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Confidentiality Policy

St Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery Unit

Confidentiality Policy

The policy of the School and Nursery is to work in partnership with parents in order to promote the welfare of children. The school also aims to build up relationships of trust with children. Children and parents should feel able to raise with the school concerns about safety and welfare in the knowledge that these will be dealt with sensitively.

Because of the sensitivity of these issues, the school will operate on the presumption that anything imparted in confidence will be treated in confidence.

This is subject to three qualifications:

  1. Anything imparted “in confidence” to one member of staff or person approached as an associate of the school, may be shared with a restricted number of colleagues if that person feels in need of support and guidance from them.                                                
  2. If serious concerns are raised about the safety or welfare of a child, the person approached may be obliged, in terms of the school’s child protection procedures, to pass that information on to the designated teacher for child protection Mr Caughey (or the Deputy Designated Teachers, Miss Grant or Mrs Magee) for consideration as to whether is should be shared with the appropriate authorities. In these circumstances, the person approached would not, except in emergency, breach the confidence without letting the person seeking assistance know that he/she intended doing so.
  3. The school must, of course, pass on information when legally obliged to do so, for example, by a court of law.

Children must also feel able to share concerns with staff. Problems may arise when a child consults a member of staff about a problem and does not want that information to be shared with parents. Whilst staff will try to encourage children to share the information with parents where that is appropriate, there may be circumstances in which any pressure to pass the information on could result in the child keeping the problem to him or herself or not sharing concerns in the future.

 The following is a sample statement on confidentiality which the school issues to pupils. Parents should be reassured that it is the aim of the school always to act in the best interests of the child and to encourage the fullest possible involvement and consultation with parents.

CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

    • If you have something important       to talk to staff about
    • If you are worried about things       that are happening to you
    • If you need help or if you need       to know how to seek help, the staff are there to listen and to help, they       will try to do what they can
    • If you are worried about confidentiality       Tell the staff - they will understand;          they       may be concerned about your safety and may need to share this with others,       but they would tell you first

If you are still unsure about talking to a member of staff you can phone Childline on 0800 1111; the call is free will not show up on your phone bill. Childline will help you work out what to do next.

Data Protection and Freedom of Information:

All data held in school is managed in line with our Data Protection and Freedom of Information Policies

Disposal of Records:

All confidential documents held are disposed of in line with the Disposal of Records Policy.

Reviewed March 2018