Child Safety


Avondale Primary School is committed to providing a child safe and child friendly environment, where students are safe and feel safe. 

 

Our child safety and wellbeing policies (below) outline the measures and strategies we have in place to support, promote and maintain the safety and wellbeing of our students:

 

As valuable partners in promoting and maintaining child safety and wellbeing at Avondale Primary School we welcome and encourage your feedback. 

 

If you have any suggestions, comments or questions in relation to our child safe policies and practices, please contact the school at avondale.ps@education.vic.gov.au

 

Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

 

Avondale Primary School is a child safe organisation which welcomes all children, young people and their families.

 

We are committed to providing environments where our students are safe and feel safe, where their participation is valued, their views respected, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Our child safe policies, strategies and practices are inclusive of the needs of all children and students.

 

Avondale Primary school’s approach to creating and maintaining a child safe school environment is guided by our school philosophy and values. At Avondale Primary School our vision is ‘to create a community that strives for excellence through high quality learning, engagement and wellbeing for all.’

 

We have no tolerance for child abuse and take proactive steps to identify and manage any risk of harm to students in our school environments.

 

We promote positive relationships between students and adults and between students and their peers. These relationships are based on trust and respect.

 

When child safety concerns are raised or identified, we treat these seriously and respond promptly and thoroughly.

 

Particular attention is given to the child safety needs of Aboriginal students, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, international students, students with disabilities, those unable to live at home, children and young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) and other students experiencing risk or vulnerability. Inappropriate or harmful behaviour targeting students based on these or other characteristics, such as racism or homophobia, are not tolerated at our school, and any instances identified will be addressed with appropriate consequences.

 

Child safety is a shared responsibility. Every person involved in our school has an important role in promoting child safety and wellbeing and promptly raising any issues or concerns about a child’s safety.

 

We are committed to regularly reviewing our child safe practices, and seeking input from our students, families, staff, and volunteers to inform our ongoing strategies.

 

In its planning, decision making and operations Avondale Primary 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 suitable people to work with children and have high quality staff and volunteer supervision and professional development;
  7. Ensure children know who to talk to 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
  10. Ensure a risk prevention and minimisation approach
  11. Take the legislative requirements seriously and ensure implementation
  12. Value the input of and communicate regularly with families and carers

 

Code of Conduct

 

This Code of Conduct aims to protect children and reduce any opportunities for child abuse or harm to occur. The Principal and school leaders of Avondale Primary School will support implementation and monitoring of the Code of Conduct, and will plan, implement and monitor arrangements to provide an inclusive, safe and orderly school and other learning environment.

 

All staff, volunteers, contractors, visitors and any other members of the school community involved in child related work at Avondale Primary School are required to comply with the Code of Conduct by observing expectations for appropriate behaviour. The Code of Conduct applies in all school situations, including schools camps, excursions and in the use of digital technology and media.

 

Click here to view a copy of our Code of Conduct

 

Child Safe Standards

 

At Avondale Primary School there is a school-wide approach towards ensuring the safety of all children. The school follows the Department of Health and Human Service’s eleven Child Safe Standards, which are:

 

Child Safe Standard 1 – Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued

 

Child Safe Standard 2 – Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture

 

Child Safe Standard 3 – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously

 

Child Safe Standard 4 – Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing

 

Child Safe Standard 5 – Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice

 

Child Safe Standard 6 – People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice

 

Child Safe Standard 7 – Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused

 

Child Safe Standard 8 – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training

 

Child Safe Standard 9 – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed

 

Child Safe Standard 10 – Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved

 

Child Safe Standard 11 – Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people

 

The school actively implements policies and procedures to cover all areas of the standards, including:

  • From 2019 Working With Children Check Clearances for all volunteers and workers at the school, including contractors
  • Risk assessments for all major activities and events as well as a whole-school risk assessment 
  • Regular review of procedures and schedules to ensure best practice in matters relating to supervision and duty of care in all school activities
  • VIT Registration for all teaching staff (which includes regular National Criminal Record Checks)
  • Up-to-date policies for Child Safe and the school’s Child Safe Code of Conduct, as well as related policies such as First Aid and Medications, Supervision and Duty of Care and Working With Children Check Clearance
  • Cybersafety and bullying presentations
  • Bravehearts Personal Safety Education program
  • Student Safety Week and establishing a help seeking network

 

Avondale Primary School is committed to ensuring the safety of all students in its community. The school achieves this by developing a culture of safety through risk management to identify and remove risks of child abuse, policy development and implementation, code of conduct screening, supervision and training, processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse and strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children. In order to ensure the safety of children, the school has appointed a Child Safety Champion(Assistant Principal) and developed policies and procedures in conjunction with the Child Safe Standards. 

Identified Child Safety Champion: Joe Scarfo (Assistant Principal/ Student Wellbeing Coordinator) 

The role of Child Safety Champion includes leadership support and the ability to direct other staff (where appropriate) to undertake the role effectively.

 

Key Activities of a Child Safety Champion at Avondale Primary School

Broad areas of the role are to:

 

Provide authoritative advice

  • act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of child safety
  • liaise with the principal and school leaders to maintain the visibility of child safety
  • lead the development of the school’s child safety culture, including being a child safety champion and providing coordination in communicating, implementing, monitoring, enhancing and reporting on strategies to embed a culture of child safety.

Raise awareness

  • ensure the school’s policies are known and used appropriately
  • ensure the school’s child safety policy is reviewed in the context of school self-evaluation undertaken as part of the school accountability framework
  • ensure the child protection policy is available publicly and parents are aware of the fact that referrals bout suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the school in the school in this
  • be alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers
  • encourage among all staff a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings in any measures to protect them.

Train

Being authoritative in providing advice by:

    • keeping their skills up to date with appropriate training carried out every two years
    • having a working knowledge of how the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Community Service Organisations conduct a child protection case conference to be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so,

Protect

  • be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referral
  • ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school’s child safety policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff
  • make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest DHHS and DET policies and guidance.


The school’s policies can be viewed on-line under the policies tab or at the bottom of this page.

 

As part of meeting the Child Safe Standards, the school pays special attention to at-risk groups, to promote:

  • Cultural safety of Indigenous children
  • Cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (international students)
  • Safety of children with a disability

The school also implements specific DET strategies to support any students who are deemed as being in out-of-home care and has a designated Child Safety Leader (Assistant Principal/ Welfare Coordinator) with the responsibility to oversee the safety and wellbeing of these students.

 

The school has a strong focus on Cybersafety to ensure that students are aware of potential risks when using digital technologies and how to manage and avoid these risks. Student learn about appropriate, positive behaviours through in class activities, online webinars and visiting presentations.

 

Specific child safety responsibilities:

Jill Benham, Principal, is responsible for reviewing and updating the Child Safety Policy annually

Jill Benham, Principal, is responsible for monitoring the school’s compliance with the Child Safety Policy

Jill Benham, Principal, is responsible for informing the school community about the Child Safety policy, and making it publicly available.

All Avondale Primary School staff are responsible for providing a child safe environment

 

Further information about Child Safe Standards can be found at :http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/protect/Pages/default.aspx 


Department of Education International Student CRICOS Provider Code 00861K