The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry 2012/13 into child abuse presented fifteen recommendations in the Betrayal of Trust Report. The fifteen recommendations aim to protect children from all forms of abuse and neglect through civil law reform, criminal law reform and the establishment of Child Safety Standards.
The Seven Child Safety Standards are as follows:
- Leadership of Cultural Change
- Child Safety Policy
- Child Safe Code of Conduct
- Human Resource Management
- Reporting and Responding to allegations
- A Risk Management Approach
- Participation and Empowering of Children
All schools in Victoria, as well as organisations involved in child related work, must be fully compliant with the new legislation and standards by 1 August 2016. Our first step in this process has been to establish the relevant Child Safe Policies and our staff will be briefed on these over the coming weeks. The next phase in our commitment to this legislation will be to ensure that our protocols and procedures align with our stated policies to ensure we are beyond the level of compliance required.
As a leadership team and school staff, we will also look closely at our School Vision, Mission and Graduate Outcomes to ensure that they reflect the new legislation. To align with the new legislation we have reviewed and redeveloped our policies related to Mandatory Reporting and Working with Children. We have also developed a Failure to Disclose, Failure to Protect and Grooming policy that staff will be briefed on to reflect the changes to the new legislation.
This work is critical in making sure that our school upholds the basic right that all children have the right to feel safe and be safe at all times. Our website, will hold all key documents and policies once they are fully complete and ratified. I will keep our community informed of new policies and procedures in future newsletters.
Deputy Principal – St. Monica’s Primary School