This content has been developed to support all school staff (principals, teachers, education support staff, allied health professionals, contractors and administrative staff etc.) in all Victorian schools (government, Catholic and independent) to take action if they suspect, or are witness to student sexual offending.
This resource includes procedures and guidance on responding to:
These procedures must be applied in any circumstance where there is an incident, allegation or you form a suspicion that a student is victim to a student sexual offence and/or a student has committed a sexual offence. This includes suspected offences that have taken place outside of school grounds and hours.
Victorian Law holds that students under 10 years of age cannot commit a sexual offence. For guidance on responding to problem sexual behaviour in students under 10 and other forms of student sexualised behaviours which do not constitute student sexual offending, see: Sexual Behaviour in Children Under 10 Years.
Where you believe that a child is subject to any other form of child abuse (sexual abuse by an adult), you must follow the procedures outlined in
Four Critical Actions: Identifying and Responding to all Forms of Child Abuse in Victorian Schools (pdf - 591.68kb) | (docx - 35.68kb).
A copy of the full guide can be downloaded here: Identifying and Responding to Student Sexual Offending.
Defining student sexual offending
Student sexual offending refers to sexual behaviour that is led by a student 10 years and over which may amount to a sexual offence.
Knowing your obligations
As school staff members, you play an especially critical role in responding to student sexual offending and must comply with a range of legal obligations to do so.
Four critical actions for schools
If you witness an incident, receive a disclosure or form a suspicion that a student is a victim of a student sexual offending and/or a student has engaged in student sexual offending, you must immediately follow these actions.
Privacy and information sharing
Find out about requirements for information sharing with school staff, DHHS, Victoria Police, family and school when you are responding to suspected child abuse.
Contact details and more information
Find out more about the roles of relevant authorities and access contact details for critical supports.