Discuss a micro
This assignment will discuss a Micro, which is a piece of legislation developed by the organization where I did my placement and Macro Policy, developed by the state which is being used in the writer's practice placement. The assignment will give a description of the organization and pay particular attention to the two policies and explain how the policies are applied to day-day work with the Service Users, also some examples will be given.
A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF MY PRACTICE PLACEMENT
The School Completion Programme (SCP) in St Louise's Junior and Senior School and Caritas College in Ballyfermot is catering for children and young people between the age (s) of four (4) to eighteen (18) i.e. junior infant to leaving certificate. Young people who are at risk of leaving school early or are experiencing educational disadvantage because of either family socio economic problems or other issues. Fifty students from the three schools are targeted and tracked under specific criteria, pupils are selected by two or more from list of criteria, which includes; Chronic Absenteeism, Behavioural / Learning Difficulties, Family History of Early School Leaving, Family History of Alcohol / Drug Abuse, Teenage Pregnancy, Family in Need of support, Child Poverty / Neglect, Referral from statutory Agency. Although, only fifty students are targeted, there are many whole school activities such as sports, leisure, and recreational activities.
The School Completion Programme aims to develop local strategies to ensure maximum participation levels in the education process. It entails targeting individual young people of school going age, through a three strand approach - in school, after school, and holiday supports, to make education more meaningful, successful, and more accessible to the most educationally disadvantaged pupil (Social Inclusion, Department of Education and Science)
THE EDUCATION ACT (1998) AND EDUCATION (WELFARE) ACT (2000)
Education is a fundamental human right recognised as such in European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the United Nation Bill of right and as previously stated in the constitution. Education Act 1998 requires that a child should not be denied to education and that parents have the right to ensure that the education of their children is in accordance with their religious and philosophical beliefs (Shannon, G. 2005: 75). Article 42.1, states that it is the inalienable right and the duty of parents to provide, in accordance with their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical, and social education of their children. A key objective of this Education Act (1998) was to provide, on a legislative basis, for the respective roles and functions of all the parents in the educational system (Quin, S. Kennedy, P. Matthew, A. Keily, G. 2005: 93-94)
The Education Welfare Act (2000) provides a National System for compulsory school attendance while ensures that children of school going age attend school, or if they fail to do so, otherwise receive at least a minimum standard of education. This Act (2000) imposes a statutory duty on the schools to adopt a more pro-active approach to the problem of truancy, and aforementioned minimum education in recognised school or otherwise education (Shannon, G. 2005: 75).
The Education Act (1998) and Education Welfare Act (2000) are relevant to St Louise's National School and Caritas College in Ballyfermot were my placement was done. The Act (1998) and (2000) outlined the importance of school to children and rights school have in making some decision for the child. However, it is very important that teachers in schools either primary or post-primary have the appropriate qualification or training needed for the particular area they want to be, and make themselves available for any workshop or certificate courses which is available for them. In St Louise's N S principals and all the teachers i.e. from early-start, junior infants, senior school, and the college were aware about these policies because they have attended different seminars in promoting the educational welfare of the pupils. In classrooms, the teachers follow strictly the standards of teacher outlined by the Department of Education and Science, while on placement; I spent most of the time in a particular classroom and also helped out in other classes. I observed how the teaching was going, and the same pattern of teaching continued day by day because the teachers followed their individual's time table methods. Example, when it comes to the subjects, the teachers follows them as stated by the Department of Education and Science. Another example would be break periods, the teachers goes in twos, the remaining teachers in that particular block will watch over the pupils till the teachers come back, then the next group will go for their own breaks, the same system operates everyday regarding the staff breaks while I was there because I looked after the pupils as well. As stated above, children from different religion, minority and people from international communities should not be deprived from reaching their full potential academically. In St Louise's N S and Caritas Collage, they have a number of students from international communities, different religion and from minority groups. For example, student from the Travelling Communities have a special tutor to improve some identified areas of weakness in his / her academic performance apart from their regular class teacher, this system applies to students from different communities, i.e. China, Nigeria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary. With regards to religion, the Principals and Teachers understand the importance of religion, and respect the student's wishes.
Another example with regards to the welfare Act (2000), in St Louise's N S and Caritas College, they have Home / Family / Community Liaison. This is a scheme based on the principle of partnership between homes, school and communities. This partnership is defined as ‘a working relationship that is characterised by shared sense of purpose, mutual respect and the willingness to negotiate. This implies a sharing of information, responsibility, skills, decision making and accountability' Pugh, (1989) cited in (Department of Education and Science, Home School Liaison, 2002: 2). Their role of in St Louise's and Caritas College is identification of needs from a child and have the needs met, home visitation in other to establish bond and trust with families, they also focus on adult whose attitudes and behaviours impinge on the lives of children, namely, parent and teachers
As stated on the welfare Act (2000), the National System for compulsory school attendance is to ensure that pupils attend schools (Shannon, G. 2005: 75). While on placement; a role was given to me by the Principal, the role was to go to every classroom, ask their teachers to fill in the names of the pupils who attended school in the month of November, then the pupil of the month. The pupil of the month gets a price for attendance, the reason was to encourage and motivate the pupils to attend school and to identify, and tackle early school leavers. The same procedure was in place in December and January before my placement ended.
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
St Louise's N S endorsed the ‘Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children' (Act 1999) which came from the Child Care Act (1991). The policy provides a set of sound principles and good practice guidelines for organisations that provide services to children. Everyone has a duty to protect children and the Government has introduced these national guidelines to strengthen arrangements for the protection of children. They emphasised the importance of inter-agency co-operation and outlined the various steps to be followed in order to protect children at risk and try to prevent the recurrence of child abuse (Department of Health and Children, 1999) and the ‘Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures' (Department of Education and Science, 2001)
The aim of the policy was to give direction and guidance to school management authorities and personnel in dealing with allegations / Suspicious of child abuse, to endeavour and safeguard the well-being of the children in the school and to intervene if and when necessary to protect their rights, to help staff recognise the signs of neglect and or abuse, and to provide a safe environment for the children in our school (Child Protection Policy, St Louise's National School Ballyfermot, D10).
Child abuse can be categorised into four different types; neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. A child may be subjected to one or more form of abuse at any given time. The definitions the school endorses are set out in Chapter 3 of ‘Children First.'
St Louise's N S Role in Prevention of Child Abuse
St Louise's N S has curricular provisions and policies that have, as part of their aims, to create a safe and ‘telling' environment in the school and to raise and increase children's self esteem. The curricular and extra-curricular provision includes; Social Personnel and Health Education (SPHE) Curriculum, Walk Tall (Prevention of Drug Use / Abuse) Programme, Alive-O (Religious Education Programme), Self-esteem enhancement activities e.g. Circle Time, Speech and Drama, Tin whistle, after-school extra-curricular activities funded by the School Completion Programme (SCP) e.g. homework clubs, arts and crafts, Irish dancing, sports etc. Reflections Programme (to deal with bereavement and loss for affected children), Play Therapy i.e. anger management / challenging behaviour for individual children (Child Protection Policy, St. Louise's National School Ballyfermot, D10).
Other aspects included on the policy are:
- Dealing with Concerns of Possible Child Abuse
- Neglect - reporting procedure
- Handling Disclosures fromChildren
- Reporting to the Health Board
- Allegation or Suspicious of Child Abuse by School Employees / Adults in the School Community (adopted from Child Protection Policy, St Louise's N S Ballyfermot, D10)
This policy is applicable in working with the pupils in St Louise's National School because the Home / Family / Community Liaison's duty is not only partnership between homes, school and communities but in some cases, visit homes and bring an issue of concern to the parents not only in abuse circumstances but any issues that affects the pupils academic achievements. For example, all the teachers, principal, including people that work with the pupil in the school have undergone the Children First Guideline Training to be to identify signs of abuse in the pupils. If a teacher noticed an unusual behaviour of his / her pupil, i.e. lack of concentration in the classroom, unnecessarily crying, suspected bruises / cut in any part of his / her body, ect. It is the responsibility of the teacher to discuss the observed behaviour to the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) which is the principal, in his or her absence, to the Deputy DLP and then, they will bring the issues to the Home / Family / Community Liaison. He / she will visit the parent and raise the issue, also show concern and explain how the behaviour or act is affecting the pupil. In a case were the abuse still continues after home visitation to the parents, the abuse will be reported and followed up using the schools guideline for reporting abuse as stated in the school policy. ‘All information regarding concerns of the possible child abuse should only be shared on a ‘need- to know' basis, in the interest of the pupil' (Child Protection Policy, St. Louise's National School Ballyfermot).
Another example would be a case of suspicious abuse or a disclosure of sexual abuse by parent / siblings / uncle / auntie etc. The school still have the right to report the abuse as well as protecting the person reporting the abuse by following the same pattern in protection of persons reporting abuse as stated on (Children's First Guideline 2004: 28).
The school Completion Programme (SCP) in St Louise's N S provide range of activities for the pupils. The activities are divided into three sections which are in school support, afterschool supports, and Holiday Supports. The idea was to retain the pupil into the educational system and tackle early school leavers, the activities includes, Homework Club, Hip Hop, Basketball, Football, Rowing, etc. In the Homework club, the project worker takes attendance each time the club is on likewise the rest of the club, they review the attendance log every month and discuss any issues arising with the SCP Co-ordinator and the school principal, also tackle the problem as soon as possible for the educational welfare of the student.
Education is a major component of social policy provision and has a major bearing on the early part of our lives and beyond. While day-to-day participation in the education system is quite a personal experience, it is shaped by the policy goals government has for education. For example, only a basic form of education was treated in as a need that the state should pay for until the 1960s (Considine & Dukelow 2009: xxii). The policies outlined in this essay has a huge impact in the lives of the pupils in St Louise's N S, for example, the Education Act (1998) and Education Welfare Act (2000), the Child Protection Policy (Micro) as mentioned above, plays a role in the school system in the Irish society. However, it is important to acknowledge the impact of policies made in the society because it affects every individual's lives. In practice, we work according to the policies and procedures provided by the organization we work for in other to maintain the standard set from the policy makers.