PTA After-School Activity Guidelines

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to ensure that all extra-curricular activities operated by the Swords Educate Together National School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) are done in a safe and efficient manner. Also ,such activities conform to all policies established by the Board of Management and all obligations under Health and Safety legislation.

Scope

This document refers to extra curricular activities opened to SETNS pupils only and carried out during school term only. It specifically does not relate to summer camps or Adult education courses that may use school facilities

Responsibilities

Board of Management

The Board of Management’s sole function is to agree to terms and conditions for the use of the school property and facilities. As such, liability for loss, damage or injury falls under the terms and conditions of the PTA’s insurance and not that of the Board of Management, with the exception of statutory obligations.

The BOM of SETNS and its PTA accept no responsibility for losses, accidents/injuries which occur during off-site PTA organised extra curricular activities.

PTA

The PTA is responsible for the facilitation of after school activities under the scope of this document.

The PTA is responsible to ensure this policy is adhered to

In the case of Religious Instruction, the PTA may pass it’s organisational responsibilities to a sub committee of the PTA.

Upon receipt or a proposal and agreement to hold an activity the PTA must:

* Designate a Class Coordinator

* Schedule the timetables for the activity

* Facilitate the selection and recruitment of suitably qualified instructors

* Provide briefing materials for the instructor / teacher covering school policies, Health and Safety, security , etc.

* Ensure Educate Together Vetting forms are collected and submitted for Instructors / Class Coordinators and all Responsible Adults involved where necessary.

* Pass the proposal to Board of Management for written approval.

The PTA will also ensure that the School facilities are secured after the activities have finished and will be responsible for keys and codes as required.

Details of all after school classes will be posted on the PTA notice board.

Where necessary the PTA may cancel an after school activity. Where possible remaining classes will be rescheduled or reassigned.

Class Coordinator (CC)

The position of the class coordinator may be taken by a serving PTA member or the Instructor/Teacher of the activity.

The class coordinator, identified and agreed by the PTA, will be responsible for the following activities and should be the first point of contact for queries related to their respective classes.

* The CC will act as enrolment officer for each class ensuring enrolment forms are completed for all students, contact details are provided and a roll call sheet is created..

* The CC must ensure that parents/guardians are made aware of their responsibilities at sign up for classes

* The CC will make a master copy of the contact details for each student participating in extra curricular activities (as per the enrolment form), which will be available in the PTA pigeonhole in the staff room.

* The CC will make a rota system of Responsible Adults to ensure coverage at all times. The instructor / teacher must be notified in advance of the name and contact details of each designated responsible adult.

* The CC will maintain any written instructions from parents / guardians with regard to pick up and drop off.

* The CC will ensure that all fees are collected in advance for all activities

* The CC must be notified in advance of enrolment of any illnesses students may suffer or disabilities.

* The CC must ensure that roll call lists and contact lists are available when non sporting off site classes are held.

Instructor/Teacher

The role and responsibilities of instructors / teachers in running extra-curricular activities are set out below.

* Instructors/teachers are responsible for beginning and ending activities on time

* Instructors/teachers are responsible for a roll call at the start and end of each activity

* Instructors/teachers are obliged to read and sign a copy of the school policies, Health and Safety policies and Fire Evacuation procedures prior to commencing

* Instructors/teachers are responsible for ensuring that all furniture, materials etc., are returned to their original state at the end of each activity

* Instructors/teachers must ensure that all pupils in their care are handed over to the person designated to collect them unless written permission is given to allow them to leave the premises unaccompanied

* Instructors/teachers are responsible for matters of discipline during the activity. Any discipline problems must be reported to the class coordinator within two working days of a serious incident.

* In the event of a pupil requiring medical treatment, the Instructor / teacher will contact the relevant parent/guardian to take action. The instructor / teacher may bring the class to a close and contact remaining parent / guardians to collect their charges.

Responsible Adult

The following are the duties and responsibilities of any person agreeing to act as a responsible adult;

* Only teachers from SETNS and parents or guardians from the SETNS parent body may act as a responsible adult. No person under 18 years of age or person other than those listed above will be permitted to act in this capacity.

* Persons designated as responsible adults must be in the school 10 minutes before commencement of any extra-curricular activity

* Parents agreeing to act as a responsible adult must be present at all times during the activity and be located close at hand, usually in the corridor outside the class.

* They must inform the CC of their name(s) and contact number(s) and dates available

* A parent designated as a responsible adult for the purpose of extra curricular activities may not be accompanied by a child, other than the child participating in the activity

* In the event of an accident necessitating removal of a student for medical treatment the responsible adult will accompany the student until transferred to the custody of a parent / guardian. The instructor may stop the class/activity and contact parents/guardians of remaining students

* All incidents/accidents must be recorded by the designated adult in the Incident Report Book and notified to the class coordinator within two working days

* They will assist the instructor in ensuring that all students are collected by a designated parent/guardian where required before leaving the premises

Parents/Guardians

The roles and responsibilities of parents/guardians in extra-curricular activities are set out on the reverse of the application form filled out for PTA controlled Extra curricular activities enrolment form

Extra curricular Activity Process

Decision Process

In response to requests from the parents or teachers of SETNS, the PTA will facilitate the organization of extra curricular classes for students.

The requester will submit a proposal form to a current PTA or Board member which will include the following details:

* Description of Activity

* Location of class

* Expected Numbers attending (max 30 per instructor / class)

* Expected numbers of classes

* Instructors Name/s ( one per class )

* Estimated Cost per attendee

* Term / Duration of course ( only during school terms )

* Identified person/s to act as Responsible Adult/s ( 1 per class )

This proposal will become an agenda item to be discussed at a scheduled PTA meeting. After initial discussions the PTA will decide by vote if to facilitate the activity. If passed, then the PTA must follow it’s responsibilities outlined above

If the PTA / BOM decides not to facilitate the activity, the proposer must be informed by the PTA within 1 week of the decision being taken.

To facilitate efficient planning of School resources and to allow all to avail of the activity it is suggested that proposals for new activities are submitted a term in advance or at a minimum before the half term break.

General Conditions for Extra curricular Activities

In general the following rules will apply to running of extra curricular activities and classes;

* Extra-curricular activities are only open to students currently enrolled in Swords Educate Together National School

* Activities are only open to pupils of Senior Infants and above.

* All classes must finish by 16:30 and all students, parents and instructors/teachers must leave the premises by 16:45.

* Members of the PTA , class coordinators, instructors / teachers or designated responsible adults will NOT administer medicines

Special conditions

While every effort will be made to include all children in all after school activities, the PTA cannot guarantee this in advance. Each request will be treated on an individual basis and where possible all children will be accommodated.

The PTA will endeavour to facilitate access for all students to extra curricular activities but in cases of severe illness or disability may naturally exclude some students. Decisions in this regard will take the established policies of the Patron Body Educate Together and Board of Management into consideration

Parents /Guardians of children, who require the assistance of a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) during normal school time should meet with the class coordinator and instructor/teacher of extra curricular activity at the earliest opportunity to discuss this matter.

Discipline and Extra – Curricular Activities

In general, issues of discipline do not normally occur in extra-curricular activities.

The handling of such issues should follow the SETNS Positive Behaviour Policy document

The instructor/teacher may discuss any minor issues of discipline directly with a parent/guardian as a means of resolution, prior to raising the issue with the class coordinator

If the nature of the problem is (i) repeated and /or (ii) serious ( i.e. harm to others, damage to property, inappropriate behaviour etc.) the instructor/teacher will make a written report to the CC.

For a serious issue the child may be entrusted to the care of the Responsible Adult while the Parent / Guardian is contacted.

The CC will contact the parent/guardian to discuss the issue. On the second report of a serious breach of discipline the class coordinator will notify the parent/guardian in writing of the nature and seriousness of the issue. On the third such report the parent/guardian will be notified of the decision to exclude a student from a particular activity.

Child Safety and Protection Issues

The PTA of SETNS takes its duty of care towards children who attend after school activities very seriously.

The PTA will ensure that all Adults involved in the running of after school activities have current vetting forms submitted through ET and passed by the Garda Central Vetting Unit.

In the safe drop off and dispersal of children the PTA will adhere to Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures

* Enrolment forms must contain the names and contact numbers of all persons permitted to pick up children after class.

* Should there be any deviation from this arrangement the CC should be informed in writing by a designated parent / guardian

* No child will leave the school with a person not designated by the Parent/Guardian

From time to time the Instructor, CC or Responsible Adult may deem it unsafe for child/children to go home unaccompanied. In making such a decision the age of the child, the level of maturity and the distance and route home will be taken into consideration. In such cases the child will remain at the location of the class until he/she can be taken home safely. Should the Instructors be unable to make contact with the child’s parents/guardians or other contact numbers the relevant authorities will be contacted. The CC must be made aware if this happens

Personal information ( Names and Phone numbers etc )contained within the enrolment forms is purely for the management of the classes and MUST NOT be used for any other purpose.

Enrolment forms are the property of the PTA and must stay within the school. Enrolment forms will be destroyed by shredding at the end of the school year’

Participation in off-site Sporting activities

From time to time the PTA may decide to facilitate Sporting activities for children on sites not under the ownership or control of the Board of Management of Swords Educate Together National School. The decision to run such activities will be taken as per the normal decision process.

The conditions and responsibilities outlined above will apply in all cases but the following conditions / responsibilities will also be applied. These additional responsibilities / conditions are based on the best practises, as outlined in the Irish Sports Council’s Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport Parents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the details in this document ( http://www.irishsportscouncil.ie)

* Every child must be accompanied by a Parent guardian at all times before, during and after the activity

* Parents must be present in the designated changing areas and accompany children in there charge to the toilets etc.

* The instructor will be in charge during lessons but parents / guardians will be fully responsible for their own children

Participation in off-site Non-Sporting activities

Some PTA facilitated activities may require visits to external venues as part of their course requirements. In these cases the CC must be made aware of any special requirements and must in the interests of inclusivity ensure that all pupils can avail of the external venue. External organisations hosting these activities may require their own Garda vetting of personnel involved in the off site activity.

Instructors/Guardians and Responsible Adults must ensure that pick up and drop off requirements are followed as for School activities. Contact lists and roll calls will be provided for the Instructor/Teacher at the off site venue

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T. +353 1 890 3899
F. +353 1 840 8752

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