominal annual rent of 13 cent (10 pence). The Trustees may - with due notice - withdraw the use of this area from the Board should this portion of the property be required by the Trustees.

The Board shall be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all the buildings under their care. They shall be responsible for the internal and external painting and decoration. They shall be responsible for the maintenance of the grounds, trees and all boundary fences and gates. They shall be responsible for the upkeep of the internal roads and tarmacadam areas.

Schedule 2, which deals with the ethos of the College can be summarised as follows:

The Catholic School is committed to the development of the whole person, since in Christ, the perfect person, all human values find their fulfilment and unity.  Its duty to cultivate human values in accordance with its particular mission to serve all man has its origin in the figure of Christ.  Its task is fundamentally a synthesis of culture and faith, and a synthesis of faith and life. (Sacred Congregation for Christian Education, 1977)

The Marist School, as envisaged by Father Champagnat (founder of the Marist Brothers – now St Marcellin Champagnat) offers families and approach to education which draws faith, culture and life into harmony.  It is an approach which stresses the values of self-forgetfulness and openness to others, which presents culture as a way of drawing people together, and proposes knowledge as a duty of service.   Marist schools, which provide a particularly favourable setting for Christian education, give priority to a pastoral care that is adapted to the needs of young people, and which gives particular attention to pupils who are in difficulty.  Marist Schools, which are open to any family that accepts our educational approach, encourage dialogue between persons of different cultures and different beliefs.

 

The Marist view of their own roles as educators has been articulated in a recent booklet entitled In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat which enunciates the basic principle that

 

to bring up children properly we must love them and love them all equally

From this principle flows the five particular characteristics which they have identified as the “Marist style”.  These are Presence, Simplicity, Family Spirit, Love of Work, In the Way of Mary.    The booklet expands on these characteristics with phrases such as

 

  •  
  • present to young people in ways that show that we care for them personally
  • establish relationships with them in their own space and in their own culture
  • we seek to be neither obsessively vigilant nor negligently laissez-faire
  • contacts are genuine and straightforward
  • an atmosphere of humility and modesty
  • our way of educating is rooted in real life.
  • live as members of a loving family intuitively do
  • build community
  • each person should feel at home amongst us
  • respect the dignity and need of each young person
  • our leaders develop an organisational approach which reflects our values by encouraging a spirit of partnership and shared responsibility, while, at the same time,  allowing for the responsible autonomy of each person involved in the educative process.
  • hard-working educators who are generous of heart
  • work as self-fulfilment
  • foster teamwork, helping the students to acquire a co-operative and socially sensitive approach to serving others in need
  • journey of faith
  • Mary urges us to do whatever Jesus tells us.

 

Thus the Marist school

 

  •  educates in gospel values (especially hope, love, justice, reconciliation and freedom)
  •  develops tolerance
  •  provides a systematic and co-ordinated Religious Education programme
  •  makes collaborative decisions based on Christian principles and values
  •  nurtures the Christian vocation to share the faith and helps students discover their particular vocation in the church and in the world
  •  welcomes and involves parents as partners and assists them in their primary task of handing on the faith
  •  provides for faith experiences for all its members (especially through Eucharistic worship, retreats, prayer and the sacraments).
  •  gives active recognition to the role of the chaplain, the catechist and the counsellor
  •  places strong emphasis on a sense of self-worth and self-esteem
  •  ensures that the uniqueness and dignity of each person is respected and responded to (especially through its pastoral care practices)
  •  does not define the success of one individual in terms of superiority over others
  •  facilitates the harmonious development of the spiritual, social, emotional, moral, intellectual and physical endowments of each person
  •  provides a broad curriculum which cultivates cultural and aesthetic elements as well as intellectual and physical
  •  encourages, supports and actively promotes the ongoing personal, Christian and professional formation and retraining of all staff
  •  expresses a distinctly Christian view of what it means to be human
  •  responds to the expectations and needs of today’s young people
  •  offers a curriculum which is relevant to individual students
  •  values openness to change and is sensitive to opportunities for innovation and diversification
  •  develops knowledge and skills for coping with technological change
  •  sees education as a life-long process
  •  exercises a prophetic role in society especially on such issues as Justice, Peace and the Environment
  •  makes Mary known and loved as one who will lead to Jesus
  •  leads students to imitate Mary by listening to God in their lives and by being attentive to and serving others
  •  leads staff to be a caring presence for each other and for the students
  •  
  •  fosters a family spirit that manifests itself in close co-operation between parents, students and teachers.

STUDENT COUNCIL

The Marian College Student Council has been formed under the terms of Section 27 of the Education Act.

Purpose of Council

o Represent views of students on current and future issues
o Consultation on specific issues
o Improve School spirit and atmosphere (e.g. Buddy system for younger students, Sport)
o Involvement with other Councils – national issues

Membership & Organisation

o Vice Captain and Captain who are elected by sixth year by 11th September each year. (Satisfaction with outcomes of current system of selection of Captain and Vice-Captain but suggestions for students to have some option for nominations in addition to staff’s options (e.g. outgoing Council to recommend 5th Years at end of its term) to make process even more credible to students).

o Councils in previous years formed from amongst interested sixth years, who invited representatives from fifth and seventh year.

o Seven to fourteen people – regular meetings. Chairperson: This should be Captain (and in his absence the Vice-Captain) Secretary: Selected from amongst group. Minutes of meetings to be recorded.

o If more than fourteen people interested, suggested make up of Council: 
· Captain, 
· Vice-Captain, 
· One Representative from each of the College Sports, 
· One Representative of Musical Society (plus any other further societies formed in future), 
· Two Seventh years (one male, one female – elected by 7th years), 
· Two Fifth Years

o No fourth years or juniors but suggestion that specific members of the Council become the representatives for each year group in the school. (Assemblies to be addressed by Captain & Vice-Captain ?)

o Affiliation with other Councils/Groups.

Staff-Student Committee

o Council to meet on its own but also meetings with either full Council (or representatives of the Council) in joint sessions with Staff Representative, Dean of 6th Year, Principal and Deputy Principal.

o Meetings between the Student Council and the Staff Representatives would be chaired by the Deputy Principal. Generally the Principal will also attend the meetings of what will be called the Staff-Student Committee.

o Issues: Some meetings may be discussions of joint ventures (e.g. buddy project)
Some meetings may be discussions about why things are the way they are (e.g. uniforms)
Some meetings may be requests for action on specific items

o Criticism of individuals (either staff or students) cannot be brought up by anyone during the meetings of the Staff-Student Committee.

o If pupils bring matters of criticism of any individual within the school community to the attention of the Council (or if criticism of any individual arises at a meeting of the Council) and if the Council decides that action is needed to address the matter raised, then such matters will be brought directly to the attention of the Principal (or in his absence the Deputy Principal) by the Captain and/or the Vice-Captain. The Principal/Deputy Principal will deal with the matter as he sees fit, and will report back to the Captain/Vice-Captain on the outcome of his deliberations.

Examples of issues considered in previous years
o Late coming system
o Available sports
o Study – Fridays, Rooms
o Condition of the toilets
o Access to Library
o Access to Computers
o Access to the Swimming Pool
o Debating in the school
o Common Room for 6th/7th years – backstage as experiment
o Canteen ? Vending machines – security/control
o Location of lockers for 6th/7th years
o Subject choices in 5th
o Suggestions for Transition Year

PARENTS

The College welcomes and involves parents as partners in the work of the school. Their work is formally recognised through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Founded in 1987, the PTA committee consists of two parents representatives from each year group in the school, the two parents on the Board, and Mr Hughie O’Byrne, representing the staff. The Principal and/or the Deputy Principal also attend meetings of the committee.

The objectives of the Association are:
* to promote better understanding between the management, teachers and parents
* to provide a voice for parents' views on the education and social aspects of the College
* to act in a supportive capacity in promoting the ethos and objectives of the College
* to help keep parents informed of the College's policies, activities and plans
* to assist the College in providing for educational and social projects
* to affiliate with regional or national parents bodies, where desirable
* to assist with the financial viability of the school

The current Chairperson of the PTA is Mr John Kelly and the current Secretary is Mr Barry McIntyre.

The Parents are also well served by the Home School Liaison (HSL) scheme. We joined this scheme in September 1995 when Mr Ned Prendergast was seconded from his teaching duties to begin his first three year term as Home School Liaison co-ordinator. He has since been replaced by Mr Hughie O’Byrne who has been in that post since November 1999.

The aims of the HSL scheme are as follows:
* to maximise active participation in the learning process of the children in the schools in the scheme, in particular, children who might be at risk of failure
* to promote active co-operation between home, school and relevant community agencies in promoting the educational interests of the children
* to raise awareness in parents of their own capacities to enhance their children's educational process and to assist the parents in developing relevant skills.
* to enhance the children's uptake from education, their retention in the educational system, their continuation to post compulsory secondary education and to third level, and their life long attitudes to learning

Parents have direct access to their sons’ teachers through the Parent Teacher Meetings, and through individual meetings (which can be arranged through ringing the school secretary). In addition, parents are most welcome to contact the school by telephone at any time.

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