Dear Chairpersons and Principals,
I write with some clarification on Garda Vetting.
An Garda Siochana will not vet anybody who has not reached their 16th birthday. Therefore the advice that CPSMA gives is that it is not possible to comply with the law if you have engaged a post-primary school pupil who has not reached 16 years in a primary school setting in any capacity.
Those who are over 16 but have not yet reached their 18th birthday can apply for Garda Vetting with the consent of their parents or guardians.
This office is of the opinion that the vetting of transition years is the responsibility of their post-primary school.
The vetting of student teachers is the responsibility of their institute or college.
The vetting of sports coaches falls on their sporting organisation (such as the G.A.A.).
In such circumstances the primary school is hosting or facilitating the placement in each instance and therefore the administrative burden of vetting should not fall back on the host school. (This also means that I can no longer see any reason for the Diocesan Office processing transition years, trainee teachers or sports coaches for work in a primary school setting).
A primary school may facilitate placements of transition years (over 16 years old), those on teaching practice or sports coaches provided that:
(1) the candidate has been vetted for the purpose of their placement or teaching practice or football coaching by the post-primary school, college, institute or sporting organisation to which they are affiliated.
(2) That the vetting disclosure from An Garda Siochana has been received by the organisation to which they are affiliated.
(3) That the organisation confirms that nothing in the disclosure would raise a concern about that person being engaged in a primary school setting.
(4) That the primary school has signed a ‘joint agreement’ (as provided for under section 12(3a) of the ‘Vetting Act’) with the educational or sporting organisation to which the candidate is affiliated. A template ‘joint agreement’ has been drafted by C.P.S.M.A. and is now available on the C.P.S.M.A. website. It can be accessed using the following weblink:
(5) That the candidate(s) themselves have furnished the primary school with a copy of the vetting disclosure received by the affiliate organisation in respect of their placement.
I trust that this email will offer some clarity.
Rev. Brendan Ludlow
Meath Diocesan Secretariat for Primary Education