Child Safety at Malmsbury Primary School
Everyone shares the responsibility for keeping our children safe. Children have the right to be protected wherever they are, including their time at home, school and in other education and learning environments.
For this reason, new and compulsory Child Safe Standards are being phased into all schools during 2016. These standards apply to all registered schools and other organisations that work with children and young people up to 18 years old. There is a requirement to have new accountabilities for minimising the risk of child abuse in every organisation.
Our school already has structures in place to prevent and respond to child abuse, but compliance with the new standards will provide increased accountability and consistency. Victoria’s new Child Safe Standards require schools to have particular measures in place to prevent and respond to child abuse, sending a clear message that abuse will not be tolerated. These measures include documented Child Safe Policies, a Code of Conduct, Statement of Commitment and clear strategies for responding to suspected abuse.
The new standards emphasise the importance of empowering children to understand their rights and know how to raise concerns and we know this is a powerful protective factor against child abuse.
Victoria’s Child Safe Standards include special protections for children with a disability, Aboriginal children and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. These measures are designed to ensure all our children, regardless of their background and needs, are protected in our learning environments.
The safety of our children is a top priority for Victoria and for our school. They deserve nothing less.
Parents – What the Child Safe Standards mean for your child and school.
Ensuring student safety is a top priority for Malmsbury Primary School.
Students have the right to be safe and protected at all times. Child abuse will not be tolerated.
Malmsbury Primary School has comprehensive policies, safety procedures and practices in place which aim to keep students safe.
Measures that will be taken by the school include:
- Promoting the empowerment and participation of students in their school
- Building confidence in students to understand their rights and responsibilities
- Encouraging students to raise any concern they may have as a powerful protective factor against child abuse
- Reporting concerns about a student’s safety to staff, parents and guardians, and if necessary the Victoria Police, Child Protection and other agencies.
What we do to prevent abuse at Malmsbury Primary School.
Malmsbury Primary School supports all students through a preventative and intervention approach. Teachers deliver classroom social skills, wellbeing programs and activities at each level which build positive relationships, self-confidence, self-esteem and assertiveness skills. Teachers provide curriculum and extra-curricular programs in which diversity is discussed and valued. We actively promote an environment in all school activities which is safe, supportive and inclusive. Programs to support child safety and positive relationships include: ‘Transition to School Program (for Pre-school children transitioning to school), the KidsMatter Program, Grade 6 Transition Program (for children moving from grade 6 into secondary school), the Buddy Program, Solving the Jigsaw, Preparation for Puberty Program (Grade 5/6 students), Inter-school Sports Program, School Concert and Junior School Council. Teachers and students design their classroom procedures and regularly discuss and review class, school rules and expectations, student rights and responsibilities.
Malmsbury Primary School employs strategies to embed a strong organisational culture of child safety. The school has developed a Statement of Commitment to Child Safety and is developing a Child Safe Code of Conduct that apply to all members of the school community, a comprehensive Student Engagement Policy and clearly communicated Child Safe policies and procedures which outline reporting and intervention practices.
The safety and wellbeing of students and all other members of the school community are supported by the Principal, staff, School Council, DET’s allied health workers, outside allied health professionals and specialists agencies. The Principal has the responsibility of Child Safety Officer in the school.
All teaching staff hold current VIT registration, which includes a compulsory police check. All Education Support staff hold current Working with Children Checks. Volunteers are supervised when working with children and required to hold a current Working with Children Check. All workers are required to sign in at the school office and obtain a “Visitor Badge.” Workers are supervised when working around children or screened to work on the school site with approved Working with Children Checks.
Staff undertake regular Mandatory Reporting training and understand their individual responsibility to report serious student wellbeing, health and safety concerns. The individual responsibility of all adults at school to report serious student wellbeing, health and safety concerns is communicated via the school newsletter, webpage and induction processes.
Students – What the Child Safe Standards mean for you.
Every child has the right to be safe and know what to do if something doesn’t feel OK. This means that it is your right to be safe and to feel safe and free from abuse everywhere, including at school. Schools and other child-related organisations have to follow laws to protect children in their organisations from abuse.
Who can I talk to about this?
If you are worried about child abuse, for you or someone you know, there are people you can talk to. It’s a good idea to talk to an adult you trust about any concerns you have. That person might be a parent or relative, a teacher, or someone who works at your school. You may want to talk to more than one person about your concerns, particularly if you think that the first person you chose is not taking your concerns seriously.
At school, please talk about any concerns you have with the Principal, any teacher or any other staff member that you trust. Let this person know that you want to talk about something that is very important. If you are still concerned or you feel that this adult has not been able to help, then please speak to another trusted adult.
Useful links and contacts:
There are services that you can contact to speak to somebody about your concerns.
- Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 At any time and for any reason – free, private and confidential phone and online counselling 24 hrs a day 7 days a week.
- Headspace (National Youth Mental Health Foundation) – 1800 650 890 Headspace can help if you are aged 12 or over and you are going through a tough time. You can talk to someone at Headspace on the phone, online or in person. They also have a lot of information on their website.
- Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault – 1800 806 292 Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault provide services to child and adult victims/survivors of sexual assault. The assault may have occurred recently or in the past
- National Child Abuse Helpline (Child Wise) – 1800 991 099 A toll-free number with access to expert advice from trained counsellors and an opportunity to speak up about child abuse.
Policies and Statements-