From 1 August 2016, the Child Safe Standards are in force, legislated under Ministerial Order No. 870. http://www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/childsafe/Pages/default.html
Cobden Technical School has a zero tolerance of child abuse and as such, all care will be taken to ensure all students are safe and protected from child abuse in all school environments, during and outside school hours.
Under the terms of the Ministerial Order, the following definitions apply:
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.
child abuse includes –
- a) any act committed against a child involving –
- i. a sexual offence; or
- ii. an offence under section 49B(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (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.
school environment means any physical or virtual place made available or authorised by the school governing authority for use by a child during or outside school hours, including:
- a) a campus of the school;
- b) online school environments (including email and intranet systems); and
- c) other locations provided by the school for a child’s use (including, without limitation, locations used for school camps, sporting events, excursions, competitions, and other events).
child-connected work means work authorised by the school governing authority and performed by an adult in a school environment while children are present or reasonably expected to be present.
As you may note from the definition of school environment, the school’s responsibility for child safety includes the entire time students are in the school’s care. This includes bussing to and from school, normal classes, activities involving guest presenters at school, excursions, sporting activities, use of computers at school, the school’s webpages, and so on. We must also continue to screen employees and volunteers, ensuring that appropriate police and/or working with children checks have been made for anyone working with our students.
Ministerial Order 870 is implemented at our school through a range of policies and procedures. Many of these exist, and have simply been updated to include explicit reference to child safety as described in the Ministerial Order. New policies and procedures will be created as necessary to ensure we meet the requirements of the Order.
To support child safety, our school will deliver education programs and strategies to promote child empowerment and participation. The appropriate units of the Respectful Relationships program will be delivered each year for our Year 8 to 10 students. The program ‘Sex, Young People and the Law’ may be delivered as an alternative to the respectful relationships should the Wellbeing Team determine it more appropriate for a particular cohort of students. A locally developed Positive Peer Relationships program will be delivered for our Year 7 students each year.
The program ‘Sex, Young People and the Law’ may be delivered to students at Years 11 and 12 should the Wellbeing Team determine it appropriate for a particular cohort of students.
Downnload the school's Child Safety policy here.