Child safety and Well-being (Draft)

Policy

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1.  Introduction

Christ Church Grammar School believes that students should know that they are valued as persons from the time they enter our community. This pastoral dimension should influence every aspect of the School’s life and be especially evident in the quality of relationships between all members of the school community. At Christ Church Grammar School, the education of students is seen as a partnership between parents who are the primary educators of their children and the School.

2.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • affirm our commitment to the safety and well-being of children and young people with whom we have contact with;
  • inform all leaders, staff and volunteers at Christ Church Grammar School of their obligations to act ethically towards children and their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the safety and well-being of children; and
  • give guidance on the processes and procedures that aim to ensure children’s safety and well-being across all areas of the School’s work.

3.  Scope

This policy applies all all people who conduct work for Christ Church Grammar School in a paid or unpaid capacity including but not limited to Council members, Executive leadership, staff, volunteers, interns, trainees, contractors and consultants; and for all activities in which the School is involved, result in or relate to contact with children and young people.

4.  Responsibilities

All Council members, staff, contractors and volunteers engaged by the school are responsible for contributing to achieving a child safe environment. They are responsible for:

  • taking all actions and make decisions based on the best interests of the child;
  • applying child safe principles;
  • complying with the School’s policies and procedures relevant to their position;
  • adhering to the school’s applicable Code of Conduct; and
  • reporting all child safety concerns, as per the reporting procedures under related policies and procedures. All suspected or alleged child abuse must be reported to the appropriate authorities.

The victimisation of staff, students, parents and guardians and/or volunteers making allegations in accordance with this policy is forbidden, including where the allegation is unfounded.

The Principal is responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with all aspects of the School’s Child Safety and Well-being policy.

School supervisors are responsible for ensuring that contractors, consultants and volunteers whom they supervise or manage have read this policy and carry out their duties in accordance with this policy and related documents.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action and, in serious cases, termination of the person’s employment or engagement.

5.  Relevant legislation and standards

6.  Related school policies and procedures

7.  Implementing the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

Refer to school’s Response to the National Principles for Child Safe Organisation for more details on the strategies used to adopt the Principles.

7.1.  Leadership, governance and culture

We acknowledge that our school leaders play a critical role in driving child safety and wellbeing at our school. Our school leadership will act as positive role models and drive initiates to promote a child safe culture. Our leaders are committed to operate a governance culture which promotes openness, inclusivity, transparency and accountability.

7.2.  Empowering children to participate

Christ Church Grammar School is committed to educate children and young people to empower them to feel comfortable participating in decisions and communicating their views and concerns. We will inform students of their rights and encourage them to be involved in decisions, especially about matters that directly affect them. We will listen to their views and respect what they have to say.

7.3.  Involving family and community

We acknowledge that parents and carers know their children best and will create opportunities for families and communities to be involved in creating a child safe culture at the school.

We will:

  • create opportunities for our families and community members to be involved in how the school operates,
  • have clear and accessible information for our families and community members about the school’s operations and policies, including child safety and well-being policies,
  • respect and seek feedback from our families and community members on issues of child safety and well-being and incorporate this into our policies and procedures.

7.4.  Respecting equity and diversity

We promote diversity and recognise the strengths and individual characteristics of children and young people, and embrace all children regardless of their abilities, sex, gender, or social, economic and cultural background.

We strive to make all children and young people feel comfortable and to provide services that are culturally safe and inclusive.

7.5.  Staff are suitable and supported

Christ Church Grammar School has a rigorous recruitment, screening and selection to reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing Council members, staff and volunteers.

We actively encourage applications from Aboriginal people, people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with a disability and people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex.

It is our policy that all new employees provide copies of their National Police Clearance and Working with Children (WWC) check prior to commencing their employment.  Teaching staff are also required to present to the School, a current copy of their Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia (TRBWA) registration documentation.

At commencement, all new employees are inducted to the school’s child safe policies, procedures and culture.

7.6.  Child focused complaints process

Christ Church Grammar School’s culture aims for all Council members, staff, volunteers, families and children and young people to feel confident and comfortable in discussing any allegations of child abuse or child safety concerns.  We prioritise the safety and well-being of children and young people and recognise the role of families and communities in understanding and using our Complaints policy.

Our complaints handling system conforms to the rules of procedural fairness and we work to ensure all children, young people, families, Council members, staff and volunteers know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour.

Christ Church Grammar School takes all allegations seriously and has practices in place to investigate thoroughly and quickly. Our Council members and staff are trained to deal with allegations appropriately.

We have a legal and moral obligation to contact authorities when we are worried abut a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously. Our staff are empowered and supported to draw attention to any breaches to the Staff Code of Conduct within the school and to challenge these behaviours.

7.7.  Staff knowledge, skills and awareness

The School recognises the importance of ongoing education and training for all our staff and volunteers. All staff, Council members and regular volunteers participate in learning opportunities annually about the law with respect to mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse and the school’s policies, procedures and practices to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students at school, and during school-related activities.

We have specific policies and procedures in place that support our Council members, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.

7.8.  Safe physical and online environments

Christ Church Grammar School is committed to ensuring all students attending the School are provided with a physical and online environment where they feel safe; and protected from harm and exploitation. We have risk management strategies in place to identify, assess, and take steps to minimise child abuse risks which include risks posed by physical environments and online environments, without compromising children and young people’s right to privacy, access to information, social interactions and child to child interactions.

7.9.  Continuous improvement

This and all school child safety policies and procedures, are reviewed every two years and following significant incidents if they occur. We will ensure that families, children and young people have the opportunity to contribute. Where possible, we will do our best to work with local Aboriginal communities, culturally and/or linguistically diverse communities, people with a disability and/or people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

7.10.  Child safe and friendly policies

Christ Church Grammar School has documented policies and procedures available to staff, volunteers, families and children and young people to:

  • inform and guide our Council members, staff and regular volunteers about their roles and responsibilities; and
  • inform children, young people, families and other stakeholders about how the school ensures children’s safety and wellbeing.

8.  Status and review

This policy was reviewed and ratified by our School Council on XX.

For more information or assistance with this policy, please contact the Deputy Principal.

The Deputy Principal will lead the review process for this document every