Child Safe Standard 3: Code of Conduct
Glengala Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Our school community recognises the importance of, and a responsibility for, ensuring our school is a safe, supportive and enriching environment, which respects and fosters the dignity and self-esteem of children and young people, and enables them to thrive in their learning and development.
This Code of Conduct aims to protect children and reduce any opportunities for child abuse or harm to occur. It also assists in understanding how to avoid or better manage risky behaviours and situations. It is intended to complement child protection legislation, Department policy, school policies and procedures and professional standards, codes or ethics as these apply to staff and other personnel.
The Principal and school leaders of Glengala Primary School will support the implementation and monitoring of this Code of Conduct, and will plan, implement and monitor arrangements to provide inclusive, safe and orderly schools and other learning environments. The Principal and school leaders of Glengala Primary School will also provide information and support to enable this Code of Conduct to operate effectively.
All staff, contractors, volunteers and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work are required to comply with this Code of Conduct by upholding the expectations for appropriate behaviour outlined below. This Code of Conduct applies in all school situations, including school camps and in the use of digital technology and social media.
As staff, volunteers, contractors, and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work individually, we are responsible for supporting and promoting the safety of children by:
- upholding the school’s statement of commitment to child safety at all times and adhering to the school’s child safe policy
- treating students and families in the school community with respect both within the school environment and outside the school environment as part of normal social and community activities
- listening and responding to the views and concerns of students, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused or that they are worried about their own safety or the safety of another child
- promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
- promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of students with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
- promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of students with a disability
- reporting any allegations of child abuse or other child safety concerns to the school’s Executive Team
- understanding and complying with all reporting or disclosure obligations (including mandatory reporting) as they relate to protecting children from harm or abuse
- if child abuse is suspected, ensuring as quickly as possible that the student(s) are safe and protected from harm.
As staff, volunteers, contractors, and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work we must not:
- ignore or disregard any concerns, suspicions or disclosures of child abuse
- develop a relationship with any student that could be seen as favouritism or amount to ‘grooming’ behaviour (for example, offering gifts)
- exhibit behaviours or engage in activities with students which may be interpreted as abusive and not justified by the educational, therapeutic, or service delivery context
- ignore behaviours by other adults towards students when they appear to be overly familiar or inappropriate
- discuss content of an intimate nature or use sexual innuendo with students, except where it occurs relevantly in the context of parental guidance, delivering the education curriculum or a therapeutic setting
- treat a child unfavourably because of their disability, age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability, sexuality or ethnicity
- communicate directly with a student or their family through personal or private contact channels (including by social media, email, instant messaging, texting etc) except where that communication is reasonable in all the circumstances, related to school work or extra-curricular activities or where there is a safety concern or other urgent matter
- photograph or video a child in a school environment except in accordance with school policy or where required for duty of care purposes
- in the school environment or at other school events where students are present, consume alcohol contrary to school policy  or take illicit drugs under any circumstances.
Breach of Code
Where an employee is suspected of breaching any obligation, duty or responsibility within this Code of Conduct, Glengala Primary School may start the process under Complaints, Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Performance guidelines for managing employment concerns. This may result in disciplinary consequences.
Where the principal is suspected of breaching any obligation, duty or responsibility within this policy, the concerned party is advised to contact the Regional Director. Relevant notification should also be made to the Department of Education and Training.
Where any other member of the school community is suspected of breaching any obligation, duty or responsibility within this policy, the school is to take appropriate action, including in accordance with Glengala Primary School Child Protection – Reporting Obligations Policy and/or contact the Department of Education Employee Conduct Branch, Victoria Police and/or Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
This Code of Conduct was endorsed/approved by the Glengala Primary School Council on for review if legislative or other changes require in the interim or no later than December 2018.
|A signed copy of this document is to be kept in the personal files of school staff and School Council records.
I, ______________________________________, confirm I have been provided with a copy of the above Code of Conduct.
Signed: ___________________________________ Date: __________
Child Safe Standard 3: Definitions
Child abuse includes—
any act committed against a child involving:
- a sexual offence or
- an offence under section 49B(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (grooming)
- the infliction, on a child, of:
- physical violence or
- serious emotional or psychological harm
- serious neglect of a child.
Child-connected work means work authorised by the school governing authority and performed by an adult in a school environment while children are present or reasonably expected to be present.
Child safety encompasses matters related to protecting all children from child abuse, managing the risk of child abuse, providing support to a child at risk of child abuse, and responding to incidents or allegations of child abuse.
Proprietor in relation to a government school, means the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training.
School environment means any physical or virtual place made available or authorised by the school governing authority for use by a child during or outside school hours, including:
- a campus of the school
- online school environments (including email and intranet systems)
- other locations provided by the school for a child’s use (including, without limitation, locations used for school camps, sporting events, excursions, competitions, and other events).
School governing authority means, in the case of a government school:
- the Secretary; or
- a school council, as authorised by or under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006; or
- the principal, as authorised by the proprietor of a school or under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.
School staff being an individual working in a school environment who is:
- directly engaged or employed by a school governing authority;
- a volunteer or a contracted service provider (whether or not a body corporate or any other person is an intermediary), and including a chaplain or minister of religion.
A school lead for child safety should have sufficient status and authority, including leadership support and the ability to direct other staff (where appropriate), to undertake the role effectively.