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St Vincent de Paul Primary School, 167 Ligonniel Rd, Belfast

Our Child Protection / Safeguarding Team

Role Name
Designated Teacher Mrs J Greer
Deputy Designated Teachers Mrs C Morrow, Mrs C Dunlop, Mrs R Patterson
Board of Governors' Chairperson Ms M Hunter
Designated Governor Mrs S Quin
Principal Mrs P Watson

We in Birches Primary School have a primary responsibility for the care, welfare and safety of the pupils in our charge. We will carry out this duty through our ‘Pastoral Care’ policy, which aims to provide a caring, supportive and safe environment, valuing individuals for their unique talents and abilities, in which all our young people can learn and develop to their full potential. One way in which we seek to protect our pupils is by helping them learn about the risks of possible abuse, helping them to recognise unwelcome behaviour in others and acquire the confidence and skills they need to keep themselves safe. 

The purpose of our Child Protection / Safeguarding Children Policy is to protect our pupils by ensuring that everyone who works in our school – teachers, non-teaching staff and volunteers – have clear guidance on the action, which is required where abuse or neglect of a child is suspected. The overriding concern of all caring adults must be the care, welfare and safety of the child.

Operation Encompass

Birches Primary participates in Operation Encompass.

Operation Encompass is an early intervention partnership between Police and Schools. It is aimed at supporting children who are victims of domestic violence.

Operation Encompass is already established across all of England and Wales and is now coming to Northern Ireland. It is a very simple idea, but one that will help us to support and protect vulnerable children. When the Police attend an incident of domestic violence where one of our pupils is present, they will inform the school’s Designated Teacher for Child Protection at the start of the next school day. This information is shared in strict confidence and school staff are only told on a need-to-know basis.  

Following any notification from the PSNI, our staff will provide immediate support to any child who has been the victim of domestic abuse. We know that when children do witness domestic abuse at home, this is a highly traumatic experience for them. By taking part in Operation Encompass, we can provide tailored and compassionate support to our pupils, in line with our school ethos. This builds on our existing commitment to child safeguarding.

Should you wish to find out more information, please contact the school’s Designated Teacher for Child Protection, Mrs J Greer or alternatively you can read more about Operation Encompass at