Child Safe Standards: Creating a safe environment

​To create and maintain a child safe organisation, all Victorian schools must comply with Ministerial Order No. 870 - Child Safe Standards, which came into effect 1 August 2016.

Schools can use the following resources to support them in meeting the Child Safe Standards. The information below is also available as a handy, downloadable Child Safe Standards Action List (docx - 42.36kb).

Principle of inclusion

Actions

  • The school takes account of and makes reasonable efforts to accommodate the diversity of all children in implementing the Child Safe Standards.
  • Examples of how to demonstrate 'reasonable efforts' may include:
    • Significant cultural events such as NAIDOC week are noted and/or celebrated
    • Training for school staff on supporting diverse families
    • Child safety information sessions to students and families from diverse backgrounds
    • School leadership takes account of diversity when making decisions regarding the Child Safe Standards.
  • The Child Safety Policy (docx - 55.3kb) refers to the diversity of all children, and specifically mentions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with disabilities, and children who are vulnerable.

Further guidance

Child Safe Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety

Actions

  • The school develops, and the Principal approves strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety.
  • The school (and school council where relevant) implements the strategies and informs the school community of them.
  • The school’s strategies are included in its Child Safety Policy (docx - 55.3kb).
  • Examples of strategies may include:
    • Child safety is a regular agenda item at staff meetings and/or school council meetings
    • Child safety is discussed in class, year level assemblies, or in school newsletters
    • Staff have been allocated specific child safety-related roles and responsbilities
    • The school has an action plan to address any identified gaps or areas for improvement.

Further guidance

Child Safe Standard 2: A child safety policy or a statement of commitment to child safety

Actions

  • Examples of how to make the Policy publicly available may include:
    • publishing on the school's website
    • school newsletters
    • public display on school grounds.

Further guidance

Child Safe Standard 3: A Child Safety Code of Conduct

Actions

  • The school develops, and the Principal approves a Child Safety Code of Conduct (docx - 177.98kb).
  • The school council approves the Code of Conduct (to the extent it applies to school council employees and members, unless delegated to the Principal).
  • The Code of Conduct is made publicly available.
  • Examples of how to make the Code publicly available may include:
    • publishing on the school's website
    • school newsletters
    • public display on school grounds.

Further guidance

Child Safe Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resource practices that reduce the risk of child abuse

Actions

  • School councils (for school council employees, unless delegated to the Principal) ensure that selection, supervision and management practices are child safe, including:
    • Ensure that jobs involving child-connected work have a statement setting out the job's requirements and duties regarding child safety
    • Inform applicants for jobs involving child-connected work about the school's child safety practices (including the Code of Conduct)
    • Complete suitability checks for the preferred candidate
    • Ensure that appropriate supervision and support arrangements are in place

Further guidance

Child Safe Standard 5: Procedures for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse

Actions

  • Examples of how to make the policy publicly available may include:

Further guidance

Child Safe Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse

Actions

  • Examples of monitoring the effectiveness of the risk management strategies may include:
    • The Principal or another staff member reviews the Child Safety Risk Assessment Register (or other document) annually to make sure it is effective, up to date and reflects any changes in the school’s environment (e.g. a particular reporting process has changed, a new campus has opened, the Principal has been notified of a risk related to a school council activity, etc.)

Further guidance

Child Safe Standard 7: Strategies to promote child participation and empowerment

Actions

  • The school develops, and the Principal approves, strategies to deliver appropriate education about:
    • Standards of behaviour for students attending the school
    • Healthy and respectful relationships
    • Resilience; and
    • Child abuse awareness and prevention.
  • The school promotes the Child Safe Standards in ways that are readily accessible, easy to understand, and user-friendly to children.
  • Examples of promoting the Child Safe Standards may include:
    • PROTECT poster (pdf - 203.32kb) is displayed in the school
    • All Child Safe Standards documents are publicly available
    • Children have access to some child safety materials designed for them (e.g. worksheets, posters)
    • Students make and display their own child safety posters
    • Child safety-related discussions are held at circle time in class.

Further guidance

Resources to support standards of behaviour for school students

Resources to support healthy and respectful relationships

Resources to support resilience

Other useful information for schools

External links

Information for students

Information for parents

Parents have an important role to play in identifying signs of abuse in their children. For information to provide to parents, see Child Protection.