I am writing to tell you about some important changes that help to protect all our students.
On 26 November 2015, the Victorian Parliament passed the Child Wellbeing and Safety Amendment (Child Safe Standards) Bill 2015 to introduce seven child safe standards (the Standards) into law. The Standards apply to all organisations involved in child-related work in Victoria.
Ministerial Order No. 870 provides the framework for how schools will be required to comply with the Standards. Overall responsibility for ensuring compliance rests with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
Pascoe Vale South Primary School is committed to child safety. As a community we want children to be safe, happy and empowered. We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers. We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children. There is zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures. We meet our legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.
Pascoe Vale South Primary School is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks. We have robust human resources and recruitment practices for all staff and volunteers. Our school is committed to regularly training and educating our staff and volunteers on child abuse risks. As a community we support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers. We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability. Pascoe Vale South Primary School has specific policies, procedures and training in places that support our leadership team, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.
• Everyone connected to our school can help children be safe.
• Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility.
• We already have policies and processes in place to protect the care, safety and welfare of children and these are being strengthened to ensure a zero tolerance approach to child abuse.
• There are clear boundaries about how adults in our school community may interact with the children here.
• Staff members and volunteers receive training and support to understand and carry out their responsibilities under the standards.
• Unsupervised contractors will be asked about their child safety arrangements as a condition of working with us if they work with children enrolled in the school (or children can reasonably be expected to be present while they are at the school).
• Other people using our school facilities will be asked about their child safety arrangements as a condition of using our facilities if they involve children enrolled at the school (or children can reasonably be expected to be present while their staff or other adults are at the school).
School council has developed and ratified the school’s Child Safety Code of Conduct and Child Safety Policy.
Carmel Lancuba, Principle