Every year, thousands of junior students arrive at MEI schools, eager to learn English, meet new people and experience the many wonderful aspects of Irish culture.
As an organisation, we delight in providing these students with experiences that they will cherish and linguistic knowledge that will further them developmentally and professionally.
However, with this wonderful opportunity, comes a duty of care towards every junior student that passes through a MEI school. This is not a responsibility that our organisation takes lightly.
Across a whole range of issues, MEI has taken the initiative to implement procedural reform that heightens the overall standards in the English language industry in Ireland.
We will now apply this forward thinking and initiative to the area of child protection.
Thus, we are proud to announce the MEI Children First Initiative 2016.
In early 2016, MEI began working with Barnardos, Ireland’s largest independent children’s charity. They are the providers of a child protection training courses called Children First, Child Protection Training.
The organisation states that:
The aim of this training is to equip participants with the skills and knowledge that are necessary to deal with child protection issues in line with Children First 2011 guidelines, Children First Act 2015 and the Child Care Act 1991.
MEI’s Children First Initiative involves the following:
- To place each and every one of our schools on this course, ensuring that our member schools are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to deal with and understand child protection issues;
- To allocate one staff member as a Liaison Person for Child Protection. This individual will complete a further Level Two course, and will be equipped with specialised knowledge of child protection and best practice;
- To complete these goals by the end of 2016, at latest.
Such a wide ranging reform and large-scale investment in the area of Child Protection in the English language industry is both unprecedented and absolutely necessary.
And it has already begun – close to half of MEI schools have already completed the course.
MEI is proud to be at the forefront of a movement towards a more responsible industry in regards to child protection.
For more information on the Barnardos Children First, Child Protection training, click here. For more information on child protection in general and incoming legislative reform, visit the Tusla website here.
By Conor Regan