New Child Safe Standards

From 1 July 2022, all Victorian schools must have adopted the new Child Safe Standards which I have referred to in previous editions of this newsletter. These standards will be enforced in schools by the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

Some of the more noticeable developments you will see in the school are:

  • Policies, procedures, systems and processes to create culturally safe and inclusive schools identifying and confronting racism.
  • Consultation with local aboriginal Elders to appreciate the strengths of Aboriginal culture.
  • Policy development regarding strategies and actions relating to the empowerment of children and young people about their rights, their participation in decisions affecting them, and serious consideration of their opinions and interests.
  • Open engagement with families to participate in the development and review of school policies and practices.
  • Building a safe environment in which diverse and unique identities and experiences are respected and valued to support vulnerable students, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse families.
  • Processes for accessible child-focused complaints handling policies, including roles and responsibilities of leadership, volunteers and staff and how the school will respond to complaints, breaches of policies, codes of conduct and obligations of the school to act and report.
  • The school must ensure that physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for students to be harmed, without compromising students’ rights to privacy, access to information, social connections and learning opportunities.
  • Review and evaluation of child safety and wellbeing policies, procedures and practices at least every two years, consulting with parents, students and teachers.

Further details are available at:

Alan Clarke