The protection of children and young persons is the responsibility of everyone who works at Laburnum Primary School, including its staff, contractors, parents and volunteers. We all share responsibility for promoting the wellbeing and safety of children. Laburnum Primary School has zero tolerance for child abuse and is committed to acting in the best interests of children and to keeping them safe at all times.
Laburnum Primary School is committed to:
- promoting child safety in its school environment
- ensuring the safety and best interests of the children in its care, taking into account children of cultural and linguistic diversity and those with disabilities
- a zero tolerance to child abuse
- actively working to empower the students in our care
- implementing and continuously improving procedures and systems that promote and influence an organisational culture of child safety and that provides a safe environment for our students
- ensuring child safety is about balancing expectations and complying with legal obligations. It is not about creating an atmosphere of suspicion.
It is the role of the School Council and the Principal to monitor Laburnum's adherence to this policy. This will be done by:
- ensuring that child safety is a regular agenda item at School Council meetings
- having the Principal and other responsible staff report regularly to the School Council
- consideration by the Principal, responsible staff members and the School Council of areas for continual improvement.
Roles and responsibilities
The Principal and the Wellbeing Coordinator are responsible for developing strategies that embed an organisational culture of child safety at Laburnum Primary School. These strategies will give the highest priority to the promotion and protection of a child's safety, health, development, education and wellbeing.
Everyone involved in Laburnum has a role to play and is responsible for protecting children and upholding the duty of care that Laburnum Primary School owes to all of its students.
Laburnum's policies and procedures will provide the names and contact details of staff who have specific responsibilities in relation to child safety and for receiving reports of suspicion of child abuse.
Values and Principles
The following values and principles will guide Laburnum Primary School in implementing consistent policies and influence an organisational culture of child safety:
- Child safety policies and procedures will support ongoing assessment and identification and minimisation of the risk of child abuse in the school environment.
- Our culture will foster openness so that all persons, and particularly children, may feel safe to disclose concerns or risks of harm to children.
- Appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children will be expected at all times.
- Policies will support the processes that assist the School to engage the most appropriate personnel to work with children.
- Regular staff training will occur to ensure there is a full awareness and understanding of policies and processes.
- Suspected or actual abuse of children will be reported promptly to the appropriate authorities.
- Support and assistance will be provided to children who have suffered abuse and to their families.
Laburnum Primary School will implement recruitment processes that will assist in the effective selection of suitable personnel, including staff, volunteers and contractors. These processes will ensure:
- new and existing staff, volunteers and contractors understand the importance of child safety and are aware of Laburnum's policies and procedures
- each job or category of job for school staff that involves child-connected work has a clear statement, which includes the job's requirements, duties and responsibilities regarding child safety and the essential or relevant qualifications, experience and attributes in relation to child safety
- compliance with school policy for recruitment and selection of staff for obtaining, verifying and recording information about a person whom it proposes to engage to perform child-connected work, including processes for screening and background checks
- induction of new staff, volunteers and contractors into the school's policies, codes, practices and procedures governing child safety and child-connected work
- a staff member's continuing suitability for child-connected work is monitored and assessed through the Victorian Institute of Teaching
All applicants for jobs that involve child-connected work for Laburnum must be informed about the school's child safety practices and its Student Engagement & Inclusion Policy.
Laburnum will implement practices that enable the Principal and the School Council to be satisfied that people engaged in child connected work for the school perform appropriately in relation to child safety.
Procedures for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
- Laburnum will implement and continually improve its procedures for responding to and reporting suspected abuse of a child currently in its care. Laburnum will also implement practices and programs that will support, encourage and enable school staff, parents and children to understand, identify, discuss and report child safety matters.
Our procedures will be based on the following:
- compliance with mandatory reporting laws and obligations imposed by the criminal law to report a belief that child abuse may have occurred (refer to appendix 1 Mandatory Reporting Policy)
- ensuring any situation is handled appropriately according to the guidelines
- concerns of child abuse are reported to the Victoria police and relevant authorities
- Laburnum provides support to the person/s making allegations of child abuse
- all parties involved in an allegation of child abuse are treated fairly and consistently
- clarity as to who should notify any concerns and who to notify within Laburnum
- what processes should be followed during and after an investigation
- ensuring that reviewing and improving our processes is continuous
- they will be easily accessible for all persons within Laburnum and they will be simple and easy to understand for children.
Laburnum will support or assist children who disclose child abuse, or are otherwise linked to suspected child
- ensuring they have access to School support personnel, such as counsellors and School psychologists.
- ensuring their situation is treated confidentially and with sensitivity.
- ensuring they have all the necessary staff support around them and are given due consideration for and necessary adjustments in the curriculum and co-curriculum programs.
- providing such other support or assistance as may be reasonable.
- Reducing or removing risks of child abuse
Laburnum Primary School will implement appropriate policies and practices for the early identification and response to risks of abuse in its physical and online environment. Such policies and practices will:
- promote understanding by all Laburnum Primary School personnel of its expectations in relation to behaviour and conduct when interacting with children and the consequences of failing to abide by those expectations
- seek to achieve ongoing risk assessment to identify and mitigate risk in the School's physical and online environment, taking into account the age and needs of the students, the nature of the activities undertaken at Laburnum Primary School and the particular risks they might present
- provide for ongoing training, education and support for all Laburnum personnel in relation to understanding child abuse, identifying risks and areas for improvement, the school's policies and practices for reporting concerns of child abuse and how to respond
- require appropriate human resource policies for appraisal and assessment of personnel in relation to compliance with their child safe obligations.
- Laburnum will implement practices that increase the awareness within the school of the need for our internal systems to protect children.
- Promoting child empowerment and participation
The Principal and the Wellbeing co-ordinator are responsible for developing strategies to deliver appropriate education about:
- standards of behaviour for students attending Laburnum
- healthy and respectful relationships (including sexuality)
- child abuse awareness and prevention.
Laburnum will ensure that the prevention approaches it adopts for its students will be focused on initiatives that build their awareness and encourage them to disclose behaviour that makes them feel unsafe.
The School community will be informed about this policy. It will be publicly available. It will be available as a link on the School's website and be included during personnel induction programs and during recruitment and enrolment processes for staff, contractors and volunteers.
All school staff, volunteers and contractors of Laburnum will be made aware of this policy and Laburnum's commitment to child safety.
|| An individual who is under the age of 13 years orwho is enrolled as a student at Laburnum.
| Child abuse
|| Child abuse includes-
(a) any act committed against a child involving-
(i) a sexual offence; or
(ii) the offence of grooming; and
(b) the infliction, on a child, of-
(i) physical violence; or
(ii) serious emotional or psychological harm; and
(c) serious neglect of a child.
| Child-connected work
||This is work that is authorised by Laburnum Primary School that is performed by an adult in the Laburnum School environment while children are present or reasonably expected to be present.
| Child safety
||Child safety encompasses matters related to protecting all children from child abuse, managing the risk of child abuse, providing support to a child at risk of child abuse, and responding to incidents or allegations of child abuse.
| School environment
||The Laburnum Primary School environment is any physical or virtual place made available or authorised by Laburnum Primary School for use by a child during or outside school hours, and includes:
(a) online school environments including email and intranet systems
(c) other locations provided by Laburnum Primary School for a child's use including locations used for school camps, sporting events, tours, excursions, competitions and other events.
This policy will be reviewed and updated when required.
| This policy was last ratified by School Council in:
|| December 2016