Child Safety

At St James, we acknowledge and understand that child safety is the responsibility of every person and is an integral aspect of student wellbeing. We aim to work collaboratively with parents, students and other community members to ensure a safe school environment.

Student physical and sexual abuse, and neglect

Children’s rights to be safe are fundamental to our work in the Diocese of Sale. It is crucial that each child is protected against physical and sexual abuse, and neglect.

When teachers form a belief that a child may be at risk of harm due to sexual abuse or physical injury that results from abuse or neglect, they have a legal responsibility to notify the Department of Human Services. St James adhere’s to the 7 Child Safe Standards, as set out by the Ministerial Order 870.

Child Safety Standards

Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
Standard 2: A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety
Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
Standard 5: Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

For more information regarding the standards, click here.

In 2010, education and human services stakeholders established a joint protocol ‘Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people’ to provide a unified and consistent approach that defines roles and responsibilities to protect the safety and wellbeing of all Victorian children and young people. The protocol provides information for licensed children’s services and Victorian schools to take appropriate action when it is believed that a child has suffered harm, or is likely to suffer harm, through abuse or neglect.

Pastoral Care Policy Child Protection and Safety Grooming Policy Antibullying Policy Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people Failure to Protect Failure to Disclose A step-by-step guide to making a report to Child Protection or Child FIRST Safeguarding Children and Young People - Code of Conduct

School Guidance

The video guide below has been developed by the Department of Education and Training, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and Independent Schools Victoria to support all school staff (principals, teachers, education support staff, allied health professionals, contractors, administrative
staff and all other school staff) in all Victorian schools to take action if they suspect, or are witness to, any form of child abuse.

 

Understanding Your Obligations Identifiying Signs of Abuse Four Critical Actions Responding to Other Concerns About the Wellbeing of Another Child Privacy and Information Sharing

Referral Pathways

Due to the diversity of the Diocese, formalised overarching partnerships with services are unable to occur.

Schools together with support from CEOSale staff determine appropriate referral pathways based on the individual needs of students. Some of the organisations include:

  • Centre against Sexual Assault
  • CatholicCare
  •  Victoria Police
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • General Practitioners
  • Anglicare
  • Headspace
  • Department of Human Services

The Victorian System of Care Referral Matrix is a tool which supports parents and carers, school staff and other professionals to appropriately refer children and young people to mental health services.

Students in Out of Home Care

Children and young people in Out of Home Care live in a range of alternative care arrangements away from their parents, including living with relatives or friends (kinship care), living with non-relative families (home-based care, sometimes known as foster care) and living in residential care units with rostered care staff (residential care). They are a diverse group who share the common experience of being exposed to significant abuse and trauma which has resulted in them being removed from the care of their parents. It is a fundamental right that all children and young people are protected, cared for and educated in a way that maximises their life opportunities.

The Out-of-Home Care Education Commitment: A Partnering Agreement between the Department of Human Services, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Independent Schools Victoria (the Partnering Agreement) acknowledges that providing the best start in life for children and young people in out-of-home care is a shared responsibility. It provides a common understanding of the expectations and requirements of all parties to ensure that strategies are implemented for all children and young people in out-of home care to provide the foundations for educational success.

The Out-of-Home Care Education Commitment

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapidly progressive allergic reaction that is potentially life threatening. The most common allergens in school-aged children are peanuts, eggs, tree nuts (e.g. cashews), cow’s milk, fish and shellfish, wheat, soy, sesame seeds, latex, certain insect stings and medications.

The keys to prevention of anaphylaxis are planning, risk minimisation, awareness and education

All schools within the Diocese of Sale have an anaphylaxis management policy.

The following guidelines prepared by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2014) have been developed to assist all Victorian Schools in planning for, and supporting students with severe allergies.

Anaphylaxis Guidelines

Emergencies and Natural Disasters

CEOSale schools are well prepared to deal with emergency situations.

Each school has an emergency management plan that identifies procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. If an emergency should occur, the school emergency management team is quickly established to support and meet the needs of students and families.

If there is an emergency situation during the school day, the safety and wellbeing of students will be the highest priority. No student details will be released to anyone other than those authorised on their enrolment form.

To assist schools to prepare for and manage emergencies, we ask you to:

  • ensure your child’s emergency contact details held by the school are up to date
  • ensure school staff are alerted to any special medical or dietary requirements of your child
  • notify the school principal of any emergency situation involving your child.

Smoke Free Learning Environments

From 13 April 2015, under the Tobacco Act 1987 smoking is prohibited within the grounds of, and within four metres of an entrance to, all Victorian childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools and schools. This ban ensures that children and young people can enter and leave these areas without being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.

Second-hand tobacco smoke is particularly dangerous to children and young people because they have smaller airways and less developed immune systems compared to adults.

Please see the attached brochure outlining the requirements

Smoke-free Learning Environments

Online Safety

Access to the online world offer’s students the chance to explore a virtually limitless world. It provides provide new opportunities for learning and connecting across the globe, but like the real world, there are dangers that exist. To address this, schools in the Diocese of Sale implement a range of safety strategies that are tailored to meet the needs of their school community.

Online Grooming Inappropriate Content Cyberbullying Parents Guide to Online Safety

Parent Complaints

The Catholic Education Office Diocese of Sale is committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect and encourages good communication between parents and schools.

Schools and the Catholic Education Office in the Diocese of Sale act in accordance with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s parent complaints policy and processes when managing your complaint.

For details on how to raise a concern or make a complaint, please see the following documents.

Parent Complaints Practical Advice for Concerns and Complaints CEOSale Complaints and Grievances Management Policy