STA Standard 4

Child Safe Standard 4
Screening, supervision, training and other human resources
practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing
personnel
Rationale
Staff selection, supervision and training are essential in ensuring that a nurturing school
environment and commitment to the safety of children is developed and sustained. These
practices also send strong messages about the school’s ‘zero tolerance of child abuse’
policy to prospective employees and volunteers.
Catholic schools have a moral, legal and mission-driven responsibility to create nurturing
school environments where children and young people are respected, their voices are heard
and where they are safe and feel safe (CECV 2016).
In Brief
Standard 4 establishes the human resources practices that schools should adopt in order to
reduce the risk of child abuse. Both newly recruited and existing staff and volunteers in
schools need to understand the importance of child safety, be trained to minimise the risk of
child abuse, and be aware of the school’s relevant policies and procedures. Recruitment
processes should be stringent in ensuring that relevant checks have been made. Induction
processes need to include information on the school’s policies, commitment and practices in
regards to child safety. Ongoing training, supervision and monitoring of suitability to work
with children should be part of a school’s human resources practices.
Ministerial Order Requirements
The Victorian government has introduced minimum Child Safe Standards into law to ensure
organisations providing services for children create child safe environments. In accordance
with Ministerial Order No. 870 (State of Victoria, Department of Education and Training
2016) all Victorian schools will be required to comply with these new standards from 1
August 2016 as part of their registration requirements.
The Ministerial Order (State of Victoria, Department of Education and Training 2016)
specifies the following requirements for schools regarding school staff selection, supervision
and management practices for a child-safe environment:
1. Subject to the requirements of the ETR Act, the school governing authority must ensure
that the school implements practices for a child-safe environment in accordance with this
clause.
2. Each job or category of jobs for school staff that involves child-connected work must have
a clear statement that sets out:
a. the job’s requirements, duties and responsibilities regarding child safety; and
b. the job occupant’s essential or relevant qualifications, experience and attributes in relation
to child safety.
3. All applicants for jobs that involve child-connected work for the school must be informed
about the school’s child safety practices (including the code of conduct).
4. In accordance with any applicable legal requirement or school policy, the school must
make reasonable e orts to gather, verify and record the following information about a person
whom it proposes to engage to perform child-connected work:
a.Working with Children Check status, or similar check;
b.proof of personal identity and any professional or other qualifcations;
c.the person’s history of work involving children; and
d. references that address the person’s suitability for the job and working with children
5. The school need not comply with the requirements in Clause 10(4) if it has already made
reasonable e orts to gather, verify and record the information set out in Clauses 10(4)(a) to
10(4)(d) about a particular individual within the previous 12 months.
6.The school must ensure that appropriate supervision or support arrangements are in place
in relation to:
- the induction of new school staff into the school’s policies, codes, practices, and
procedures governing child safety and child-connected work; and
- monitoring and assessing a job occupant’s continuing suitability for child-connected work.
St Theresa’s School Actions
St Theresa’s School has or will undertake to carry out the following to ensure that all staff,
volunteers and contractors are aware of and support the school’s zero tolerance to child
abuse and commitment to Child Safety:
• Revise and create clear role descriptions for staff and volunteers ensuring that duties and
responsibilities regarding child safety are included and that essential and relevant
qualifications, experiences and attributes in relation to child safety are clear.
• Provide all applicants with access to the school’s Child Safety policy and Code of
Conduct.
• Ensure that advertisements for new positions include a statement about the school’s
commitment to child safe practices.
• When recruiting and selecting staff , contractors and volunteers, the school will make
reasonable efforts to gather, verify and record the following information:
– Working with Children Check status, or similar check
– proof of personal identity and any professional or other qualifications
– the person’s history of work involving children
– references that address the person’s suitability for the job and working with
children.
• Include information on policies, practices and codes pertaining to child safety in the
school’s staff induction program.
• Establish processes for monitoring and assessing the continuing suitability of staff to work
with children including regularly reviews of the status of Working with Children
Checks and staff professional registration requirements such as VIT registration.
• Document the updated processes for selection and supervision of staff with regard to child
safety. Communicate these with the school’s governing authority and obtain their written
endorsement of these processes.
• Review and establish active supervision requirements for staff , contractors and volunteers
who work with children in the school.
• Continue to monitor, evaluate and review the human resource practices and procedures to
ensure that child safety is embedded in the school.
• Ensure inclusive practices in the school’s development and training of staff and volunteers.
• Enable regular professional learning and training of staff to build deeper understandings of
child safety and prevention of abuse.
• Consider how child safety and awareness can be incorporated into ongoing appraisal and
feedback processes for employees at the school.