The procedures will apply with immediate effect to both primary and post-primary schools and replace previous guidelines issued in 2001 and 2004 respectively. The purpose of these procedures is to give clear direction and guidance to school management authorities and school personnel in implementing Children First within the school setting. The procedures contain important new elements which are intended to better ensure consistent and uniform implementation across all schools. These include measures designed to ensure a consistency of approach in relation to each school's Child Protection Policy and the oversight arrangements for its implementation at school level. The procedures also require all primary schools to fully implement the Stay Safe programme. The Minister welcomed the "publication of the procedures and said that they will be a significant step forward in helping to ensure that we have robust child protection arrangements in all our schools.