Child Safe Standards Induction


 

 

Child Safe Standard 1 - Culturally Safe Environments

 

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 1: Establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued.

 

Overview

This is a new standard that requires schools to make sure Aboriginal children and young people feel safe. This guidance applies to all schools, even if there are no students who have identified themselves as Aboriginal.

The term ‘Aboriginal’ includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is important to be respectful of how individual children, students, their families and community refer to themselves, and use appropriate language.

Cultural safety includes being provided with a safe, nurturing and positive environment where Aboriginal children:

  • feel comfortable being themselves
  • feel comfortable expressing their culture, including their spiritual and belief systems
  • are supported by carers who respect their Aboriginality and encourage their sense of self and identity.

To address Child Safe Standard 1: Culturally Safe Environments we have updated and communicated the following policies to meet the requirements that address this standard: 

 

Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy

Student Engagement and Wellbeing Policy

Inclusion and Diversity Policy including Equal Opportunity and Sexual Harrassment

Statement of Values and School Philosophy

Bullying Prevention Policy

 

 

Child Safe Standard 2 - Child safety and wellbeing

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 2: Ensure that child safety and wellbeing are embedded in school leadership, governance and culture.

 

Overview

This standard emphasises the vital role that school leaders and governing authorities have in establishing:

 

  • a culture where child abuse and harm is not tolerated
  • effective systems and processes to implement child safe policies and practices and manage child abuse risks.

 

Schools must take deliberate steps to promote child safety and wellbeing and protect children by embedding and promoting a child safety culture at all levels of the organisation

  • school leaders actively modelling such a culture
  • ensuring transparent governance arrangements.

 

Actions in place to meet this standard

 

Ardeer South Primary School has developed and revised Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy that details:

  • a commitment to child safety 
  • actions the school will take to ensure a child safe culture is championed and modelled across the school
  • governance arrangements the school uses to implement the policy
  • processes that the school will use to review its child safe practices

 

To comply with this standard at Ardeer South Primary School we have worked to:

  • Revise and develop a Child Safety Code of Conduct and this is publicly available on our website and available at the school office.
  • develop, record, and implement risk management actions to make sure children are safe in the school environment
  • monitor, annually review and evaluate child safety and wellbeing risks
  • develop a policy or statement detailing the school's processes to meet Public Record Office Victoria Recordkeeping Standards (PDF, 653KB)
  • ensure records relevant to child safety and wellbeing are created, maintained and disposed of by Public Record Office Victoria Recordkeeping Standards through the development of our Record Management - School Records Policy
  • Nominate one or more child safety champions to lead the school’s child safety approach. At Ardeer South this is the Principal and Assistant Principal and a nominated classroom teacher. 
  • Form a working group with staff and students to support the child safety champion and promote child safety.

 

Child Safety Risk Management

All students are vulnerable to child safety risks. The Child Safe Standards require schools to put in place systems and processes to help prevent harm to students. A thorough risk analysis is in place at Ardeer South to prevent harm to students. Risk analysis provides the foundation for all other child safety work.

All child safety risks have severe consequences. At Ardeer South we assess child safety risk with a focus on preventing and reducing child abuse and harm. We manage and monitor risks by regularly reviewing our risk assessment.

Schools must document their risk management approach and put in place treatments to reduce child safety risks.

Overview

Ministerial Order 1359 provides the framework for child safety in schools. It requires all schools to undertake a child safety risk assessment.

To comply with the order we have developed and put in place risk management strategies that:

    • focus on preventing, identifying and mitigating risks related to child safety and wellbeing in the school
    • consider the school environment, programs the school delivers and needs of students.
    • record the risks and the actions the school will take to reduce or remove them (risk controls and risk treatments)
    • annually monitor and review child safety and wellbeing risks and assess the effectiveness of risk controls.

 

Child Safe Standard 3 - Child and student empowerment

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 3: Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.

 

Overview

This standard supports schools to create a culture that values and promotes student participation. This includes:

  • informing students about their rights and responsibilities in an age-appropriate way through the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Program
  • recognising the importance of friendships and peer support
  • enabling students to actively participate in creating a culture that is safe for them and their peers.

 

At Ardeer South Primary school we have curriculum planning documents that describe what the school will do to support child and student empowerment. Through our social and emotional learning and the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program we: 

 

  • inform children and students about all their rights, including to safety, information, and participation
  • recognise the importance of friendships and encourage support from peers to help students feel safe and be less isolated
  • attune staff and volunteers to signs of harm and facilitate child-friendly ways for children and students to express their views, participate in decision-making and raise their concerns
  • develop a culture that facilitates participation and is responsive to the input of children and students
  • provide opportunities for children and students to participate and for the school to be responsive to their contributions to strengthen confidence and engagement
  • develop curriculum planning documents or other documentation that details how the school will address these requirements.·  Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships and Building Respectful Relationships teaching and learning materials  Respectful Relationships whole school approach
  • Align Annual Implementation Key Improvement Strategies with the School Strategic Plan to embed Student Voice and Agency and the use of Department resources such as Amplify to empower students.

 

Relevant Ardeer South Policies 

Curriculum Planning Policy




Child Safe Standard 4 - Family Engagement

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 4: Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.

Overview

This standard highlights the importance of an open and transparent child safe culture for families and communities.

At Ardeer South we provide families and communities with accessible information about their child safe policies and practices and involve them in their approach to child safety and wellbeing.

Involving families and communities in decisions relating to their children’s safety and wellbeing:

  • recognises the important role they play in monitoring children’s safety and wellbeing and helping children to disclose concerns
  • creates an open and transparent culture
  • promotes a greater understanding of child safety
  • encourages them to raise concerns or ideas for improvement.

To comply with this standard at Ardeer South we:

  • make sure families participate in child safety and wellbeing decisions which affect their child
  • engage and openly communicate with families and the school community about its child safe approach
  • make child safety information accessible and publicly available
  • involve families and the school community in developing and reviewing child safety and wellbeing policies and practices
  • inform families and carers about the school’s governance and approach to child safety and wellbeing, including roles and responsibilities of school staff.

At Ardeer South we aim to create a welcoming environment and take the following actions to support family engagement:

  • The Principal and Assistant Principal are the nominated contact person for new enrolments and their details are provided in induction materials or school transition packs.
  • Provide new enrolments with family welcome packs that include information about child safety, the school's complaints processes and how to raise concerns.
  • Conduct school open days or host community events, such as a school fete or fair, to welcome families and the broader community.
  • Create a welcoming environment at school reception so community members and families feel respected, included and safe to come onto school grounds.

 

Engage families and communities in building a child safe organisation

  • Ask parents and carers about their children. This can be in formal settings like parent/teacher interviews, or during chance meetings at pick-up and drop-off.
  • Provide parents and carers with information about children’s rights via newsletters, or parent information sessions.
  • Regularly engage with parents, carers and students and discuss the needs of students through parent/teacher interviews.
  • Discuss how your school approaches child safety topics at parents, carers and friends’ association meetings. Seek community views where appropriate to do so. Make sure you have processes in place to manage disclosures if they arise.

Provide regular opportunities to communicate

  • Provide frequent opportunities for parents and carers to engage with staff to discuss their children’s experiences at school.
  • Organise interpreters and translations to engage families from non-English speaking backgrounds in conversations about the school’s child safety strategies.
  • Ask families and carers about their preferred methods of communication, including email, social media, meetings and workshops and use their responses to inform your communications approach.
  • Incorporate child safety questions in parent and carer surveys to measure awareness and confidence in the school’s child safety approach and to support ongoing improvement.
  • Remind the school community about the shared roles of parents, carers and school staff in creating a positive environment for learning by promoting the Respectful Behaviours in the School Community Policy
  • Consider hosting community workshops on child safety and wellbeing topics, for example, respectful relationships or online safety. Provide families with take-home information to help them to talk to their children about safety and wellbeing at home.
  • Communicate with and appropriately involve families at all stages of the process if a concern is raised or complaint is made.

 

At Ardeer South we build family and community involvement in child safety into regular business. We provide inclusive and accessible information

  • Display the PROTECT poster (PDF, 203KB) in shared areas that are accessible to parents and the community.
  • Provide links to the school’s child safety policies in the school’s social media posts, newsletters and staff circulars and webiste.
  • Translate child safety information into multiple languages to reflect your school community.
  • Make child safety a standing item at school governing authority meetings.
  • Report on the outcomes of relevant reviews to staff and volunteers, community and families and students to show transparency and accountability.
  • Promote Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships education to families.




Child Safe Standard 5  -  Diversity and Equity

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 5: Equity is upheld and diverse needs are respected in policy and practice.

Overview

This standard focuses on creating environments where all children and young people feel welcome.

Equity is a state of fairness in which all children and young people can participate freely and equally in areas of life, regardless of their background, characteristics or beliefs. This means their safety is not dependent on their socio-economic, family or personal circumstances.

As part of this standard, schools must:

  • recognise and respond to students’ diverse circumstances
  • understand that some students are at higher risk of harm than others
  • provide easy access to information
  • adjust procedures to respond to different needs
  • make sure complaints processes are child-friendly, culturally safe and easy to understand.

In complying with Child Safe Standard 5, at Ardeer South Primary School we work to ensure: 

5.1 The organisation, including staff and volunteers, understands children and young people’s diverse circumstances, and provides support and responds to those who are vulnerable. 

5.2 Children and young people have access to information, support and complaints processes in ways that are culturally safe, accessible and easy to understand. 

5.3 The organisation pays particular attention to the needs of children and young people with disability, children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who are unable to live at home, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and young people.

5.4 The organisation pays particular attention to the needs of Aboriginal children and young people and provides/promotes a culturally safe environment for them. 

At Ardeer South we reflect the diversity of the school community

  • Newsletters and communications are inclusive. Diversity of family profiles are normalised and reflect the characteristics of our school community.
  • Encourage volunteer positions from families from diverse backgrounds, including people with a disability, Aboriginal people, and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Relevant Policy : Inclusion and Diversity Policy - Including Equal Opportunity

 

 

 

Child Safe Standard 6  -  Suitable Staff and Volunteers

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 6: People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.

Overview

This standard focuses on ensuring that people who work with children and young people are suitable and supported to act in a child safe way. Schools should make child safety and wellbeing a key consideration when recruiting staff and volunteers.

As part of this standard, schools must:

  • develop robust procedures to ensure only suitable people work with children
  • supervise staff and volunteers to ensure they prioritise the safety of children
  • support staff and volunteers to understand their responsibilities.

Selecting suitable people to work with children is vital to protecting children from harm.

Good recruitment practices:

  • create a safer workplace
  • reduce the opportunity for harm to occur
  • prevent, screen out or deter people who are unsuitable to work or volunteer with children
  • recruit staff who uphold the school

Rigorous selection processes and appropriate training and supervision helps keep staff and students safe. This standard helps schools meet child safety and occupational health and safety legal requirements.

To comply with this standard, at Ardeer South Primary School we:

  • make sure job advertisements have clear statements about:
    • the job’s requirements, duties and responsibilities regarding child safety and wellbeing
    • the job occupant’s essential or relevant qualifications, experience and attributes in relation to child safety and wellbeing.
  • advise job applicants about the child safety practices of the school, including the Code of Conduct
  • make volunteers aware of the school’s Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct
  • screen school staff applicants:
    • sight, verify and record a Working with Children clearance if they person is required to have one or any equivalent background checks such as Victorian Institute of Teaching registration
    • collect and record proof of identify, qualifications, history of working with children and references
  • screen volunteers:
    • sight, verify and record a Working with Children clearance if they person is required to have one of any equivalent background check
    • consider the child safety risks relevant to the volunteer’s role and, if reasonable and appropriate collect and record proof of identify, qualifications, history of working with children and references
  • provide an induction to staff, volunteers and contractors engaged in child-related work, regarding child safety and wellbeing that is appropriate to the nature of the role
  • ensure that induction addresses the school’s:
    • the Child Safety Code of Conduct
    • the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy
    • procedures for managing complaints and concerns related to child abuse
  • make sure staff, governing body members, and volunteers engaged in child-connected work, are aware of their responsibilities for:
    • children and students
    • information sharing and reporting obligations
    • recordkeeping obligations
  • provide supervision and people management of staff and volunteers that focuses on child safety and wellbeing.

School volunteers

Our school considers risks related to volunteers and their roles. Our Volunteers Policy outlines expectations for volunteers.

In addition, at Ardeer South Primary School we:

  • Provide staff engaged in child related work with annual training to ensure they know how to:
    • identify and mitigate child safety risks
    • protect a student’s right to privacy
    • provide access to information
    • support social connections and learning opportunities.
  • Provide similar training for volunteers, relevant to their role
  • Enable students, families and volunteers to have input into the school’s child safety and wellbeing risk strategies.
  • Make public our Volunteer Policy on the school website and as a hard copy from the school office.

Relevant Ardeer South Policies

Volunteers Policy

Visitors Policy

Staff Recruitment Policy

Refer to the Department's Policy and Advisory Library for policy and guidance on Working with Children and Other Suitability Checks for School Volunteers and Visitors



 

Child Safe Standard 7  -  Complaints Processes

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 7: Ensure that processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.

 

Overview

This standard focuses on ensuring that schools have complaints processes that are child-focused, culturally safe and accessible to everyone.

Schools must have policies, procedures and practices to

  • have a complaints handling process focused on students and their safety needs
  • take complaints and concerns seriously
  • respond promptly and thoroughly
  • identify and respond to all forms of child abuse
  • report child abuse to relevant authorities, whether or not there is a legal obligation to report it.

To comply with this standard, at Ardeer South we have:

  • a complaints handling policy which:
    • is publicly available and accessible
    • is child-focused
    • is culturally safe and easily understood by the school community
    • has information about the process for making a complaint about the school or any person within the school
    • requires that complaints are taken seriously and responded to promptly and thoroughly.
  • procedures for responding to complaints or concerns relating to child abuse that is:
    • publicly available and accessible
    • child-focused
    • culturally safe and easily understood by the school community
    • ensures complaints are taken seriously and responded to promptly and thoroughly
    • covers all forms of child abuse
    • sensitive to the characteristics of the school community
    • able to address reporting of complaints and concerns to relevant authorities, whether or not the law requires reporting, and cooperate with law enforcement
    • able to provide details of recordkeeping, reporting, privacy and employment law obligations to be met when responding to complaints and concerns

Relevant Policies

Complaints Policy





Child Safe Standard 8  -  Child Safety knowledge, skills and awareness

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 8: Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.

 

Overview

This standard focuses on building child safety knowledge, skills and awareness in staff, volunteers and school governing authorities.

All schools should deliver training to new and existing staff and volunteers. The training must be tailored to the needs of the school and the role the person performs at the school.

To comply with this standard, at Ardeer South Primary School we:

  • provide child safety training to staff engaged in child-connected work every year. This training includes:
    • the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and the Child Safety Code of Conduct
    • the procedures for responding to complaints and concerns about child abuse
    • guidance on recognising indicators of child harm, including harm caused by other children and students
    • guidance on responding effectively to issues of child safety and wellbeing and supporting colleagues who disclose harm
    • guidance on how to build culturally safe environments for children and students
    • guidance on their information sharing and recordkeeping obligations
    • guidance on how to identify and mitigate child safety and wellbeing risks in the school environment without compromising a child or student’s right to privacy, access to information, social connections and learning opportunities.

 

  • Provide training and information to volunteers engaged in child-connected work that is appropriate to their role that will equip them with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe.
  • Support staff and volunteers to implement the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and the Child Safety Code of Conduct where these policies apply to their role and responsibilities.
  • Provide appropriate training and guidance to the members of the governing body every year. This training should include:
    • individual and collective obligations and responsibilities for implementing the Child Safe Standards and managing the risk of child abuse
    • child safety and wellbeing risks in the school
    • the child safety policies, procedures and practices of the school.

 

Relevant Policies

Child Safety Standards Induction Handbook

All relevant legislation and Child Safe Policies




Child Safe Standard 9  -  Child Safety in physical and online environments

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 9: Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.

 

Overview

This standard focuses on child safety and wellbeing in physical and online environments and ensuring that procurement also reflects child safety.

Schools need to have policies and strategies:

  • for identifying and responding to risk and reducing or removing the risk of harm
  • for online conduct and online safety
  • ensuring that procurement policies for facilities and services ensure the safety of children and students

Schools must analyse and understand potential risks to students. It is important to think about risks created by school structure and culture, activities and physical and online environments.

Online technologies are constantly changing which presents significant challenges for schools, parents and carers. Online behaviour needs to be addressed in the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and Codes of Conduct to promote child safety.

Arrangements with external agencies also create child safety risks. They create opportunities for unknown people to have contact with students.

To comply with this standard, at minimum, schools must:

  • make sure child safety and wellbeing policies, procedures and practices enable school staff and volunteers to identify and mitigate risks without compromising a student’s right to privacy, access to information, social connections and learning opportunities.
  • develop and endorse a policy or statement on online conduct and online safety.
  • develop procurement policies for facilities and services from third parties that ensure the safety of students.

 

Relevant Policies

Digital Learning Policy

Respectful Behaviours Within the School Community

 



Child Safe Standard 10

Review of Child Safety Practices

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 10: Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.

 

Overview

This standard focuses on continuous improvement in child-safe policies, procedures and practices.

Schools must:

  • regularly review and evaluate policies and strategies
  • analyse child safety incident data
  • share review findings with the school community.

To comply with this standard, at Ardeer South we:

  • review and evaluate child safety and wellbeing policies, procedures and practices after any significant child safety incident, or at least every 2 years and improve where applicable
  • analyse complaints, concerns and safety incidents to identify causes and systemic failures and to inform continuous improvement
  • report on the outcomes of relevant reviews to staff, volunteers, the community, families and students.

Ardeer South Primary School acknowledges that being a child-safe organisation requires ongoing effort. We will always strive to create a Child safe organisation with an open and transparent culture, putting the interests of children first. 

Regular reviews of policies, procedures and practices:

  • makes sure they are adequate, up-to-date and effective, fully implemented and followed by everyone
  • helps schools maintain the best approach to child safety and wellbeing and minimise the risk of harm.

Policies to review:

  • Child Safety and Wellbeing policy
  • Child Safety Code of Conduct
  • Child Safety Risk Register
  • Complaints Policy
  • Procedure for responding to complaints and concerns relating to child abuse
  • Recordkeeping and information management protocols
  • Policies and practices on accessibility, cultural safety, diversity and inclusion
  • Recruitment policies and practices for staff and volunteers
  • Induction programs
  • Training for staff and volunteers
  • Communication aimed at students, their families and the community about child safety
  • How the school is embedding child safety and rights in the curriculum.

 

Child Safe Standard 11

Implementation of Child Safe Practices

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 11: Policies and procedures that document how schools are safe for children, young people and students.

This standard focuses on incorporating the 11 Child Safe Standards into school policies, procedures and practices, which work together to create a child-safe culture.

 

Overview

Schools should ensure these policies and procedures are:

 

  • informed by community consultations so they are relevant to the school
  • accessible to all
  • informed by best practice
  • championed by leaders
  • well understood by those they apply to
  • implemented effectively.

 

To comply with this standard, at Ardeer South we:

  • implement practices for a child-safe environment
  • establish policies and procedures that meet all the Child Safe Standards
  • make sure all relevant school staff, governing body and volunteers understand and implement the policies and procedures
  • champion and model the policies and procedures for a child-safe environment
  • document their policies and procedures and make them easy to understand
  • make sure their policies and procedures are informed by best practice models and stakeholder consultation.

Examples of actions for implementing child safety policies and procedures

Make policies and procedures easily accessible

  • Publish your child safety policies in an easily accessible, public-facing location, such as the school website.
  • Integrate child safety into induction processes, ongoing education, training and supervision for all staff and volunteers.
  • Provide copies of your child safety policies in welcome packs and transition resources.

Ensure policies are easy to understand

  • Use plain language in written materials.
  • Use visual representations to accompany discussions with students and their families, as needed to aid understanding.
  • Display easy-to-read posters in various locations around the school.

Nominate a child safety champion

  • Nominate one or more child safety champions to promote, monitor and report on the implementation of the school’s child safety strategies
  • Support the child safety champions by empowering them to investigate child safety issues and allocate time for child safety.

Build a culture of ongoing monitoring and reviewing

  • Highlight child safety in recruitment processes.
  • Have child-focused complaints policies and procedures.
  • Review recordkeeping of child safety complaints to make sure it captures all relevant information.
  • Manage child safety risks relating to child abuse using the Child Safety Risk Register template.
  • Consider using the Child Safety Risk Register to include other child safety risks, or use another register or format to record these risks

Champion and model compliance with policies and procedures

  • Allocate regular time for a child safety agenda item for all-staff or faculty meetings.
  • Schedule child safety briefings at information evenings and orientation days.
  • Include a regular child safety item in newsletters to families.

Use best-practice models and stakeholder consultation

  • Seek feedback on policies and procedures from the school community, staff, families, and students.
  • Be aware of emerging legislation, research and resources in child safety and wellbeing and ensure that policies and procedures are informed by any new developments.

Integrate child safety into policies, procedures and practices

  • Nominate child safety champions to support school leaders in effectively implementing and monitoring the child safe policies and practices.
  • Document the school’s policies, procedures and statements required across all 11 Child Safe Standards.
  • Seek feedback from students, families, staff and volunteers on whether the policies and procedures are easy to understand. Make any relevant improvements.
  • Produce child safety material in different formats. Use child-friendly and plain language and translated versions.
  • Maintain high visibility of child safety and wellbeing. Discuss child safety at staff and parent meetings, and school assemblies. Display posters, write articles, newsletters and staff bulletins on child safety topics.
  • Train staff and volunteers on school policies and their responsibilities. Create regular opportunities to discuss and reinforce understanding.
  • Identify formal and informal ways to monitor policy implementation. Analyse whether current processes achieve the outcomes for each child's safe standard.
  • Monitor how staff and volunteers contribute to child safety through supervision, discussions, staff meetings and surveys.

 

On conclusion of your induction please complete and return a signed Code of Conduct to the Principal.

All policies mentioned in this handbook are available on the school website or at the office. 

Any questions regarding any aspect of our Child Safety policies and procedures please speak to the Principal team.