Child Safety

At St Peter’s Primary School we hold the care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people as a central and fundamental responsibility of our school. Our child safety policy provides an outline of the policies, procedures and strategies developed to keep students safe from harm, including all forms of abuse in our school environment, on campus, online and in other locations provided by the school. All children have the right to be happy and feel safe and be safe. The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we do not and will not tolerate child abuse.

Catholic Education Commission Victoria commitment:

  • Upholding the primacy of the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.
  • Empowering families, children, young people and staff to have a voice and raise concerns.
  • Implementing rigorous risk-management and employment practices.

What are the Child Safety standards?

Seven new Victorian Child Safety Standards came into effect on 1 January 2016 and apply to all organisations involved in child-related work in Victoria, such as schools, churches, kindergartens, children’s services, out-of-home care services, youth services and local councils. This Ministerial Order No. 870 requires schools to be compliant from 1 August 2016 and overall responsibility for ensuring compliance rests with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

 

Seven Child Safety Standards

       Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including effective leadership arrangements

       A child safety policy or statement of commitment to child safety

       A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children

       Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel

       Processes for responding  to and reporting suspected child abuse

       Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse

       Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children


Key messages

  • Everyone connected to our school can help children be safe.
  • We have zero tolerance for any abuse of children.
  • We already have 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 clear boundaries about how adults in our school community may interact with children.
  • The new child safe standards go further than child protection arrangements did in the past.
  • The child safety 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
  • We want to ensure you know how we are keeping your children safe at school, and how we’d like you to support us (for families).
  • 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).