Usage and Supervision Policy

Daily Arrival and Dismissal

⦁ The Principal/Deputy Principal supervise the playground for the 10 minutes preceding admission time each day. This is done without prejudice, as the school does not officially take responsibility for children before admission time @ 8:50a.m.
⦁ On wet days, the children and parents are asked to congregate in the hall @ 8:40a.m. and will be supervised by the Principal/Deputy Principal until 8:50a.m.
⦁ At home time, the pupils will be escorted to the yard/dismissal area by their teacher. Children from Junior Infants to 2nd class will be handed over to their parent/guardian by their teacher. If a parent would like another adult to collect their child, written permission is required in advance unless it is on record for the year.
⦁ If an older sibling is required to collect children the school will require advance notification from the parent, preferably in writing.
⦁ If a child is allowed to walk home alone or with an older sibling, written permission is required in advance, unless it is on record for the year.
⦁ Children attending Early Start must be collected by an adult. It is essential that the Early Start teacher is informed ahead of time if a different person is collecting the child.
⦁ If a child is not collected on time, the school always ensures that a duty of care is provided until a parent/guardian arrives.


⦁ It is the policy of the school to supervise the yard at all times during regular lunch breaks i.e.: 10:45 – 10-55a.m. and 12:30 – 1:00p.m. Two teachers and a minimum of five SNA’s will be present on yard.
⦁ Whilst Special Needs Assistants are on duty to provide individual supervision for designated Special Needs children, they can act in an observing and reporting capacity, bringing instances of misbehaviour to the attention of the teachers on duty. The schools anti-bullying/discipline policy covers incidents of misbehaviour.
⦁ The teachers on yard duty remain with the classes until the class teachers return from their break. Teachers taking an EPV day is responsible for swapping supervision duties with a willing colleague. If a teacher is unexpectedly absent, their yard buddy will assume his/her duties in a reciprocal arrangement.

Toilet Areas

⦁ Two children from 5th/6th class students assume responsibility of monitoring toilets during break times.
⦁ The teacher on yard duty will issue a raffle ticket to any child wishing to leave the yard to use the toilet.
⦁ The raffle ticket is handed in to the children who make a note of the children entering.
⦁ It is the responsibility of the children to ensure that, no more than, one child enters the toilet at any time.
⦁ If a difficulty arises the children can seek help from a member of class close by.

Outdoor Teaching Activities

⦁ The class teacher is to be present with their class at all times and, where possible, will be accompanied by an SNA.
⦁ When visiting teachers, such as P.E., Science and Music take over a class, the school requires the teacher to maintain a presence.
⦁ Out of school activities such as swimming and school tours, back up provisions will be put in place to ensure adequate levels of supervision are put in place. The level of supervision is usually 1 adult per 15 children, with individual teachers in charge of specific groups. A minimum of 3 adults are required for any one outing.
⦁ Overnight tours require a minimum of 4 adults to accompany the children and remain with them throughout.
⦁ If a child is injured and require medical attention, 2 adults will be required to accompany them to the hospital.

Annual Sports Day

⦁ Children will remain under the supervision of the designated teacher throughout the day.
⦁ Parents are invited to watch all the activities but are requested not to remove children without notifying the teacher.
⦁ All children leaving school with their parents early must fill in the sign out sheet in the office.

Sanctions under Code of Behaviour

⦁ For the most part sanctions involving a child spending time out of their class will be delivered during the school day and, the child in question, will be placed in another classroom, as deemed appropriate, under the supervision of another teacher.
⦁ If the sanction involves missing yard time, the child will be placed in the hall, where teachers will supervise from a distance.
⦁ If there is a definite risk posed by a child to himself or others, the child in question, will be placed under the supervision of 2 adults, either 2 teachers or a teacher and an SNA.

One to One Teaching/SNA

⦁ An open door policy is in place for every teacher who works with a pupil on an individual basis.
⦁ These lessons will be timetabled in classrooms where others are close by, or just outside a mainstream classroom.
⦁ One to one teaching will only take place for short intervals and, where possible, small groups will be taken.
⦁ If a Special Needs Assistant needs to escort a child to the toilet, they will wait at the main doors of the toilet between door and corridor. If the child needs help than a 2nd adult should be present.

Classroom Teaching

⦁ A teacher should be present at all times.
⦁ If a teacher is called from his/her classroom to meet with a parent, another member of staff may be released to cover. However, it is school policy to request that parents make an appointment.
⦁ If a teacher needs to leave the classroom for any reason, then they are required to leave their classroom door open and the room opposite open for another teacher to supervise both classes.
⦁ Student teachers should not be left in charge of a class on their own. If the teacher needs to leave for any reason, then the above rule applies.

School Transport including Bus Escort

⦁ An adult with an affiliation to the school and that has been formally vetted will accompany all children on bus trips to and from school.
⦁ At no time must a child/children be left on a bus with a driver of an outside agency.
⦁ School tours requiring a bus will always have the correct quota of adults present at all times that the children are on the bus.

Fundraising Events involving Children

⦁ Only parents that have been Garda vetted by the school may be present at a fundraising event for children.
⦁ Written permission must be given for children to attend any event.
⦁ A sign in/sign out register is in place for all events to ensure the safety of the children.
⦁ No one parent will be left in charge of a child at the end of the night if uncollected. A minimum of a 1/2 ratio will always be adhered to.

Use of Off-Site Facilities for School Activities

⦁ Insurance and child protection details will be checked.
⦁ Teachers will remain with children at all times (see visiting teachers)
⦁ If a child remains uncollected, a teacher will remain with them in an open space with others around. The school will be notified.

St. John's National School © 2021

Hi everyone,

Hopefully by now we are settling into a routine and the children are engaging in online learning. The teachers are working very hard to ensure that things go smoothly but please remember, there is no pressure on anyone at this very difficult time. The important thing is that we all remain safe and healthy and happy.

I have attached a letter for your perusal from the Minister of Education. In it she talks about what you should expect from online learning. Hopefully everyone is happy with the level of work and contact your child has with their class teacher but remember you can always contact the teacher directly at their email address or, myself at


Stay safe and take care

Kind regards


12 January 2021


Parents of students receiving remote learning


Dear Parent/Guardian


I hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well at this difficult time.


As you know, from yesterday Monday 11 January, schools will be closed to students and all students at primary and post-primary level will now move to a programme of remote learning.


While NPHET is of the view that schools remain safe environments, the decision to close schools was taken in order to minimise mobility of the entire population and to support the suppression of the Covid-19 virus in the community. This will allow everyone to reduce their contacts, with a view to reducing the spread of the virus and a swift return to school for all.


Remote Learning during this period


Following the initial period of school closure last year, the Department has engaged with the education partners to revise remote teaching and learning guidance. This was agreed with all stakeholders last year and guidance for primary and post-primary schools was subsequently published online in October and December 2020 respectively.


As such, during this time, all teachers, including special education teachers (SETs), are required to continue to support teaching and learning for all pupils/students in their class/subject group or on their caseload.


Schools have been advised of the need to ensure appropriate provision and support for pupils/students during this time. Every school has been advised of the need to develop a contingency plan for remote learning that is appropriate to children’s different ages and stages, and has been provided with guidance on best practice. The guidance provided to schools notes that it is crucially important that the learning of all pupils/students, especially those with special educational needs and those at risk of educational disadvantage and/or early school leaving, are supported at this time. These guidelines are listed at the end of this letter.


Schools have been provided with funding as part of the Digital Strategy for Schools. In 2020 funding totaling €100m in 2020 was provided to schools and schools have been advised to prioritise supporting the purchase of devices for students who may not have access to devices for remote learning. The School Support services that are funded by the Department have developed a suite of materials to assist teachers in using an online platform to support teaching, learning and assessment. Furthermore, there is a range of supports available to schools from the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Junior Cycle for Teachers, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscoilaíochta, National Educational Psychological Service, Education Centres and the Centre for School Leadership.


There has been an excellent take up by teachers throughout the country of training and supports provided in this area, and I know that schools will do their utmost in these difficult circumstances to provide the best possible experience for students. Schools will contact parents directly with their plans and arrangements for remote learning.


The Inspectorate of the Department will continue to offer an advisory service to schools to support the delivery of remote learning and to provide assistance to school leaders in particular. The Inspectorate will also evaluate and report on the quality of educational provision for students at this time.


Returning to in-person learning for all schools

The Department is conscious that closing schools has hugely adverse consequences at individual, family and societal level. For children, it impacts on wellbeing, learning, on social and emotional development.


School closure has significant impacts on children with special educational needs. School closure also heightens student anxiety, particularly for the Leaving Certificate cohort, in relation to state examinations.


The Government decision included provision that in-person learning would be maintained for two specific cohorts from Monday 11, pupils/ students attending special schools and classes and final year Leaving Certificate students. Despite the confirmation by Public Health that schools remain safe, unfortunately it has not proved possible to get agreement to provide in-person learning for these two groups. In these circumstance there is no alternative but to pause the limited reopening and continue engagement with partners. I will keep parents of these students updated on this engagement.


The latest public health advice received by Government is available here. It clearly outlines that schools are safe environments, and that the protective measures and the considerable supports put in place to support schools have been successful.


Where there have been cases in schools, the enhanced school teams put in place by Public Health and the Department have worked effectively to support schools, and the level of transmission in schools has been low. Because of this, we continue to aim to return all students to in-person learning as soon as it is possible to do so.




Supports and wellbeing

It is important that students experience continuity of learning during this period to the extent that is possible for your family, bearing in mind your child’s age and stage. Research conducted in Ireland concluded that while online learning worked for some students during the period of school closure, it did not replicate the in-school learning experience – this was also the experience internationally.


We all know that it can be difficult to achieve maximum interaction with remote learning, with many competing demands and restrictions. The best advice is that you provide the support that is possible for your family to your child and that you prioritise your child’s and your own wellbeing, balancing that with supporting learning, during this period.


Links to some supports available are provided below.


I wish you and your family all the very best at this time, and hope to communicate soon with you on a safe return to in-person learning for all.








Norma Foley TD

Minister for Education













Information on guidance provided to schools on remote learning


The guidance provided to schools that it is crucially important that the learning of all pupils/students, especially those with special educational needs and those at risk of educational disadvantage and/or early school leaving, are supported at this time, and sets out the following requirements:


Further details are available here:

Circular 0074/2020








The wellbeing of all children and families is important, and the National Educational Psychological Service has a range of supports available on in the parents section which you may find useful. This material is being updated regularly so please check back: