STA Standard 2

St Theresa’s School Albion
Commitment Statement to Child Safety
A safe and nurturing culture for all children in our Catholic
school
The Statement is intended to provide the central focus for child safety1at St Theresa’s
School, built around a unified understanding of the moral imperative and overarching
commitments that underpin our drive for improvement and cultural change.
The Catholic school sets out to be a school for the human person and of human
persons. ‘The person of each individual human being, in his or her material and
spiritual needs, is at the heart of Christ’s teaching: that is why the promotion of the
human person is the goal of the Catholic school’.
(Congregation for Catholic education 1997, par. 9)
St Theresa’s School holds the care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people as a central and
fundamental responsibility of Catholic education. This commitment is drawn from and inherent to the
teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the sanctity of each human person at the heart
of the Gospel.
St Theresa’s School has a universal expectation for the protection of children. It is resolutely committed to
ensuring that all those engaged in Catholic education in our school promote the inherent dignity of children
and young people and their fundamental right to be respected and nurtured in a safe school environment.
This is particularly so for the most vulnerable children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
children, children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with a disability.
St Theresa’s School has a moral, legal and mission-driven responsibility to create nurturing school
environment where children and young people are respected, their voices are heard and where they are
safe and feel safe. If allegations of abuse concerning children and young people are raised, St Theresa’s
School will take prompt action to have these appropriately referred and investigated. St Theresa’s School
is committed to effective practices in child safety and identifying and responding to child harm. St Theresa’s
School will strive for continual improvement that is responsive to emerging thinking, evidence and practice,
so as to eliminate the possibility of abuse occurring in the first place.
Creating child-safe school environments is a dynamic process that involves active participation and
responsibility by our school, our families and our communities. It is marked by collaboration, vigilance and
proactive approaches across policies, procedures, curriculum and practices.
Every person involved in St Theresa’s School has a responsibility to understand the important and specific
role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children is at the
forefront of all they do and every decision they make.
1
As defined by the Victorian Government Special Gazette No. 2 (2016), ‘children and young people’ in this document refers to
those children enrolled as students in St Theresa’s School.
St Theresa’s School commits to providing a safe and
nurturing culture for all children at our school through:
Upholding the primacy of the safety and wellbeing of children
and young people.
At all times, the ongoing safety and wellbeing of all children will be the primary focus of care and decisionmaking,
with particular attention paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with
a disability.
To create and maintain a safe and nurturing culture, schools will actively and continually develop and
review all policies, processes and practices, informed by emerging thinking and evidence.
Empowering families, children, young people and staff to have
a voice and raise concerns.
St Theresa’s School, in partnership with families, will ensure children and young people, are engaged and
active participants in decision-making processes, particularly those that have an impact on their safety.
This means that the views of staff, children, and families are taken seriously and their concerns are
addressed in a just and timely manner. Children are also provided with the necessary skills and knowledge
to understand and maintain their personal safety and wellbeing.
Implementing rigorous risk-management and employment
practices.
St Theresa’s School will systematically and continually identify and assess risks to child safety and will
eliminate (where possible) or reduce all potential sources of harm. Effective risk management will be
embedded in school life through effective, transparent and well-understood policies, procedures and
practices.
St Theresa’s School will employ highly competent and professional staff who are formed and challenged to
maintain the safety of all students. The high-quality of staff appointments will be upheld through rigorous
employment and staff review processes and practices.
St Theresa’s School will stay abreast of current legislation and will meet their legislative duties to protect
the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in their care, including the Victorian Child Safe
Standards (Victorian Government 2016), mandatory reporting, grooming, failure to disclose and failure to
protect requirements.
This commitment statement was endorsed by the Governing Authority of St
Theresa’s School on 07/06/2016
_________________________ supported by ___________________________
Fr Barry Hughes Mr Robert Macklin
Parish Priest Principal
References
Congregation for Catholic education 1997, The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, Vatican, Vatican City, accessed 24
February 2016 www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_27041998_school2000_en.html.
State of Victoria, Department of Education and Training 2016, Child Safe Standards – Managing the Risk of Child Abuse in Schools Ministerial
Order No. 870, Education & Training Reform Act 2006, Gazette No. S2, accessed 16 May 2016
www.gazette.vic.gov.au/gazette/Gazettes2016/GG2016S002.pdf.
Appendix 1: Definitions
\The Ministerial Order provides the following 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 (Vic.) (grooming)
- the infliction, on a child, of:
- physical violence, or
- serious emotional or psychological harm, or
- 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.
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 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); or
- a minister of religion.

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