New Child Safe Standards are being introduced for registered schools in 2016. The standards are intended to strengthen existing approaches to preventing and responding to child abuse, and enhance consistency in how these issues are managed in schools.
The standards are designed to promote cultures where protecting children from abuse is part of everyday thinking and practice in organisations. Our school already has policies and processes in place to protect the care, safety and welfare of children. These are being strengthened to ensure a zero tolerance approach to child abuse.
There are several key beliefs that underpin the ongoing implementation Child Safe standards in our school including:
- Everyone connected to our school can help children be safe.
- We have zero tolerance for any abuse of children.
- There are clear boundaries about how adults in our school community may interact with the children here.
- The new child safe standards go further than child protection arrangements did in the past. It is the Government’s policy that:
- The child safe standards apply to school staff (including volunteers and contractors), visitors and students’ family members.
- Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. Different people at our school have different roles and responsibilities for ensuring children’s safety
- Staff members (including volunteers) will receive training and support to understand and carry out their responsibilities under the standards.
- Unsupervised contractors will be asked about their child safety arrangements as a condition of working with us if they work with children enrolled in the school (or children can reasonably be expected to be present while they are at the school).
- Other people using our school facilities will be asked about their child safety arrangements as a condition of using our facilities if they involve children enrolled at the school (or children can reasonably be expected to be present while their staff or other adults are at the school).
Attached are some documents that outline our school approach to meet all Child Safe Standards.
- How we will respond to allegations of child abuse
- Child Safe Policy
- Code of Conduct
Teachers and staff will also be reviewing the incorporation of Child Safe standards into programs such as School Wide Positive Behaviours, Health Education, Sexuality Education, Safe Schools and Mental Health Promotion.
More information about the Child Safe Standards is available on the DET and VRQA websites:
DET: Child Safe Standards
MSC: Child Safety Policy