We are a Child Safe School
Our Commitment to Child Safety
Armstrong Creek School is committed to safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.
Armstrong Creek School has zero tolerance for child abuse.
Armstrong Creek School is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.
Every person involved in Armstrong Creek School has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.
In its planning, decision-making and operations Armstrong Creek School will
1. Take a preventative, proactive and participatory approach to child safety;
2. Value and empower children to participate in decisions which affect their lives;
3. Foster a culture of openness that supports all persons to safely disclose risks of harm to children;
4. Respect diversity in cultures and child rearing practices while keeping child safety paramount;
5. Provide written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children;
6. Engage only the most suitable people to work with children and have high quality staff and volunteer supervision and professional development;
7. Ensure children know who to talk with if they are worried or are feeling unsafe, and that they are comfortable and encouraged to raise such issues;
8. Report suspected abuse, neglect or mistreatment promptly to the appropriate authorities;
9. Share information appropriately and lawfully with other organisations where the safety and wellbeing of children is at risk; and
10. Value the input of and communicate regularly with families and carers.
Child Safe Standards
The Child Safe Standards (the Standards) are compulsory minimum standards for all organisations that provide services to children including Victorian schools. The aim of the Standards is to ensure organisations are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect. It is recognised that many schools will have existing policies and procedures that aim to keep children safe.
The Standards provide a framework to identify gaps and improve policy and practices around child safety. On 26 November 2015, the Victorian Parliament passed the Child Wellbeing and Safety Amendment (Child Safe Standards) Bill 2015, which amended the Child Safety and Wellbeing Act 2005 to introduce the Child Safe Standards that would apply to all organisations involved in child related work in Victoria.
The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) as regulator for all Victorian schools has responsibility for ensuring compliance with the Child Safe Standards in schools. The Standards are:
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.