Coláiste Pobail Setanta

Newsletter 28-9-2020



Newsletter No.85 Monday 28-9-2020

Semester 1 Week 4

Good morning all and welcome back after the weekend.

This will be our first Monday on our new timetable and fingers crossed that everything would run as smoothly as it has for Thursday and Friday last week. Our BOM were very impressed with the huge efforts of our staff in meeting the challenges of Covid-19 in our College and asked me to express their gratitude and admiration to all staff.

One Good School

Our Guidance Department delivered a workshop on our One Good School initiative that we are linked in withy Jigsaw on. This is going to greatly benefit our students and build on the vast work and links we have created with Jigsaw through the Peer Educator scheme that Susan O’Donovan has been involved with for a number of years. Our BOM were very impressed with the number of teachers that have completed Course A &B and asked me to convey their gratitude to all staff.

School of Distinction

Deborah Galbraith has been working on our application to the School of Distinction Project in conjunction with Trinity Access 21. This award is to recognise the efforts of schools to transform their school culture and to develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Winning schools demonstrate excellence in several core areas including innovative approaches to teaching and learning, mentoring, leadership development and post-secondary readiness. Colaiste Pobail Setanta was successful in this competition and has won this award. Deborah will update us on what this means to us as a College and where we go from here in due course.

Meitheal Week

Meitheal Week is fast approaching. The week of the 5th of September to the 9th of October is the College’s annual Meitheal Week that promotes positive mental health within the college. There are activities/initiatives set up for the whole college community. We hope that you will be as excited as we are about the upcoming week.

Whole School Initiatives

  • CPSetanta Heroes

We have created a form for the students and staff to fill out whereby they or you can nominate someone who has done something nice for someone or their community during these difficult times. We are going to read out some of the nominations over the intercom at the end of every day. Let's make a big deal of our everyday heroes!

Link to form:

  • Meditation:

Whole School meditation will happen once during the week.

  • Setanta KM Challenge

Introducing our inaugural, annual ‘Setanta Km Challenge’!! We are running a class versus class, staffroom verses staffroom Km challenge. We would ask that students and staff download the app Map My Run and track the Km’s you complete. A class rep from every class will check for evidence (a screenshot from the app, please see below) and update the record sheets each evening! We will update the scoreboard each day. This will run from Monday to Thursday, with the winning classes (One Junior class and one senior class) and the individual Junior and Senior winners on Friday. The classes will win a trophy and the individual athletes with the most km’s clocked up will win a Fitbit each. Could each tutor please nominate someone from their class to be the rep for this initiative and email Guidance with their name by Thursday 1st Oct. We will then contact them with details on how to track the km’s for their classes.


  • Art Competition – Design a Wellbeing Wall – we are asking for any of our more creative students to design a Wellbeing wall for the college. The student or group of students who have the most creative idea will see it come to life over the coming weeks. Good luck!! Send your idea or design to by the end of Meitheal Week (Fri, 9th Oct 2020).

  • Classes: All SPHE, Wellbeing, Tutorial, and Careers classes will have lessons delivered on how to manage your mental health. Exam year groups will have classes on how to manage exam stress. The first years will also be taking part in the Fingal Mental Health Project. This will allow students to share how they have felt over the last few months with other schools and organizations in the community.


There are two courses available for parents. The link will be put up on the school website:

Student Leadership

Senior Prefects: The 6th year senior prefects will be meeting Thursday the 8th of October at 3:30 through teams. The senior perfects in the college will be looking to implement a leadership initiative that will help the school community. This will be their last initiative before their term is up and the process for the new senior prefects will start.

Student Council: This year each tutor group will be asked to elect one member from their class to represent them for student council. Laura Mullins will send more information to tutors on this during the week.

Jigsaw Peer Educators: Currently there are 12 students from 5th and 6th year who are trained to be leaders in mental health within the college. These students will be receiving a booster session from Jigsaw that will equip them to further develop their skills in this area.

Croí News

Some of our Croí students and students who have disabilities are availing of as taxi service to bring them to school each ,morning and to take them home in the afternoons. This nis a vital service to ensure their independence in a world that increasingly makes them dependant on others.

We have placed “traffic cones” on the parking space closest to the staff entrance from the staff car park to reserve that spot for their taxi so that they can have easy access to the College. The problem is that other car users are parking in front of the cones and therefore preventing the taxi and our students from using that space./ Can all staff please refrain from using the space closest to the staff entrance from the staff carpark going forward please. Thanks a mill.

APP Message sent last week.

College Expectations 25-9-2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

This is a reminder text of a text I sent on September 15th regarding our expectations here in Colaiste Pobail Setanta.

I would like to remind all Parents/Guardians and students that the start time for our first class is 08:15. This is not Tutorial; it is a class which you can see on your child's timetable on VS Ware. If you do not have access to VS Ware, please contact our Front Office. It is important that your son/daughter is in the building for 08:00 and at their desk waiting for the class to start at 08:15. Students arriving late to class disrupts the educational experience for all and is very unfair to both teachers and students. Similarly, the first class after lunch starts at 12:07 and students are expected to be in the building before 12:00 so that they are on time for that class.

Parents/Guardians now have access to their child's timetable and behaviour notes on VS Ware and we would expect parents/guardians to visit VS Ware regularly to support their children's education. Any notes that teachers record about your son/daughter will be available there.

Autumn is very much here, and the weather is dictating that students wear coats and jackets both coming to and leaving school. On September 15th I made it clear that the only jackets that are allowed in the College are the College Jacket/Coat or any NAVY coat/jacket without insignia. It is NOT permitted to wear BLACK coats/jackets or any other colour. These will be confiscated and returned to the parent/guardian of the students only. Please have a conversation with your son/daughter about this over the weekend.

I would like to thank you for your continued support of our College and to wish you a very nice weekend.

Yours sincerely

Liam Walsh, Principal.

Covid19 info.jpg

Dealing with Suspected Cases of Covid-19 in a GDPR Environment

Now that we are a few weeks into the new school year, many schools predictably have to deal with suspected cases of COVID-19. This understandably causes anxiety and curiosity in equal amounts and has data protection implications for schools. We answer some of the frequently asked questions we are receiving from school leaders.

Is there an obligation on the school to inform anyone other than the parents if a student is sent home due to his/her symptoms?


No. The parents make the referral to the GP. The GP may recommend testing and, if following testing the student is confirmed positive, the HSE will begin the process of contact tracing. This means the school will in all likelihood be contacted in order for the HSE to assess the public health risk. From this point onward the process will be led by the HSE.

The HSE will contact schools to request certain information. The HSE will also seek assistance with the dissemination of information on the grounds that schools will be able to do so more quickly. There may be a situation where a class needs to stay at home.

The principal may be obliged to inform relevant staff on a need to know basis in order to manage the situation, i.e. class teacher. All families are entitled to confidentiality. The school cannot make the name known to the school community.

What is the position regarding communication if a staff member has symptoms?


Equally the same protocol applies to staff. Whilst it may be obvious to staff as to which member has symptoms, it is the prerogative of that staff member to disclose or not disclose that information. Staff should be familiar with the protocols and of their data protection responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the HSE to inform close contacts.

Does the school have any control over what parents may do on social media?


No. The school has no control over social media commentary, be it hearsay or otherwise. Parents, of their own volition, may decide to inform the school community in advance of the HSE communicating with schools. However if a school has not done so, parents should be advised as to what protocols are in place in the event of a suspected or confirmed case.

This should be part of the school response plan. The school should also advise parents that the school is bound by data protection legislation not to identify students/staff that may have symptoms or ultimately test positive. The school should also make it clear to the administrators of any parent association and/or class based WhatsApp groups that the members of the group should not engage in commentary in the event of a case being identified.

Can a parent withdraw consent to a school from forwarding a pupil’s’ personal data to the HSE on request?


No. Public Health legislation empowers the HSE to request this information from the school.

What information can a school request from a parent if the student has been sent home with a suspected case and testing was not advised by the GP?


The HSE has not advised GPs to supply schools with a note. However, there is a self-declaration Return to Educational Facility Parental Declaration Form available on the HSE website that parents can be requested to complete in advance of the student returning.


Schools are intimate settings. A student may be discretely sent home as a precaution but this may correctly/incorrectly be interpreted that he/she has tested positive. The inability of school management to comment on these situations because of data protection issues can give rise to understandable frustration amongst staff, students and parents.

School management would be advised to anticipate this scenario and communicate the basis for that inability to discuss or comment on such situations. Data protection is not a discretionary concept.

For more information on successfully navigating your school through the COVID-19 pandemic, contact a member of our Education team.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

Apr 12
Apr 16
May 20
Semester 3 Assessments
May 20
Block Revision for 6th Years
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