Wodonga Federation of Government Schools’ Child Safe Philosophy
Wodonga Federation of Government Schools’ has a strong commitment to providing a child safe learning environment where the interests and safety of all children are promoted and protected. Wodonga Federation of Government Schools’ has a zero tolerance for child abuse.
As part of Wodonga Federation of Government Schools Child Safe Philosophy we adhere to Ministerial Order 870 – Child Safe Standards which came into effect on August 1 2016. This forms the basis for all strategies, policies, procedures and practices, allowing staff, volunteers and contractors to promote children’s learning and wellbeing. Wodonga Federation of Government Schools recognises every child’s fundamental right to learning in a safe environment and participation in decision making. Decisions that the member schools make are therefore guided by the children’s safety needs and interests.
Wodonga Federation of Government Schools promotes an inclusive environment for all children, parents and staff. It believes every child, parent and staff member has the right to be valued and treated with respect and dignity. Wodonga Federation of Government Schools does not tolerate any discriminatory practices. It strives to promote cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families and culturally and/or linguistically diverse children and families. Wodonga Federation of Government Schools welcomes vulnerable children, children with disabilities and their families and their participation.
Staff at Wodonga Federation of Government Schools are trained in preventing and responding to child safety. All staff undergo ‘Working with Children Checks’ and sign a Child Safety Code of Conduct.
Victoria’s 7 child safe standards
In response to the 2013 Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations and subsequent report Betrayal of Trust. The Victorian Government introduced the child safe standards for organisations that work with children, including schools.
Principles of Inclusion
In complying with the child safe standards above, we will be mindful of the diversity of students and school communities and include the following inclusion principles as part of each standard:
- Promoting the cultural safety of Aboriginal children
- Promoting the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Promoting the safety of children with a disability
Child Safe Roles and Responsibilities
- Familiarising yourself with the relevant laws, the Code of Conduct, and The Federation’s policy and procedures in relation to child protection, and complying with all requirements.
- Reporting any reasonable belief that a child’s safety is at risk to the relevant authorities (such as the police and the Department of Health and Human Services) and fulfil their obligation as mandatory reporters.
- Reporting any suspicion that a child’s safety may be at risk to their supervisor (or, if their supervisor is involved in the suspicion, to a responsible person in the school).
- Providing an environment that is supportive of all children’s emotional and physical safety.
- Dealing with and investigating reports of child abuse.
- Ensuring that all staff, contractors, and volunteers are aware of relevant laws, school policies and procedures, and the Federation’s Code of Conduct.
- Ensuring that all adults within The Federation and school community are aware of their obligation to report suspected sexual abuse of a child in accordance with the policies and procedures.
- Ensuring that all staff, contractors and volunteers are aware of their obligation to observe the Code of Conduct (particularly as it relates to child safety).
- Providing support for staff, contractors and volunteers in undertaking their safety responsibilities.
Assistant Principal (Child Safe Officer)
- Promoting child safety at all times
- Assessing the risk of abuse within their area of control and eradicating/minimising any risk to the extent possible.
- Educating employees about the prevention and detection of child abuse.
- Facilitating the reporting of any inappropriate behaviour or suspected abusive activities.
- Ultimate responsibility for the detection and prevention of child abuse and is responsible for ensuring that appropriate and effective internal control systems are in place.
- Ensure that appropriate policies and procedures and a Child Safety Code are in place.