The remaining provisions of the Children First Act, 2015 came into force on 11 December 2017. The Department of Education and Skills Circular 0081/2017 provides guidance to school authorities and school personnel on the new statutory obligations under the Act and the continued application of best practice as outlined in the updated Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.

From 11 March 2018, the requirement to have a Child Safeguarding Statement replaces the previous requirement to have a child protection policy which was in place under the previous Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools published in 2011.

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The new procedures are published on the Department’s website and can be accessed here. Templates for your school's Child Safeguarding Risk and Statement can be downloaded here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.