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The Beaufort Secondary College Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy demonstrates our school’s commitment to creating and maintaining a child safe and child-friendly organisation, where children and young people are safe and feel safe.
This policy provides an overview of our school’s approach to implementing Ministerial Order 1359 which sets out how the Victorian Child Safe Standards apply in school environments.
It informs our school community of everyone’s obligations to act safely and appropriately towards children and guides our processes and practices for the safety and wellbeing of students across all areas of our work.
The following terms in this policy have specific definitions:
school boarding environment
school boarding premises staff
school governing authority
school boarding premises governing authority
Statement of commitment to child safety (Child Safe Standard 2)
Beaufort Secondary College is a child safe organisation which welcomes all children, young people and their families.
We are committed to providing environments where our students are safe and feel safe, where their participation is valued, their views respected, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Our child safe policies, strategies and practices are inclusive of the needs of all children and students.
We have no tolerance for child abuse and take proactive steps to identify and manage any risks of harm to students in our school environments.
We promote positive relationships between students and adults and between students and their peers. These relationships are based on trust and respect.
We take proactive steps to identify and manage any risk of harm to students in our school environment. When child safety concerns are raised or identified, we treat these seriously and respond promptly and thoroughly.
Particular attention is given to the child safety needs of Aboriginal students, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, international students, students with disabilities, those unable to live at home, children and young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) and other students experiencing risk or vulnerability. Inappropriate or harmful behaviour targeting students based on these or other characteristics, such as racism or homophobia, are not tolerated at our school, and any instances identified will be addressed with appropriate consequences.
Child safety is a shared responsibility. Every person involved in our school has an important role in promoting child safety and wellbeing and promptly raising any issues or concerns about a child’s safety.
We are committed to regularly reviewing our child safe practices, and seeking input from our students, families, staff, and volunteers to inform our ongoing strategies.
Roles and responsibilities
School leadership team
Our school leadership team (comprising the Principal and Assistant Principals) is responsible for ensuring that a strong child safe culture is created and maintained, and that policies and practices are effectively developed and implemented in accordance with Ministerial Order 1359.
Our Leadership Team will:
School staff and volunteers
All staff and volunteers will:
In performing the functions and powers given to them under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, school council members will:
Specific staff child safety responsibilities
At Beaufort Secondary College our Leadership Team and Student Wellbeing Team are the first point of contact for child safety concerns or queries and for coordinating responses to child safety incidents.
The Principal is responsible for monitoring the school’s compliance with the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy. Anyone in our school community should approach Principal if they have any concerns about the school’s compliance with the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy.
The Principal is responsible for informing the school community about this policy and making it publicly available.
Other specific roles and responsibilities are named in other child safety policies and procedures, including the Child Safety Code of Conduct, Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations (including Mandatory Reporting) Policy and Procedures, and Child Safety Risk Register.
Our Risk Management Committee monitors the Child Safety Risk Register.
Child Safety Code of Conduct
Our Child Safety Code of Conduct sets the boundaries and expectations for appropriate behaviours between adults and students. It also clarifies behaviours that are not acceptable in our physical and online environments.
We ensure that students also know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable so that they can be clear and confident about what to expect from adults in the school.
The Child Safety Code of Conduct also includes processes to report inappropriate behaviour.
Managing risks to child safety and wellbeing (Child Safe Standard 9)
At our school we identify, assess and manage risks to child safety and wellbeing in our physical and online school environments. These risks are managed through our child safety and wellbeing policies, procedures and practices, and in our activity specific risk registers, such as those we develop for off-site overnight camps, adventure activities and facilities and services we contract through third party providers for student use.
Our Child Safety Risk Register is used to record any identified risks related to child abuse alongside actions in place to manage those risks. Our school leadership team will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions in the Child Safety Risk Register at least annually.
The specific actions our school has adopted to support child safety in physical and online environments include:
Promoting a culture of online and physical safety for all students by:
Supervising students in all settings, including the yard, excursions and camps.
Informing students and their families about appropriate use of the school’s technology, safety tools and how to seek help and report concerns including cyberbullying and online grooming.
Keeping up to date with current online safety issues and expert information from specialist government and non-government bodies including the Office of the e-Safety Commissioner, and eSmart Schools.
Creating a respectful, sensitive and safe environment for our students to feel comfortable to talk about their experiences and seek support through strong relationships with school staff, in particular the Wellbeing Team.
Facilitating Force Blue (Blue Edge Program) at Beaufort Secondary College to improve and nurture the connections between students and the local police force. This program includes workshops that are delivered by the local police which address child safety topics such as cybersafety, bullying and risk-taking behaviours.
Recognising ‘Do it for Dolly Day’ and offering the associated ‘Dolly’s Dream’ workshops to students to promote awareness of the dangers of online bullying and how to access support.
Managing risk in physical spaces by:
Identifying and documenting the school’s child safety risks in the school’s risk register or equivalent and ensure strategies are in place to manage those risks.
Considering the range of school environments and the nature of physical spaces including onsite buildings and grounds, classrooms, corridors, and pick-up and drop off areas.
Considering off-site physical environments for student use and where reasonably possible, inspect these sites and venues for events, excursions, camps and international student accommodation ahead of time.
Considering risks arising from child-to-child and adult-to-child interactions in physical and online spaces.
Considering cultural safety.
Informing staff, volunteers and students where appropriate of identified risks and risk management strategies.
Keeping records of risk management activities, including risk assessments for camps and excursions.
Providing training and refresher training to staff and relevant volunteers on risk management policies and procedures.
Installation of vape detectors in student toilets to eliminate vaping in toilets and any anti-social behaviours that may result from this.
Being aware of risks posed by private spaces and corners in the school environment and having strategies to address these risks.
Informing students about spaces that are off limits, including out-of-bounds areas, storerooms and staff rooms.
Keeping records of any court orders in place regarding access or intervention orders and communicate to staff who can collect students in these circumstances.
Ensuring students know how to raise concerns and where to go if they need help.
Keeping records of incidents that occur, including accidents and medical events.
Informing students about online safety risks, including:
cyberbullying and trolling
invasion of privacy or digital surveillance
inappropriate sharing of images
phishing, harvesting of personal information or data theft
malevolent software (malware)
offensive images and messages
age-inappropriate online content
Outlining acceptable use of personal devices for students.
Prohibiting the use of student email addresses to sign up to unauthorised third-party services and communicate this expectation to students and the school community.
Using filtering software on school-based devices.
Advising students on how they can seek help from a trusted adult if they are exposed to inappropriate imagery or content that upsets them.
Monitoring online activity and respond to breaches of the online policies and procedures with appropriate consequences.
Addressing acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour in online environments in the school’s Child Safety Code of Conduct.
Outlining acceptable use of personal devices by staff and volunteers.
Dealing with misuse of digital devices and unacceptable behaviour in accordance with school policy.
Upholding policies and report breaches in accordance with the school’s complaints handling processes and Code of Conduct.
Providing avenues for students, families, carers, communities and staff to report online issues or concerns.
Protecting student privacy by supporting students to limit the amount of information provided online.
Considering procurement and third parties by:
Establishing a culturally safe environment (Child Safe Standard 1)
At Beaufort Secondary College, we are committed to establishing an inclusive and culturally safe school where the strengths of Aboriginal culture, values and practices are respected.
We think about how every student can have a positive experience in a safe environment. For Aboriginal students, we recognise the link between Aboriginal culture, identity and safety and actively create opportunities for Aboriginal students and the Aboriginal community to have a voice and presence in our school planning, policies, and activities.
We have developed the following strategies to promote cultural safety in our school community:
Begin events and meetings with an Acknowledgement of Country as a standing agenda item.
Fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
Display our Acknowledgement of Country plaque at the school entrance and in rooms throughout the school, as well as in the student diary.
Build schoolwide knowledge of First Nations people histories, cultures, perspectives, values, skills and attitudes through the compulsory First Nations Perspectives subject delivered in Year 7 and Year 8, in which information out about the Traditional Owners of the land/s where our school is situated on the Map of Indigenous Australia and learning about the importance of acknowledging Traditional Owners.
Use Koorie Engagement Support Officers (KESOs) to provide advice about creating a culturally inclusive learning environment.
Collaborate with KESOs and other First Nations people and groups to provide opportunities for ATSI students to experience and explore culture, such as camps, excursions and Welcome to Country ceremonies.
Acknowledge and draw upon the existing knowledge of Aboriginal students and their families.
Use the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan 2016–2026 to guide the school’s support for Aboriginal self-determination.
Have a zero tolerance of racism.
Ensure our bullying policy and student engagement and wellbeing policies guide our response to addressing racism from students, staff, volunteers or visitors directly.
Ensure staff undertake the Community Understanding Safety Training (CUST) so that staff understand the importance of Aboriginal culture to the wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal students.
Recognising key dates and anniversaries throughout the year.
Celebrating significant cultural days.
These strategies will create a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, students and their families and ensure students are encouraged and supported to express their culture and enjoy their cultural rights.
Student empowerment (Child Safe Standard 3)
To support child safety and wellbeing at Beaufort Secondary College, we work to create an inclusive and supportive environment that encourages students and families to contribute to our child safety approach and understand their rights and their responsibilities.
Respectful relationships between students are reinforced and we encourage strong friendships and peer support in the school to ensure a sense of belonging through:
discussions about healthy boundaries for friendships, pointing out that the risk of harm can occur in child-to-child interactions, as well as adult-to-child interactions,
We inform students of their rights through:
building trust by being open and transparent about information sharing and keeping the child and family informed each time their information is shared if it is appropriate, safe and reasonable to do so,
We empower students to contribute to school life by:
We establish protective factors by:
what to do when they feel unsafe
phrases they can use to raise an objection
pathways for raising safety concerns, and
online safety behaviours.
Communicate in a respectful and age-appropriate way by:
Use sensitivity and build trust by:
These programs and strategies will give students the skills and confidence to recognise unsafe situations with adults or other students and to speak up and act on concerns relating to themselves or their peers. We ensure our students know who to talk to if they are worried or feeling unsafe and we encourage them to share concerns with a trusted adult at any time. Students and families can also access information on how to report concerns at the school office.
When the school is gathering information in relation to a complaint about alleged misconduct or abuse of a child, we will listen to the complainant’s account and take them seriously, check our understanding of the complaint, support the student and keep them (and their parents and carers, as appropriate) informed about progress.
Family engagement (Child Safe Standard 4)
Our families and the school community have an important role in monitoring and promoting children’s safety and wellbeing and helping children to raise any concerns.
To support family engagement at Beaufort Secondary College, we are committed to providing families and community with accessible information about our school’s child safe policies and practices and involving them in our approach to child safety and wellbeing.
We will create opportunities for families to have input into the development and review of our child safety policies and practices and encourage them to raise any concerns and ideas for improvement.
We do this by:
seeking input from families and the community through the school council, subcommittees of school council, and student, staff, and parent meetings.
making all of our child safety policies and procedures available for staff, students and parents on the school website or from the school office.
informing families and the school community via newsletters, Compass communications and the school website about any significant updates to our child safety policies or processes, and strategies or initiatives that we are taking to ensure student safety.
displaying PROTECT Child Safety posters and anti-bullying posters across the school in the library, wellbeing rooms and Assistant Principal office.
We will continue to engage our new and existing families by:
providing new enrolments with family welcome packs that include information about child safety, the school's complaints processes and how to raise concerns,
conducting a Year 6 Information Evenings, Senior Subject Selection Evenings and other ‘open’ events, such as Awards Assemblies and ANZAC Ceremonies and extending the welcome to families and the broader community,
providing a welcoming environment at the school office so community members and families feel respected, included and safe to come onto school grounds,
regularly engaging with parents, carers and students and discuss the needs of students through parent/teacher interviews, SSGs and appointments,
communicating with and appropriately involve families at all stages of the process if a concern is raised or complaint is made,
making child safety a standing item at school council meetings.
Diversity and equity (Child Safe Standard 5)
As a child safe organisation, we celebrate the rich diversity of our students, families and community and promote respectful environments that are free from discrimination. Our focus is on wellbeing and growth for all.
We recognise that every child has unique skills, strengths and experiences to draw on.
We pay particular attention to individuals and groups of children and young people in our community with additional and specific needs. This includes tailoring our child safety strategies and supports to the needs of:
Aboriginal children and young people
children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
children and young people with disabilities
children unable to live at home or impacted by family violence
children and young people who identify as LGBTIQ+.
Our Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy provides more information about the measures we have in place to support diversity and equity.
Suitable staff and volunteers (Child Safe Standard 6)
At Beaufort Secondary College, we apply robust child safe recruitment, induction, training, and supervision practices to ensure that all staff, contractors, and volunteers are suitable to work with children.
When recruiting staff, we follow the Department of Education and Training’s recruitment policies and guidelines, available on the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) at:
When engaging staff to perform child-related work, we:
All newly appointed staff will be expected to participate in our child safety and wellbeing induction program. The program will include a focus on:
Ongoing supervision and management of staff
All staff engaged in child-connected work will be supervised appropriately to ensure that their behaviour towards children is safe and appropriate.
Staff will be monitored and assessed to ensure their continuing suitability for child-connected work. This will be done formally via:
We also monitor staff-student interactions informally via:
Inappropriate behaviour towards children and young people will be managed swiftly and in accordance with our school and department policies and our legal obligations. Child safety and wellbeing will be paramount.
Suitability of volunteers
All volunteers are required to comply with our Volunteers Policy: http://www.beaufortsc.vic.edu.au/Volunteers-Policy.html, which describes how we assess the suitability of prospective volunteers and outlines expectations in relation to child safety and wellbeing induction and training, and supervision and management.
Child safety knowledge, skills and awareness (Child Safe Standard 8)
Ongoing training and education are essential to ensuring that staff understand their roles and responsibilities and develop their capacity to effectively address child safety and wellbeing matters.
In addition to the child safety and wellbeing induction, our staff will participate in a range of training and professional learning to equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to maintain a child safe environment.
Staff child safety and wellbeing training will be delivered at least annually and will include guidance on:
Other professional learning and training on child safety and wellbeing, for example, training for our volunteers, will be tailored to specific roles and responsibilities and any identified or emerging needs or issues.
In addition to formal whole staff training, we:
School council training and education
To ensure our school council is equipped with the knowledge required to make decisions in the best interests of student safety and wellbeing, and to identify and mitigate child safety and wellbeing risks in our school environment, the council is trained annually. Training includes guidance on:
Complaints and reporting processes (Child Safe Standard 7)
Beaufort Secondary College fosters a culture that encourages staff, volunteers, students, parents, and the school community to raise concerns and complaints. This makes it more difficult for breaches of the code of conduct, misconduct or abuse to occur and remain hidden.
We have clear pathways for raising complaints and concerns and responding and this is documented in our school’s Complaints Policy.
If there is an incident, disclosure, allegation or suspicion of child abuse, all staff and volunteers (including school council employees) must follow our Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations Policy and Procedures. Our policy and procedures address complaints and concerns of child abuse made by or in relation to a child or student, school staff, volunteers, contractors, service providers, visitors or any other person while connected to the school.
As soon as any immediate health and safety concerns are addressed, and relevant school staff have been informed, we will ensure our school follows:
Our Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy and Bullying Prevention Policy cover complaints and concerns relating to student physical violence or other harmful behaviours.
Communications (Child Safe Standard 11)
Beaufort Secondary College is committed to communicating our child safety strategies to the school community through:
Privacy and information sharing
We acknowledge that good records management practices are a critical element of child safety and wellbeing and manage our records in accordance with the Department of Education and Training’s policy: Records Management – School Records
Review of child safety practices (Child Safe Standard 10)
At Beaufort Secondary College, we have established processes for the review and ongoing improvement of our child safe policies, procedures, and practices.
review and improve our policy every 2 years or after any significant child safety incident,
analyse any complaints, concerns, and safety incidents to improve policy and practice,
act with transparency and share pertinent learnings and review outcomes with school staff and our school community.
Related policies and procedures
This Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy is to be read in conjunction with other related school policies, procedures, and codes. These include our:
Bullying Prevention Policy
Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations Policy and Procedures
Child Safety Code of Conduct
Digital Learning Policy
Inclusion and Diversity Policy
Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy
Related Department of Education and Training policies
Other related documents
Policy status and review
The Principal is responsible for reviewing and updating the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy at least every two years. The review will include input from students, parents/carers and the Beaufort Secondary College community.
KESO – Zeta Wilson Date: 6th July 2023
Community/Staff Date: 19th July 2023
Beaufort School Council Date: 26th July 2023
Karl Schier, Principal
Next review date