Sunday Times Secondary School of the Year 2023

St. Mary's Grammar School


In St. Mary’s, the Designated Teacher for Child Protection is Mr G. Quinn (Senior Leader).

The Deputy Designated Teachers for Child Protection are Mr W. McPhilomey (Senior Leader), Mrs AM Anderson (Head of Year) and Mrs S. Higgins (Head of Year). The Designated Governor is Mr A. Thompson. Mr P. McClean (Principal) has overall responsibility for Child Protection.

We accept our duty of care for each pupil and strive to provide a safe, caring, positive and stimulating school environment which promotes the social, physical and moral development of each individual child. The safety and welfare of pupils is of paramount importance. Child Protection is the shared responsibility of all school staff, including volunteers.

In order to safeguard our students, we have the following measures in place:

  • There is one Designated Teacher for Child Protection and three Deputy Designated Teachers for Child Protection within the school;

  • All members of staff, teaching and teaching support, undertake training in Child Protection on an annual basis;

  • All members of staff, teaching and teaching support, are aware of the signs and indicators of abuse;

  • All members of staff, teaching and teaching support, are aware of the procedures to be followed if a pupil discloses information of an alarming nature or if they have a concern about the safety or welfare of a pupil;

  • All pupils receive a Safeguarding and Child Protection Information Leaflet at the beginning of each year and are made aware that they will be listened to by a member of staff if they wish to discuss any matter of concern;

  • All parents/guardians receive a Safeguarding and Child Protection Information Leaflet at the beginning of each year;

  • A Safeguarding and Child Protection poster is displayed in all classrooms throughout the school;

  • As part of the recruitment process, all members of staff, teaching and teaching support, including volunteers, are vetted through Access NI prior to commencing work within the school or engaging with pupils;

  • Monitoring procedures are in place for pupils known or thought to be at risk of harm;

  • We work in partnership with other agencies, including the PSNI and Social Services, to monitor the welfare and safety of pupils known or thought to be at risk of harm;

  • Pupils are not allowed to use mobile phones, iPods or any other products with text/digital facilities during the school day;

  • Pupils receive information and guidance on e-Safety.


The Family Support NI website is funded by the Health and Social Care Board and the Department of Social Services to provide information on all types of Family Support, including registered childcare, throughout Northern Ireland. provides details of a variety of family support services within the community, statutory and voluntary sectors across Northern Ireland.

This website is a useful resource for young people, parents, and front-line staff.  It provides contact details for many organisations across Northern Ireland.  Front-line staff can use the website to signpost parents and/or young people to appropriate services.  Parents and young people can use the website themselves to explore the variety of services available within their local area. 


Being a responsible learner in St. Mary’s, means being safe and respectful whilst online. You will hear important messages about e-Safety in St. Mary’s. These are the important ways in which you should stay safe and secure online:

1) Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number.

2) Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you’ve put a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it; it’s not just yours anymore. What goes online, stays online.

3) Treat your passwords like your toothbrush- don’t share them with anyone!

4) Don’t befriend or have conversations with people you don’t know. Remember, not everyone online is who they say they are

5) Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online. Speak to your parent or guardian about people suggesting you do.

6) Respect other people’s views; even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude.

7) If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website or application and tell the police or a trusted adult. You can ring the police on 101 or for help and advice ring Childline on 0800 1111 or Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.

8) If you receive any inappropriate images or links, it is important that you do not forward these to anyone else. Contact police or tell a trusted adult immediately.

9) Remember that if things do go wrong online, there are people who can help.

Young Persons Mental health Guide

Webcam Blackmail Advice

Online Safety Newsletter January 2023

Online Safety Newsletter February 2023

General Advice for Parents on e-Safety  

We offer the following advice to parents in ensuring your child is kept safe online:


  • Maintain an open dialogue with your child and encourage them to talk to you about their internet use: for example, who they’re talking to, services and apps they’re using, and any issues they may be experiencing.

  • Cultivate an interest in their online activities – their favourite websites, online games and interests and keep an eye on what they are doing online.

  • Become a ‘net-savvy’ parent - the best safeguard against online dangers is being informed. Become informed of new social media apps and websites that your child may be accessing. You don’t have to be an expert to have a handle on your child’s online world


  • Create a family agreement to establish your child's boundaries, and your expectations: for example, where they can use the internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share.

  • Give your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen, telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities.

  • Encourage your child to ‘think before you post' and that 'If it is online, it's not private.'


  • Familiarise yourself with the apps and online sites your child is using.

  • Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which can help to indicate the level and suitability of the content. Also see if online reviews are available from other parents as these may be helpful.

  • Set up a family email address that your child can use when signing up to new games and websites online.


  • Consider using filtering software to block unwanted content.

  • Make use of the parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices, including your child’s mobile phone.

  • If your child is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken.

Useful Websites to Support Parents and Guardians on e-Safety

Filtering and Parental Controls



(For information on social media privacy settings)

(For information on filtering settings from ISPs)

(For advice on controls for Gaming devices and consoles)

(For resources and advice on online use)


ParentKit Application

(Excellent app to download to control your child’s iPad and/or iPhones)

(Information and advice on reporting an online concern)

(Submitting a report)

(General guidance on reporting)




The E-Safety Policy of St. Mary’s Grammar School is available on request.