STA Standard 3

Safeguarding Children and Young People
Code of Conduct
A safe and nurturing culture for all children in our Catholic school
Purpose
This Code of Conduct has a specific focus on safeguarding children and young people at St Theresa’s
School against sexual, physical, psychological and emotional abuse or neglect. It is intended to
complement other professional and/or occupational codes.
All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy and board/school council members at St Theresa’s School are
expected to actively contribute to a school culture that respects the dignity of its members and affirms the
Gospel values of love, care for others, compassion and justice. They are required to observe child safe
principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children, as noted
below.
Acceptable behaviours
All staff, volunteers and board/school council members are responsible for supporting the
safety of children by:
• adhering to the school’s child safe policy and upholding the school’s statement of commitment
to child safety at all times
• taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse
• treating everyone in the school community with respect
• listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling
you that they or another child has been abused or that they are worried about their safety/the
safety of another child
• promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
child’s self-identification)
• promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or
linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance of discrimination)
• promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example,
during personal care activities)
• ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not alone with a child
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• reporting any allegations of child abuse to the school’s leadership (or child safety officer if the
school has appointed someone to this role)
• understanding and complying with all reporting obligations as they relate to mandatory reporting
and reporting under the Crimes Act 1958
• reporting any child safety concerns to the school’s leadership (or child safety officer if the
school has appointed someone to this role)
• if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensuring as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are
safe
• reporting to the Victorian Institute of Teaching any charges, committals for trial or convictions in
relation to a sexual office by a registered teacher, or certain allegations or concerns about a
registered teacher.
Unacceptable behaviours
Staff and volunteers must not:
• ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse
• develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism (for example,
the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children)
• exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical (for
example inappropriate sitting on laps)
• put children at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors)
• initiate unnecessary physical contact which children or do things of a personal nature that a
child can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes
• engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for
example, personal social activities)
• use inappropriate language in the presence of children
• express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children
• discriminate against any child, including because of age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability,
sexuality, ethnicity or disability
• have contact with a child or their family outside of school without the school’s leadership or child
safety officer’s (if the school has appointed someone to this role) knowledge and/or consent
or the school governing authority’s approval (for example, unauthorised after hours tutoring,
private instrumental/other lessons or sport coaching). Accidental contact, such as seeing
people in the street, is appropriate.
• have any online contact with a child (including by social media, email, instant messaging etc) or
their family (unless necessary eg by providing families with e-newsletters or assisting
students with their school work)
• use any personal communication channels/device such as a personal email account
• exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking sites or email
addresses
• photograph or video a child without the consent of the parent or guardians
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• work with children whilst under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
• consume alcohol or drugs at school or at school events in the presence of children.
This code of conduct 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
I, ______________________________________, confirm I have been provided with a copy of the above
Code of Conduct.
Signed: ___________________________________ Date: __________