Child Safety

DONCASTER PRIMARY SCHOOL COMMITMENT TO CHILD SAFETY


Doncaster Primary School is committed to safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.

 

Doncaster Primary School has zero tolerance for child abuse.

 

Doncaster Primary School is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.

 

Every person involved in Doncaster Primary School has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

 

Doncaster Primary School Principles for Child Safety.


In its planning, decision-making and operations, Doncaster Primary School will:

  1. Take a preventative, proactive and participatory approach to child safety
  2. Value and empower children to participate in decisions which affect their lives
  3. Foster a culture of openness that supports all persons to safely disclose risks of harm to children
  4. Respect diversity in cultures and child rearing practices while keeping child safety paramount
  5. Provide written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children
  6. Engage only the most suitable people to work with children and have high quality staff and volunteer supervision and professional development
  7. Ensure children know who to talk with if they are worried or are feeling unsafe, and that they are comfortable and encouraged to raise such issues
  8. Report suspected abuse, neglect or mistreatment promptly to the appropriate authorities
  9. Share information appropriately and lawfully with other organisations where the safety and wellbeing of children is at risk
  10. Value the input of and communicate regularly with families and carers


SCHOOL CODE OF CONDUCT


Doncaster Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Our school community recognises the importance of, and a responsibility for, ensuring our school is a safe, supportive and enriching environment which respects and fosters the dignity and self-esteem of children and young people, and enables them to thrive in their learning and development.

 

This Code of Conduct aims to protect children and reduce any opportunities for child abuse or harm to occur.  It also assists in understanding how to avoid or better manage risky behaviours and situations. It is intended to complement child protection legislation, Department policy, school policies and procedures and professional standards, codes or ethics as these apply to staff and other personnel.

 

The Principal and school leaders of Doncaster Primary School will support implementation and monitoring of the following child safe Code of Conduct, and will plan, implement and monitor arrangements to provide inclusive, safe and orderly schools and other learning environments. The Principal and school leaders of

 

Doncaster Primary School will also provide information and support to enable the child safe Code of Conduct to operate effectively.


All teachers must have VIT registration and all non-teaching staff, contractors, volunteers and any other members of the school community involved in child-related work are required to have a current Working with Children’s Check before commencing.

 

All staff, contractors, volunteers and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work are required to comply with the Code of Conduct by observing the expectations for appropriate behaviour below. The Code of Conduct applies in all school situations, including school camps and in the use of digital technology and social media. Principles for adult’s behaviour in undertaking child connected work

 

Some simple principles should guide an adult’s behaviour when undertaking child connected work such as:

  • the adult/child relationship should be professional at all times
  • an adult’s response to a child’s behaviour or circumstance should be commensurate with the child’s age and vulnerability and the adult’s responsibility for the care, safety and welfare of the child
  • an adult should not be alone with a child unless there is line of sight to other adults
  • an adult should not initiate or seek physical contact or contact with children outside school.

 

All staff, volunteers and school council members are responsible for supporting the safety of children by:

  • adhering to the school’s child safe policy and upholding the school’s statement of commitment to child safety at all times
  • taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse
  • treating everyone in the school community with respect
  • listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused or that they are worried about their safety/the safety of another child
  • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child’s self-identification)
  • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance of discrimination)
  • promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, during personal care activities)
  • ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not alone with a child
  • reporting any allegations of child abuse to the school’s leadership or child safety officer
  • understanding and complying with all reporting obligations as they relate to mandatory reporting and reporting under the Crimes Act 1958
  • reporting any child safety concerns to the school’s Principal Class Officer or child safety officer
  • if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensuring as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe
  • reporting to the Victorian Institute of Teaching any charges, committals for trial or convictions in relation to a sexual office by a registered teacher, or certain allegations or concerns about a registered teacher.

 

Unacceptable behaviours


Staff and volunteers must not:

  • ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse
  • develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children)
  • exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical (for example inappropriate sitting on laps)
  • put children at risk of abuse
  • initiate unnecessary physical contact which children or do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes
  • engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal social activities)
  • use inappropriate language in the presence of children
  • express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children
  • discriminate against any child, including because of age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability, sexuality, ethnicity or disability
  • any arranged contact with a child or their family outside of school without the school’s Principal Class Officer or child safety officer’s knowledge (for example, unauthorised after hours tutoring, private instrumental/other lessons or sport coaching). Incidental contact, such as seeing people in the street, is appropriate.
  • have any online contact with a child (including by social media, email, instant messaging etc) or their family (unless necessary eg by providing families with e-newsletters or assisting students with their school work)
  • use any personal communication channels/device such as a personal email account
  • exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking sites or email addresses
  • photograph or video a child without the consent of the parent or guardians
  • work with children whilst under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • consume alcohol or drugs at school or at school events in the presence of children.

 

CHILD SAFETY OFFICER ROLE


The Doncaster Primary School Safety Officer will:


PROVIDE AUTHORITATIVE ADVICE

  • Act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of child safety.
  • Liaise with the principal and school leaders to maintain the visibility of child safety.
  • Lead the development of the school’s child safety culture, including being a child safety champion and providing coordination in communicating, implementing, monitoring, enhancing and reporting on strategies to embed a culture of child safety.


RAISE AWARENESS

  • Ensure the school’s policies are known and used appropriately.
  • Ensure the school’s child safety policy is reviewed in the context of school self-evaluation undertaken as part of the school accountability framework.
  • Ensure the child protection policy is available publicly and parents are aware of the fact that referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the school in this.
  • Be alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs andyoung carers.
  • Encourage among all staff a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings in any measures to protect them.


TRAIN

Being authoritative in providing advice by:

  • keeping their skills up to date with appropriate training carried out every two years
  • having a working knowledge of how the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Community Service Organisations conduct a child protection case conference to be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so.
  • Be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals.
  • Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school’s child safety policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff.
  • Make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest DHHS and DET policies and guidance.

 

Useful Resources

Child Safe Standard Definitions

Identifying and Responding to Child Abuse

Protecting the Safety and Wellbeing of Children and Young People

Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy

Working with Children Check Policy

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