The Loreto Kirribilli Child Safe Policy implements, and is to be read and understood in conjunction with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations published by the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

Purpose

Our Child Safe Policy is an overarching policy that provides the key elements of our approach to the School as a child safe organisation and sets out the School’s strategies to ensure compliance with all laws, regulations and standards relevant to child protection in NSW.

Scope

The School’s Child Safe Policy applies to all adults in the School community, including Staff, Volunteers, Contractors, External Education Providers , parents/carers and other family members. This policy applies in all School environments, both physical and online, and on-site and off-site School grounds (e.g. camps and excursions).

Key Legislation and Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

There are seven key pieces of child protection-related legislation applicable to schools in New South Wales:

  • the Education Act 1990 (NSW);
  • the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW);
  • the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW);
  • the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 (NSW);
  • the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (NSW);
  • the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW); and
  • the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW).

There are a number of other School policies, procedures and guidelines that relate to child protection including (but not limited to):

  • Codes of Conduct;
  • Statement of Commitment to Child Safety;
  • Bullying Prevention and Intervention Policy;
  • Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Statement;
  • Procedures for Responding to and Reporting Child Safety Incidents or Concerns;
  • Process Summary for Reporting Child Safety Incidents or Concerns;
  • Response and Reporting Obligations;
  • Definitions and Key Indicators of Abuse and Other Harm;
  • Working with Children Check Policy;
  • Information Sharing Policy;
  • Procedures for Handling Allegations of Staff Misconduct and Reportable Conduct; and
  • Complaints Handling Policies.

Child Safeguarding Standards

The School’s commitment to child safety is based on the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations published by the Australian Human Rights Commission, which set out the following overarching standards that guide the development and regular review of our work systems, practices, policies and procedures to protect students from abuse and other harm.

Standard 1 – Child safety is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture;

Standard 2 – Children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously;

Standard 3 – Families and communities are informed and involved;

Standard 4 – Equity is upheld, and diverse needs are taken in to account;

Standard 5 – People working with children are suitable and supported;

Standard 6 – Processes to respond to complaints of child abuse are child focused;

Standard 7 – Staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through continual education and training;

Standard 8 – Physical and online environments minimise the opportunity for abuse to occur;

Standard 9 – Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is continuously reviewed and improved; and

Standard 10 – Policies and procedures document how the organisation is child safe.

Loreto Kirribilli’s Child Safeguarding

Loreto Kirribilli is committed to the effective implementation of our Child Safe Policy and ensuring that it is appropriately reviewed and updated. We adopt a risk management approach by identifying key risk indicators and assessing child safety risks based on a range of factors including the nature of our School’s activities, physical and online environments and the characteristics of the student body.

Our Child Safe Policy relates to all aspects of child safety and protecting students from abuse or other harm, and establishes work systems, practices, policies and procedures to create and maintain a child safe environment and culture at the School. It includes:

  • Codes of Conduct;
  • clear information as to what constitutes child abuse and other harm and associated key indicators of abuse or other harm;
  • clear procedures for reporting child safety incidents or concerns internally, and for responding to incidents or allegations of child abuse or other harm;
  • strategies to support, encourage and enable Staff, Volunteers, Contractors, parents/carers and students to understand, identify, discuss and report child safety matters;
  • procedures for recruiting and screening members of the Executive Team, Staff, Volunteers and Contractors;
  • procedures for reporting to external agencies, including Mandatory Reporting to DCJ, Reportable Conduct, and Reporting to Police;
  • pastoral care strategies designed to empower students and keep them safe;
  • strategies to support and encourage the participation and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and students with disability;
  • child protection training;
  • information regarding the steps to take after a disclosure of abuse or other harm to protect, support and assist students;
  • guidelines with respect to record keeping and confidentiality;
  • policies to ensure compliance with all relevant laws, regulations and standards (including the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations published by the Australian Human Rights Commission); and
  • a system for continuous review and improvement.

As a part of Loreto Kirribilli’s induction process, all Staff, as well as Direct Contact Volunteers and Direct Contact Contractors are required to complete induction in our child protection policies, practices and procedures. All Staff, as well as Direct Contact Volunteers and Direct Contact Contractors also receive refresher and ongoing child protection training, when applicable.

Staff, Direct Contact and Regular Volunteers, and Direct Contact and Regular Contractors are supported and monitored by the School’s Child Protection Officer(s) and Executive Team to ensure that they are compliant with the School’s approach to child safety.

Working with Children Check

The Act requires that, subject to relevant exemptions, any worker who engages in child-related work that involves direct contact (physical or face to face) with a child or children (ages under 18) and whose contact is a usual part of and more than incidental to the work, must have a Working with Children Check (WWCC) in order to work at the School.

While the Act exempts some people from needing a WWCC to volunteer or otherwise work with children, it is the School’s Policy that all Staff, Direct Contact and Regular Volunteers and Direct Contact and Regular Contractors must hold a valid WWCC.

Directors of the Board must hold a WWC check clearance to demonstrate that each responsible person is a ‘fit and proper person’ under the Education Act 1990 (NSW) and the NSW Registration Manual (5.9.1). People who work or volunteer as a referee , umpire, linesperson or other sporting official or grounds person for the School are also required to hold a valid WWCC if they are either a Regular Volunteer or a Regular Contractor.

The School may require that any volunteers and Contractors who are legally exempt from holding a WWCC to complete a Statutory Declaration, Undertaking and Consent to Police Check in the Event of an Audit, pursuant to s40A of the Act.

Reporting Child Safety Incidents or Concerns to the School

Our Child Safe Policy provides guidance for Staff, Volunteers and Contractors on how to identify key indicators of child abuse and other harm and how to report child safety incidents or concerns internally at the School or to relevant external authorities.

Students at the School are provided with information about and encouraged to use multiple pathways to raise child safety incidents or concerns about or at the School. These include informal and formal ways, an ‘anonymous’ way, and through external child advocacy or child safety organisations.

Parents/carers, family members and other community members who have child safety concerns or who suspect that a child or young person associated with the School may be subject to abuse or other harm can contact:

Students, parents/carers, family members and other community members can also raise child safety incidents or concerns through the School’s Complaints Handling Policy.

Any person can also contact the Child Protection Officer(s), the Principal or Deputy Principal if they have concerns regarding the School’s leadership in relation to child safety.

Communications will be treated confidentially on a ‘need to know basis’.

Whenever there are concerns that a child or young person is in immediate danger the Police should be called on 000.

For more information, refer to our Procedures for Responding to and Reporting Child Safety Incidents and Concerns and the Process Summary for Reporting Child Safety Incidents or Concerns. 

Responsibilities for Child Protection at the School

Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility. All adults in the School community including staff members, volunteers and contractors have a shared responsibility for contributing to the safety and protection of students. They are required to comply with our Child Safe Policy and Codes of conduct, understand their legal obligations with respect to the reporting of child abuse and other harm, and raise all child safety incidents and concerns with the School’s Child Protection Officer(s).

The School’s Child Protection Officers

A number of senior staff members are nominated as the School’s Child Protection Officers. Our Child Protection Officer(s) receive additional specialised training with respect to child safety and protection issues. They are a point of contact for raising child safety concerns within the School. They are also responsible for championing child protection within the School and assisting in coordinating responses to child safety incidents.

Contact details for our Child Protection Officers are set out below:

Position Contact No. Email
Deputy Principal 02 9957 4722 deputyprincipal@loreto.nsw.edu.au
Director of Student Wellbeing 02 9957 4722 rrocca@loreto.nsw.edu.au 

 

Loreto Kirribilli has also appointed the Deputy Principal as the School’s Senior Child Protection Officer. The Deputy Principal is contactable by phone on 02 9957 4722 or by emailing deputyprincipal@loreto.nsw.edu.au.

The Deputy Principal has additional child protection responsibilities, such as being a first point of contact for all child safety concerns or queries for the wider community and coordinating the School’s response to child safety incidents in consultation with the Principal, the Executive Team and the Board.

Record Keeping

All records created in accordance with this policy, including all complaints and allegations of staff misconduct or reportable conduct are maintained by the Principal.

In maintaining records of child safety incidents or concerns, the School maintains confidentiality and privacy for students and families in accordance with federal and state privacy legislation.

Non-Compliance with Our Child Safe Policy

Loreto Kirribilli enforces this Child Safe Policy and our Codes of Conduct. In the event of any non-compliance, we will instigate a review that may result in a range of measures including (depending on the severity of the breach):

  • remedial education;
  • counselling;
  • increased supervision;
  • the restriction of duties;
  • suspension; or
  • in the case of serious breaches, termination of employment, contract or engagement.

Attachment: Definitions

1.    Child and Young Person

Child and Young Person    

A child is defined, in the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) and for the purposes of our Child Safe Policy and related procedures, as a person who is under the age of 16 years.

A young person is defined, in the Care and Protection Act and for the purposes of our Child Safe Policy and related procedures, as a person aged 16 or 17.

Note however that for some of the child abuse offences in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) (particularly those relating to sexual offences), a child is defined as a person under the age of 16.

For the purposes of the Failure to Protect and Reporting to Police (Failure to Report) offences, note that the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines a child as a person under the age of 18.

For the purposes of Reportable Conduct and Working with Vulnerable People Registration obligations, a child is defined as a person under the age of 18.

Student 

The term ‘student’ refers to any student enrolled at the School, including those aged 18 and above.

It is the School’s policy that our policies and procedures about the internal and external reporting of child safety incidents and concerns are to be followed for child safety incidents and concerns about students aged 18 years and above, provided that – for external reporting – the relevant student consents to the report.

2.    Child Safety Incident or Concern

The different definitions of child abuse or other harm in various legislation, and the key indicators of child abuse and other harm are set out in Definitions and Key Indicators of Abuse and Other Harm. Together, they are all considered ‘child safety incidents or concerns’ for the purposes of our Child Safe Policy and related procedures.                

Breaches of the Child Safe Codes of Conduct are also considered ‘child safety incidents or concerns.’

3.    Worker and Child-related Work

A worker, for the purposes of the Child Safe Policy,  means any person who is engaged in work, as:

  • an employee
  • a self-employed person
  • a contractor or subcontractor (Third Party Contractor)
  • a volunteer
  • a person undertaking practical training as part of an educational or vocational course (other than as a school student undertaking work experience), or
  • a minister, priest, rabbi, mufti or other like religious leader, or spiritual officer of a religion, or other member of a religious organisation.

Child-related work is defined in both the Act and the Regulation.

It includes work for, or in connection with, any of the following if the work involves direct contact (physical or face to face) with a child or children which is a usual part of (and more than incidental to) the work:

  • mentoring and counselling services for children
  • direct provision of child health services
  • disability services for children with a disability
  • clubs, associations, movements, societies or other bodies (including bodies of a cultural, recreational or sporting nature) providing programs or services for children
  • education and care services, child care centres, nanny services and other child care
  • schools or other educational institutions
  • sporting, cultural or other entertainment venues used primarily by children and entertainment services for children
  • justice services such as detention centres
  • any religious organisation where children form part of the congregation
  • private coaching or tuition to children
  • boarding houses or other residential services for children and overnight camps for children
  • transport services especially for children, including school bus services and taxi services for children with a disability and supervision of school road crossings.

Child-related work also includes:

  • a cleaner providing cleaning services at the school, even though they might not have direct contact with children; and
  • a worker providing ongoing, counselling, mentoring or distance education using any form of communication that does not primarily involve direct contact (physical or face-to-face contact).

4.    Direct Contact, Regular and Casual Volunteers and Contractors

A volunteer is a person who works without payment or financial reward for the school. Volunteers may be members of the school board, family members of students, or from the wider school or local community. Volunteers make a considerable contribution to the school community by giving their time and sharing their skills and expertise with others.

Loreto Kirribilli has identified three different categories of Volunteers, based on the level and frequency of their interaction with students. Volunteers’ responsibilities and obligations under the Child Safe Policy may depend on their category. The categories of Volunteer are:

    • Direct Contact Volunteers;
    • Regular Volunteers; and
    • Casual Volunteers.                 

Where the term “Volunteer” is used, it captures “Direct Contact Volunteers”, “Regular Volunteers” and “Casual Volunteers”.

Direct Contact Volunteer

Direct Contact Volunteers are individuals who provide volunteer services to the school where, in the normal course of providing the services, they could potentially have direct contact with students in circumstances where they:

  • may be left alone, one-on-one, with a student (for example, 1:1 tutoring or learning support); or
  • a reasonable person would consider that the contact may enable the individual to form a relationship of trust with a student (for example, coaching a sports team, helping with a drama production, or regularly working in a canteen or library); or
  • a reasonable person would consider that the contact could create a potential risk to the safety of a student (for example, responsibility for a group of students during an excursion without a member of Staff present).                                   

Due to the nature of Direct Contact Volunteers’ contact with students, they will have more comprehensive child protection responsibilities and obligations within our Child Safe Policy.            

Regular Volunteer               

Regular Volunteers are individuals who provide volunteer services to the school, more than five times in any one year, but are not a Direct Contact Volunteer. They may have some indirect or limited contact with students when providing their services.          

Due to the regular nature of Direct Contact Volunteers’ attendance at the school or school events, even though their contact with students may be indirect or limited, they will have some child protection responsibilities and obligations within our Child Safe Policy.             

Casual Volunteer

Casual Volunteers are individuals who provide volunteer services to the school, five times or less in any one year, during which they may have indirect or limited contact with students, but only in circumstances where they:

  • are not likely to be left alone, one-on-one, with a student; or
  • a reasonable person would not consider the contact to enable the individual to form a relationship of trust with a student; or
  • a reasonable person would not consider the contact to create a risk to the safety of a student.                 

Due to the limited nature of Casual Volunteers’ contact with students, they do not have the same comprehensive role, responsibilities and obligations as school staff members or Direct or Regular Contact Volunteers.            

Contractors

On occasion it may be necessary for the school to engage outside, independent contractors to perform specific tasks. These Contractors are not employees of Loreto Kirribilli. Contractors may include, for example, maintenance and building personnel, consultants, tutors, sports coaches and cleaners.

Loreto Kirribilli has identified three different categories of Contractors, based on the level and frequency of their interaction with students. Contractors’ responsibilities and obligations under the Child Safe Policy may depend on their category. These categories are:

  • Direct Contact Contractors;
  • Regular Contractors; and
  • Casual Contractors.

Where the term ‘Contractor’ is used, it captures ‘Direct Contact Contractors,’ ‘Regular Contractors’ and ‘Casual Contractors’.

Direct Contact Contractor

Direct Contact Contractors are individuals who provide contractor services to the school where, in the normal course of providing the services, they could potentially have direct contact with students in circumstances where they:

  • may be left alone, one-on-one, with a student (for example, 1:1 tutor or learning support); or
  • a reasonable person would consider that the contact may enable the individual to form a relationship of trust with a student (for example, casual teacher, coach of a sports team, music tutor, canteen worker, regular maintenance worker); or
  • a reasonable person would consider that the contact could create a potential risk to the safety of a student (for example, casual teacher, music tutor).

This also includes music tutors and other extra-curricular tutors and instructors who are engaged by students and their families directly, rather than the school, but have an agreement with the school to use the school’s facilities.

Due to the nature of Direct Contact Contractors’ contact with students, they will have more comprehensive child protection responsibilities and obligations within our Child Safe Policy.

Regular Contractor

Regular Contractors are individuals who provide contractor services to the school more than five times in any one year, and are not Direct Contact Contractors. They may have some indirect or limited contact with students when providing their services.

Examples of Regular Contractors may include:

  • consultants;
  • maintenance workers who regularly work at times when students are not expected to be present; or
  • regular caterers.

Due to the regular nature of Regular Contractors’ attendance at the school or school events, even though their contact with students may be indirect or limited, they will have some child protection responsibilities and obligations within our Child Safe Policy.

Casual Contractor

Casual Contractors are individuals who provide contractor services to the school, five times or less in any one year, during which they may have indirect or limited contact with students, but only in circumstances where they:

  • are not left alone, one-on-one, with a student; and
  • a reasonable person would not consider the contact to enable the individual to form a relationship or trust with a student; and
  • a reasonable person would not consider the contact to create a risk to the safety of a student.                               

Due to the limited nature of Casual Contractors’ contact with students, they do not have the same comprehensive role, responsibilities and obligations as school staff members or Direct or Regular Contact Contractors.

External Education Providers           

An External Education Provider is any organisation that the school has arranged to deliver a specified course of study that is part of the curriculum, to a student or students enrolled at the school. This may include:

  • another registered school;
  • a government school including:
    • the Open High School
    • Distance Education Centres
  • TAFE Colleges;
  • Registered Training Organisations (RTOs); and
  • other external providers with appropriate scope of registration, qualifications and expertise.

The delivery of such a course may take place on school premises or elsewhere.

For the purposes of our Child Safe Policy, External Education Providers are considered Direct Contact Contractors.

5.    Responsible Person

The term ‘responsible person’ is defined under the Education Act 1990 as:

  1. the proprietor of the school and, if the proprietor is a corporation, each director or person concerned in the management of the school (including trustees), or
  2. a member of the governing body of the school, or
  3. the principal of the school.