Child Safe Standards

The Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian early childhood services and schools, to ensure they are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect. Please find below our school’s key child safe documents.

  • Child Safe Policy
  • Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
  • Child Safe Code of Conduct
  • Mandatory Reporting Policy
  • Working with Children Check Policy
  • Student Engagement & Well-Being Policy

Protect

Protecting children and young people from abuse is our responsibility

Learn more >

Child Safe Policy

Download as PDF

Rationale:

All Victorian schools are required to have a child safety policy or statement of commitment to child

safety that details:

the principles that will guide the school in developing policies and procedures to create and maintain a child safe school environment; and the actions the school proposes to take to:

  1. demonstrate its commitment to child safety and monitor the school’s adherence to its child safety policy;
  2. support, encourage and enable school staff, parents, and children to understand, identify, discuss and report child safety matters; and

iii. support or assist children who disclose child abuse, or are otherwise linked to suspected child abuse.

Statement of Commitment to Child Safety:

Echuca West Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.

Echuca West Primary School has zero tolerance for child abuse.

Echuca West Primary School is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.

Every person involved in Echuca West Primary 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 and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

 * Please refer to our full Statement of Commitment document which outlines our principles for Child Safety

Child Safe Code of Conduct:

Echuca West Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Our school community recognises the importance of, and a responsibility for, ensuring our school is a safe, supportive and enriching environment which respects and fosters the dignity and self-esteem of children and young people, and enables them to thrive in their learning and development.

To this end, we have developed a Code of Conduct that aims to protect children and reduce any opportunities for child abuse or harm to occur. It also assists in understanding how to avoid or better manage risky behaviours and situations. It is intended to complement child protection legislation, Department policy, school policies and procedures and professional standards, codes or ethics as these apply to staff and other personnel.

* Please refer to our full Child Safe Code of Conduct document which outlines acceptable and unacceptable behaviours for all staff, volunteers, contractors, and any other member of the school community.

Our children

The children at Echuca West Primary School are empowered, vital and active participants. We involve them when making decisions, especially about matters that directly affect them. We listen to their views and respect what they have to say.

We promote diversity and tolerance and people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds are welcome. In particular we:

  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Indigenous children
  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • ensure that children with a disability are safe and can participate equally.

* Please refer to our Student Engagement & Well-Being Policy for more information.

Our staff and volunteers

This policy guides our staff, parent helpers and volunteers on how to behave with children.

All of our staff, parent helpers and volunteers must agree to abide by our code of conduct which specifies the standards of conduct required when working with children. All staff, students and the wider members of the school community are given the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Code of Conduct.

Training and supervision

Training and education is important to ensure that everyone in Echuca West Primary School understands that child safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Our culture aims for all staff, students and wider members of our community to feel confident and comfortable in discussing any allegations of child abuse or child safety concerns. We train our staff to identify, assess, and minimise risks of child abuse and to detect potential signs of child abuse.

We support our staff through ongoing Professional Development to: develop their skills to protect children from abuse; and promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from linguistically and/or diverse backgrounds, and the safety of children with a disability.

We ensure all staff and volunteers understand Echuca West Primary School’s commitment to child safety and that everyone has a role to play in protecting children from abuse, as well as checking that their behaviour towards children is safe and appropriate. Any inappropriate behaviour will be reported through appropriate channels, including the Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria Police, depending on the severity and urgency of the matter.

Recruitment

We take all reasonable steps to employ skilled people to work with our children. We develop selection criteria and advertisements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to child safety and an awareness of our social and legislative responsibilities. Echuca West Primary School understands that when recruiting staff and volunteers we have ethical as well as legislative obligations.

We actively encourage applications from Aboriginal peoples, people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.

All staff, contractors, volunteers and any other member of the school community engaged by Echuca West Primary School are required to hold a Working with Children Check and to provide evidence of this Check.

We carry out reference checks to ensure that we are recruiting the right people.

* Please refer to our Working with Children Check Policy for more information.

Fair procedures for personnel

The safety and wellbeing of children is our primary concern. We are also fair and just to personnel. The decisions we make when recruiting, assessing incidents, and undertaking disciplinary action will always be thorough, transparent, and based on evidence.

We record all allegations of abuse and safety concerns using our incident reporting form, including investigation updates. All records are securely stored.

If an allegation of abuse or a safety concern is raised, we provide updates to children and families on progress and any actions we as an organisation take.

Privacy

All personal information considered or recorded will respect the privacy of the individuals involved, whether they be staff, volunteers, parents or children, unless there is a risk to someone’s safety. We have safeguards and practices in place to ensure any personal information is protected. Everyone is entitled to knowhow this information is recorded, what will be done with it, and who will have access to it.

Legislative responsibilities

Echuca West Primary School takes our legal responsibilities seriously, including:

  • Failure to disclose: Reporting child sexual abuse is a community-wide responsibility. All adults in Victoria who have a reasonable belief that an adult has committed a sexual offence against a child under 16 have an obligation to report that information to the police.
  • Failure to protect: People of authority in Echuca West Primary School will commit an offence if they know of a substantial risk of child sexual abuse and have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently fail to do so.
  • Any personnel who are mandatory reporters must comply with their duties.

* Please refer to our Mandatory Reporting Policy for more information.

Risk management

In Victoria, organisations are required to protect children when a risk is identified (see information about failure to protect above). We have risk management strategies in place to identify, assess, and take steps to minimise child abuse risks, which include risks posed by physical environments (for example, any doors that can lock), and online environments (for example, no staff or volunteer is to have contact with a child in organisations on social media).

Allegations, concerns and complaints

Echuca West Primary School takes all allegations seriously and has practices in place to investigate thoroughly and quickly. Our staff are trained to deal appropriately with allegations.

We work to ensure all children, families, staff and volunteers know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour.

We all have a responsibility to report an allegation of abuse if we have a reasonable belief that an incident took place (see information about failure to disclose above).

If an adult has a reasonable belief that an incident has occurred then they must report the incident. Factors contributing to reasonable belief may be:

  • a child states they or someone they know has been abused (noting that sometimes the child may in fact be referring to themselves)
  • behaviour consistent with that of an abuse victim is observed
  • someone else has raised a suspicion of abuse but is unwilling to report it
  • observing suspicious behaviour

Echuca West Primary School staff have a duty of care to protect and preserve the safety, health and wellbeing of children and young people in their care and staff must always act in the best interests of those children and young people. If a staff member has any concerns regarding the health, safety or wellbeing of a child it is important to take immediate action.

Regular review

This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s three-year review cycle.

Child Safe Standard 2: Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

Download as PDF

Echuca West Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.

Echuca West Primary School has zero tolerance for child abuse.

Echuca West Primary School is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.

Every person involved in Echuca West Primary 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 and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

Echuca West Primary School’s Principles for Child Safety

“In its planning, decision-making and operations Echuca West Primary School will

  1. Take a preventative, proactive and participatory approach to child safety;
  2. Value and empower children to participate in decisions which affect their lives;
  3. Foster a culture of openness that supports all persons to safely disclose risks of harm to children
  4. Respect diversity in cultures and child rearing practices while keeping child safety paramount;
  5. Provide written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children;
  6. Engage only the most suitable people to work with children and have high quality staff and volunteer supervision and professional development;
  7. Ensure children know who to talk with if they are worried or are feeling unsafe, and that they are comfortable and encouraged to raise such issues;
  8. Report suspected abuse, neglect or mistreatment promptly to the appropriate authorities;
  9. Share information appropriately and lawfully with other organisations where the safety and wellbeing of children is at risk; and
  10. Value the input of and communicate regularly with families and carers.

Child Safe Code of Conduct

Download as PDF

Echuca West Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Our school community recognises the importance of, and a responsibility for, ensuring our school is a safe, supportive and enriching environment which respects and fosters the dignity and self-esteem of children and young people, and enables them to thrive in their learning and development.

This Code of Conduct aims to protect children and reduce any opportunities for child abuse or harm to occur. It also assists in understanding how to avoid or better manage risky behaviours and situations. It is intended to complement child protection legislation, Department policy, school policies and procedures and professional standards, codes or ethics as these apply to staff and other personnel.

The Principal and school leaders of Echuca West Primary School will support implementation and monitoring of the Code of Conduct, and will plan, implement and monitor arrangements to provide inclusive, safe and orderly schools and other learning environments. The Principal and school leaders of Echuca West Primary School will also provide information and support to enable the Code of Conduct to operate effectively.

All staff, contractors, volunteers and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work are required to comply with the Code of Conduct by observing expectations for appropriate behaviour below. The Code of Conduct applies in all school situations, including school camps and in the use of digital technology and social media.

Acceptable behaviours

As staff, volunteers, contractors, and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work are responsible for supporting and promoting the safety of children by:

  • upholding the school’s statement of commitment to child safety at all times and adhering to the school’s child safe policy.
  • treating students and families in the school community with respect both within the school environment and outside the school environment as part of normal social and community activities.
  • listening and responding to the views and concerns of students, 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 students
  • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of students with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of students with a disability.
  • reporting any allegations of child abuse or other child safety concerns to the school’s leadership.
  • understanding and complying with all reporting or disclosure obligations (including mandatory reporting) as they relate to protecting children from harm or abuse.
  • if child abuse is suspected, ensuring as quickly as possible that the student(s) are safe and protected from harm.

 Unacceptable behaviours

As staff, volunteers, contractors, and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work we must not:

  • ignore or disregard any concerns, suspicions or disclosures of child abuse
  • develop a relationship with any student that could be seen as favouritism or amount to ‘grooming’ behaviour (for example, offering gifts)
  • exhibit behaviours or engage in activities with students which may be interpreted as abusive and not justified by the educational, therapeutic, or service delivery context
  • ignore behaviours by other adults towards students when they appear to be overly familiar or inappropriate
  • discuss content of an intimate nature or use sexual innuendo with students, except where it occurs relevantly in the context of parental guidance, delivering the education curriculum or a therapeutic setting
  • treat a child unfavourably because of their disability, age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability, sexuality or ethnicity.
  • communicate directly with a student through personal or private contact channels (including by social media, email, instant messaging, texting etc) except where that communication is reasonable in all the circumstances, related to school work or extra-curricular activities or where there is a safety concern or other urgent matter
  • photograph or video a child in a school environment except in accordance with school policy or where required for duty of care purposes[1]
  • in the school environment or at other school events where students are present, consume alcohol contrary to school policy [2] or take illicit drugs under any circumstances.

Mandatory Reporting Policy

Download as PDF

Statement

A broad range of professional groups are identified in the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA) as mandatory reporters. Mandated staff members must make a report to Child Protection as soon as practicable after forming a belief on reasonable grounds that a child or young person is in need of protection from significant harm as a result of physical injury or sexual abuse, and the child’s parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child.

The following professionals are prescribed as mandatory reporters under section 182 of the CYFA:

  • primary and secondary school teachers and principals (including students in training to become teachers)
  • registered medical practitioners (including psychiatrists)
  • nurses (including school nurses)
  • police.

There may be times when two or more mandated staff members, for example a teacher and a principal, have formed a belief about the same child or young person on the same occasion. In this situation it is sufficient for only one of the mandated staff members to make a report. The other staff member is obliged to ensure that the report has been made and that all of the grounds for their own belief were included in the report made by the other staff member.

Non-mandated staff members

Section 183 of the CYFA states that any person, who believes on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection, may report their concerns to Child Protection. This means that any person, including non-mandated school staff, is able to make a report to Child Protection when they believe that a child or young person is at risk of harm and in need of protection, and the child’s parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child.

Forming a belief on reasonable grounds

A person may form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection after becoming aware that a child or young person’s health, safety or wellbeing is at risk and the child’s parents are unwilling or unable to protect the child.

There may be reasonable grounds for forming such a belief if:

  • a child or young person states that they have been physically or sexually abused
  • a child or young person states that they know someone who has been physically or sexually abused (sometimes the child may be talking about themselves)
  • someone who knows the child or young person states that the child or young person has been physically or sexually abused
  • a child shows signs of being physically or sexually abused.
  • the staff member is aware of persistent family violence or parental substance misuse, psychiatric illness or intellectual disability that is impacting on the child or young person’s safety, stability or development
  • the staff member observes signs or indicators of abuse, including non-accidental or unexplained injury, persistent neglect, poor care or lack of appropriate supervision
  • a child’s actions or behaviour may place them at risk of significant harm and the child’s parents are unwilling or unable to protect the child.

Reporting a belief

Echuca West Primary School staff members need to report their belief when the belief is formed in the course of undertaking their professional duties. A report must be made as soon as practicable after forming the belief and on each occasion on which they become aware of any further reasonable grounds for the belief.

If one staff member has a different view from another staff member about making a report and the staff member continues to hold the belief that a child is in need of protection, that person is obliged to make a report to Child Protection.

Protecting the identity of the reporter

Confidentiality is provided for reporters under the CYFA. The CYFA prevents disclosure of the name or any information likely to lead to the identification of a person who has made a report in accordance with legislation, except in specific circumstances.

The identity of a reporter must remain confidential unless:

  • the reporter chooses to inform the child, young person or family of the report
  • the reporter consents in writing to their identity being disclosed
  • a court or tribunal decides that it is necessary for the identity of the reporter to be disclosed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child
  • a court or tribunal decides that, in the interests of justice, the reporter is required to attend court to provide evidence.

Information provided during a protective investigation may be used in a court report if the risks to the child or young person require the case to proceed to court. In these circumstances, the source of the information may be required to provide evidence to the court.

If Child Protection decides that the report is about a significant concern for the wellbeing of a child, they may refer the report to a community-based child and family service and disclose the identity of the reporter to that service. However, the CYFA provides that neither Child Protection nor the community-based child and family service may disclose the reporter’s identity to any other person without the reporter’s consent.

Professional protection for reporters

If a report is made in good faith:

  • it does not constitute unprofessional conduct or a breach of professional ethics on the part of the reporter
  • the reporter cannot be held legally liable in respect of the report.

This means that a person who makes a report in accordance with the legislation will not be held liable for the eventual outcome of any investigation of the report.

Failure to report

A failure by mandated professionals and staff members to report a reasonable belief that a child is in need of protection from significant harm as a result of physical or sexual abuse may result in the person being prosecuted and a court imposing a fine under the CYFA.

Making a report to Child Protection

A report to Child Protection should be considered if, after taking into account all of the available information, the staff member forms a view that the child or young person is in need of protection because:

  • the harm or risk of harm has a serious impact on the child’s immediate safety, stability or

development

  • the harm or risk of harm is persistent and entrenched and is likely to have a serious impact on the child’s safety, stability or development
  • the child’s parents cannot or will not protect the child or young person from harm.

Where during the course of carrying out their normal duties, an Echuca West Primary School staff member forms the belief on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection, the staff member must make a report to Child Protection regarding this belief and the reasonable grounds for it as soon as practicable.

Staff members may form a professional judgement or belief, in the course of undertaking their professional duties based on:

  • warning signs or indicators of harm that have been observed or inferred from information about the child
  • legal requirements, such as mandatory reporting
  • knowledge of child and adolescent development
  • consultation with colleagues and other professionals
  • professional obligations and duty-of-care responsibilities
  • established protocols
  • internal policies and procedures in an individual licensed children’s service or school.

Upon receipt of a report, Child Protection may seek further information, usually from professionals who may also be involved with the child or family, to determine whether further action is required.

In most circumstances, Child Protection will inform the reporter of the outcome of the report. When the report is classified by Child Protection as a Wellbeing Report, Child Protection will, in turn, make a referral to Child FIRST.

Any person who is registered as a teacher under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, or any person who has been granted permission to teach under that Act, including principals, is mandated to make a report to Child Protection. In the course of undertaking their professional duties, mandated staff members are required to report their belief, when the belief is formed on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection from significant harm as a result of sexual abuse or physical injury.

The school policy and procedures stipulate how teaching staff fulfil their duty of care towards children and young people in their school.

Echuca West Primary School teachers are encouraged to discuss any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of students with the principal. If the principal does not wish to make a mandatory report, this does not discharge the teacher’s obligation to do so if they have formed a reasonable belief that abuse may have occurred. If the teacher’s concerns continue, even after consultation with the principal, that teacher is still legally obliged to make a mandatory report of their concerns.

Information about the identity of a person making a report to Child Protection must be kept confidential unless the reporter consents to the disclosure of their identity. If the staff member wishes to remain anonymous, this information should be conveyed at the time that the reporter makes the mandatory report.

The role of school staff

Echuca West Primary School staff have a duty of care to protect and preserve the safety, health and wellbeing of children and young people in their care and staff must always act in the best interests of those children and young people. If a staff member has any concerns regarding the health, safety or wellbeing of a child it is important to take immediate action.

Note: The role of investigating an allegation of child abuse rests solely with Child Protection and/or Victoria Police.

The roles and responsibilities of staff in supporting children who are involved with Child Protection may include acting as a support person for students, attending Child Protection case plan meetings, observing and monitoring students’ behaviour, and liaising with professionals.

Confidentiality

Echuca West Primary School staff will respect confidentiality when dealing with a case of suspected child abuse and neglect, and may discuss case details and the identity of the child and their family only with those involved in managing the situation.

When a child has moved to another school, professional judgement should be exercised as to what information needs to be passed on. This will be guided by usual procedures for passing on information about a child’s general wellbeing or special needs, and the role of the school in any ongoing care plans. 

Interviews at Victorian schools

Child Protection may conduct interviews of children at school without parental knowledge or consent. However, a child will be interviewed at a Victorian school only in exceptional circumstances and if it is in the child’s best interests to proceed in this manner. Child Protection will notify the school of any intention to interview a child. This may occur regardless of whether the school is the source of the report to Child Protection.

When Child Protection practitioners arrive at the school, the principal or their nominee should ask to see their identification before allowing Child Protection to have access to the child.

Support persons

Children and young people should be advised of their right to have a supportive adult present during interviews. If a child is too young to understand the significance of the interview, a staff member should make arrangements for a supportive adult to attend with the child.

An Echuca West Primary School staff member may be identified as a support person for the child during the interview. Prior to the commencement of the interview, the Child Protection practitioner should always authorise the staff member to receive information regarding Child Protection’s investigation.

This may occur verbally or in writing using the relevant Child Protection proforma.

Independent persons must refrain from providing their opinions or accounts of events during interviews. A principal or their delegate may act as an independent person when the child or young person is to be interviewed, unless they believe that doing so will create a conflict of interest.

Advising parents, carers or guardians

An Echuca West Primary School staff member does not require the permission of parents, carers or guardians to make a report to Child Protection, nor are they required to tell parents, carers or guardians that they have done so.

It is the responsibility of Child Protection to advise the parents, carers or guardians of the interview at the earliest possible opportunity. This should occur either before, or by the time the child arrives home.

Ensuring that a Child Protection interview takes place

Echuca West Primary School does not have the power to prevent parents, carers or guardians from removing their children from the school and should not attempt to prevent the parents, carers or guardians from collecting the child. If a parent/carer or guardian removes a child before a planned interview has taken place, the principal should contact Child Protection or Victoria Police immediately.

Staff Training

Echuca West Primary School staff will be informed of Mandatory Reporting requirements as part of their initial induction to the school and will be provided with supporting documentation in their staff handbook.

Updates will take place annually as part of the Performance and Development/Staff meeting rotation.

Evaluation

This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s three-year review cycle.

Working with Children Check Policy

Download as PDF

Preamble

The Working with Children (WWC) check aims to assist in protecting children from sexual or physical harm. It is designed to complement good selection, supervision and training practices (including rigorous reference checking).

The intent of this procedure is to outline which positions at the school require a WWC check and the process to be followed.

 

This procedure applies to all positions at Echuca West Primary School including volunteer, honorary, consultant and contractor positions. Any reference to ‘candidates’ also extends to staff currently occupying a position.

Definitions

Child: a person who is under the age of 18 years.

Student: any child who is enrolled at the School

What is the WWC check?

The WWC check verifies a person’s history to make sure they do not have any relevant criminal offences or findings from professional disciplinary bodies.  The WWC check is valid for 5 years (unless revoked). During this time the cardholder continues to be checked for new relevant offences or findings. The WWC check is administered by the Department of Justice.

When is a WWC check required?

A WWC check is required for positions that meet all of the following criteria:

  • involve contact with children in connection with our school
  • the contact happens on a regular (everyday) basis;
  • involve direct contact with children and this contact is not directly supervised; and
  • the position does not qualify for an exemption as listed under the act.

What is the application process?

The candidate must complete a Working with Children Check application form. The forms are available online.

Under the section marked ‘Details of Organisation’, candidates should ensure they state Echuca West Primary School.

If the applicant passes the check they will be sent a successful Assessment Notice, followed by a WWC check card 2-3 weeks later.

Further information about the application process is available on the Department of Justice webpage.

What if the applicant does not pass the check?

If the applicant does not pass the check they will be given an Interim Negative Notice. The applicant can then make a submission to the Department of Justice to explain why they believe they should pass. If this submission is not successful the applicant will be issued with a Negative Notice. This means they have failed the WWC Check and cannot undertake ‘child-related work’ or work in the school.

When can the candidate commence?

Commencement at Echuca West Primary School is conditional upon receipt of a successful Assessment Notice or WWC check card. Any queries should be directed to the Principal.

Who pays for the WWC check?

Candidates who are required to undergo a WWC check as a condition of working in the school will not be able to receive reimbursement for the cost from the school.

Responsibilities

The school must:

  • identify all staff who require a Working with Children check;
  • ensure existing staff and volunteers are informed of the requirement to undergo the check;
  • ensure prospective staff and volunteers have passed a WWC check before commencement;
  • check the card’s validity on the Department of Justice webpage;
  • have a photocopy of the WWC card and with details updated on the school register ( if individual is a staff member, copy to be kept on the staff member’s personnel file)
  • ensure suitable monitoring procedures are in place to ensure staff members hold a valid WWC check card at all times.

The staff member or volunteer must:

  • provide the successful WWC check card prior to commencement at the school.
  • notify the office if there has been a relevant change in circumstances, for example, if they have been charged or found guilty of a new relevant offence.
  • apply for a new WWC check before their card expires.

What is the difference between a WWC Check and a police records check?

A police records check gives information about a person’s past criminal record and is only valid at the time of issue. The WWC check is valid for 5 years (unless revoked). During this time, cardholders continue to be checked for new relevant offences or disciplinary findings from professional bodies such as the Victorian Institute of Teaching. In addition, not all criminal offences are relevant to the WWC check. Broadly, the WWC check considers serious sexual and violent drug offences.

A staff member or volunteer is required to undertake a WWC check even if they have already completed a police records check.

Related Documents

Further information is available from the Department of Justice Working with Children webpage or the Working with Children information line on 1300 652 879

School Register

Echuca West Primary School will take a copy of each WWCC and they will be filed in a safe location as per the Staff Registers Policy.

The register will be placed on the admin network U:clerical\WWC.

Evaluation:

This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s three-year review cycle.

Student Engagement & Well-Being Policy

Download as PDF

Our School Purpose:

At Echuca West Primary School, we provide a caring and safe environment where all children are motivated to reach their potential as effective and resilient members of the community.

 

Our School Values:

Respect – having regard for self, others and the environment

Inclusion – Sense of Belonging

Integrity – Being honest and fair

Responsibility – Being responsible for your actions and words

Personal Best – Striving for Excellence

 

 

              

 

Whole School Prevention Statement

At Echuca West Primary School, we strive to develop an inclusive and safe culture where everyone in our school community feels valued and empowered. We implement a range of preventative and pro –active measures that reiterates pro-social behaviours and fosters a culture of wellbeing across the school.

Rights and Responsibilities

 

Every member of our school community has a right to fully participate at Echuca West Primary School where they should feel safe, supported and included. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Below is a table of rights, responsibilities and rules created in consultation with the students:

 

Our rights are:

 

To learn

To be safe

To be heard

To be respected

To speak

To listen to others

To be included

To have fun

To have an opinion

To be ourselves

 

Our responsibilities are:

 

To let others learn

Think Safe, Act Safe

Treat people like you like to be treated

Listen to others

Respect others and property

Look after yourself and others

Let others speak

Include others

Let others have fun

Respect others’ opinions

Value difference

 

Our School Rules

 

Think Safe / Act Safe

 

Respect People and Property (mutual respect)

 

Include others

 

 

 

Student Engagement:

Behavioural Engagement:

 

There are a range of programs that support a positive school culture which include:

  • Solving the Jigsaw
  • My School Too
  • Classroom Circles
  • Buddies
  • Values Program (Includes Tribes, Jigsaw and Bounce Back)
  • Classroom Agreements
  • Restorative Practises to reaffirm relationships
  • Rewarding positive behaviours
  • Parent library

These programs teach our children explicitly about pro –social behaviours. They promote our school values; teach skills in maintaining and re-building relationships; and address behavioural expectations. These programs provide our students with shared values, consistent expectations and a common language to use across the whole school.

Emotional Engagement:

A broad range of programs are offered encouraging wider student participation. Some of these include:

  • Student Action Group
  • Whole school events
  • School Leaders Program
  • Young Leaders Program
  • House Groups
  • My School Too
  • Classroom circles
  • Vertical grouping activities e.g. House Shuffle
  • Weekly Assemblies
  • School performances
  • Parental involvement
  • Community Morning teas
  • Buddies program across the school
  • Regular school attendance
  • Chaplaincy

The school endeavours to provide a range of programs that encourage emotional engagement and school connectedness. Echuca West Primary School supports students to reach their potential in all aspects of school life.

Cognitive Engagement:

Some of the programs that support the cognitive engagement of our students include:

  • Individual learning plans for Koorie students and students with specific learning difficulties or high needs
  • Small targeted groups
  • 1:1 Netbooks in Grade 5 and laptops in Grade 6
  • Extra curricula activities
  • ICT integrated across the school
  • Self directed learning opportunities
  • Problem solving
  • Differentiated teaching programs
  • Positive parent partnerships
  • Active Afterschool program

Engaging students cognitively at Echuca West Primary School is a major focus. We strive to cater for individual needs and interests across the whole school.

Attendance

Echuca West Primary School recognises that full attendance is conducive to student engagement, allowing students to maximise their learning opportunities and teachers to teach effectively. The school also recognises that when a student begins to disengage from learning, attendance can become less consistent. Regular roll taking is a valuable indicator of engagement or emerging issues. Rolls are marked every day using the Department’s CASES21 system allowing the school to monitor both the attendance, and lateness, of students. Ongoing issues of attendance are then followed up by our Assistant Principal of Welfare.

 

RESPONDING TO AND SUPPORTING INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS

At Echuca West Primary School, student engagement, regular attendance and positive behaviours are encouraged at all times. When and if the rights of others are jeopardised, fair and appropriate actions will be implemented to support the student to re-build relationships, re-gain their rights and fulfil their responsibilities.

Bullying and Cyberbullying

“Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term efects on those involved, including bystanders. Single incidents and conflicts or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.” (‘Bullying Hurts’ brochure, Alannah and Madeline Foundation, 2015.)

Behaviour Management Guidelines

Our school implements a staged response to inappropriate behaviour when the rights of others have been violated.

STAGE 1

  • Restorative conversation with a staff member and others involved in order to repair relationships and encourage students to take ownership of their behaviour. *

STAGE 2

  • Restorative conversation with the Principal and others involved.

STAGE 3

  • Parental involvement.

STAGE 4

  • Removal of student’s name from the My School Too board.
  • An individual behaviour plan is established in order to address behavioural issues and ultimately have name returned to the My School Too Board.
  • Contact outside agencies where necessary.

* Subclause:  If a student refuses to engage in the restorative process, staff members may choose to implement punitive consequences.

Severe behaviours:  For severe behaviours, such issues will be referred directly to the Principal.

Punitive Consequences

If a student does not engage in the restorative practices process, then other punitive consequences will be implemented, such as removal of privileges.

Suspension

Suspension will be used when all other measures have been implemented without success, or where an immediate suspension is the only course of action given the student’s behaviour.

If this occurs:

  • The student will only be suspended for the shortest time necessary.
  • Appropriate and meaningful school work will be provided by the school.
  • Parents / carers are requested to attend a student support group meeting to be convened during this time.
  • The principal can decide whether it shall be an ‘in – school’ or ‘out of school’ suspension.
  • One or more post suspension meetings will be held with the student and their support group to re-establish their rights and responsibilities as a student at our school and the actions required for a successful transition program.

Expulsion

Expulsion will be considered where the behaviour of the student is of such magnitude that the health, wellbeing and safety of staff and students at the school outweighs the need of the student to receive an education and expulsion is the only available option.

APPENDIX

 

The resources and programs stated in this policy are located on the Wellbeing shelf in the school library.  Many resources are also available within units.

 

My School Too

 

My School Too is built on the belief that all members of a school community have a right to participate in school life without being bullied or harassed, and that the vast majority of any school body live by this belief in treating each other respectfully.  It encourages bystanders to speak up through identification with the majority.

The focus of the program is the ‘My School Too’ display board.  The board includes the names of all students who have ‘pledged’ their support for the program by agreeing with the following belief statement:

 

All members of the Echuca West Primary School Community have a right to participate in school life without being bullied or harassed.

 

This message is reinforced through:

  • our daily teaching
  • wellbeing activities such as Jigsaw and the Values program
  • My School Too power point and DVD
  • My School Too Champion wristbands, which are presented to students who have demonstrated the beliefs of the program.  This is done at assembly and names are published in the school newsletter.

 

 

Restorative Practices

 

Restorative Practices (RP) is a philosophy and continuum of processes that is based on the premise that repairing harm done to people and relationships is a very effective way to resolve conflict, influence positive behaviour and build a safe, productive and caring community. A core belief is that the wrongdoings and misbehaviours that bring disruptions to classrooms, and the hurtful behaviours that are so often associated with conflict, are primarily not just “breaking rules”, but actually result in harm to individuals, groups and the whole school community.

In a school setting, restoration of relationships for effective learning is the ultimate goal of restorative practices.

In response to this, RP encourages a profound fairness, and a culture of listening across our school community. It is based on our school’s values that build an ethos of respect, inclusion, responsibility, personal best and integrity as well as a commitment to relationships and the development of social and emotional competencies.

People involved in RP develop personal awareness and responsibility while learning and using lifelong skills such as active listening, expressing emotion, facilitating dialogue and problem-solving.

RP is also based on the belief that the people involved in a conflict, wrongdoing, or misbehaviour, need to be actively involved in the process of resolution. Imposed (and purely punitive) solutions can be less effective and less educative.

Restorative Practices help build capacity to enable students to self-regulate behaviour and contributes to the improvement of learning outcomes.  Its philosophy is integrated into everyday school life and is supported through our other student engagement programs such as Jigsaw, Bounce Back, Circles etc.

 

What does a Restorative Classroom look like?

“A restorative classroom setting is one that values dialogue through an inclusive approach where everyone expects to be heard, and through this participatory process students develop the capacity to learn in a practical way that emotions are an important and legitimate expression of healthy dialogue. This helps students to deal with conflict, tensions and difference in respectful ways that engenders trust, empathy, responsibility, and fosters healthy relationships.”    Lesley Oliver, Terry O’Connell, Lyn Doppler 2007

 

The Principles of Restorative Practice

 

Foster awareness in the student of how others have been affected.

 

Avoid scolding or lecturing. This often results in the student reacting defensively. It distracts from noticing other people’s feelings.

 

Involve the student actively. Instead of simply doling out punishment, which the student is expected to accept passively, a restorative intervention encourages the student to speak. They face and listen to those who have been affected by their inappropriate behaviour. They help decide how to repair the harm and make a commitment to this. The student is held accountable.

 

Accept ambiguity. Often fault is unclear and people can agree to accept the ambiguous situation.

 

Separate the deed from the doer. We can recognise a student’s worth, their virtues and accomplishments while disapproving of their wrongdoing.

 

See every serious instance of wrongdoing and conflict as an opportunity for learning. Negative incidents can be used constructively to build empathy and a sense of community in the hope that there is a reduction of negative incidents in the future.

 

Affective Questions

These questions are provided to school staff and may to assist in managing conflicts or potential conflict situations and working towards resolution.

 

When something’s gone wrong

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by what you did?
  • In what way?
  • What do you think you need to do to make things right?

 

To the person who has been hurt/affected

  • What did you think when you realised what had happened?
  • What impact has this incident had on you and others?
  • What has been the hardest thing for you?
  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

 

Classroom Agreements

 

Classroom agreements are negotiated and established within each classroom at the start of the school year.  They include classroom rules, expectations and consequences.

 

Classroom Circles

 

Regular classroom circles are an integrated part of our whole school approach to student growth, learning and engagement. They are designed as a forum to discuss, model and implement the values that are embedded in our classroom practice, both academic and social, and compliment the My School Too, Values, Jigsaw and Restorative Practices programs.

 

Values Program

 

The Values Program is a series of units and activity based learning aimed to assist teachers in implementing each of our five school values across the curriculum.

The program assumes that:

-education is about the whole person.

-all teachers are value educators.

-values need to be taught and discussed explicitly

-values need to be consistently modelled across students’ entire school experiences

-values education is best developed through whole school engagement inside and outside the classroom that involves the whole school community

-a safe and secure learning environment is created where students can explore values

-there is a whole school approach to the program.

 

 

Implementation of the Values Program

 

Focus
Term 1 Inclusion and Personal Best
Term 2 Respect and Personal Best
Term 3 Responsibility and Personal Best
Term 4 Integrity and Personal Best

 

The first 4 lessons each term should focus on the new value.

 

Individual Wellbeing Programs

 

Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2:  Values Education (EWPS)

Grade 3/4:  Little Jigs

Grade 5/6:  Solving the Jigsaw

 

 

Solving the Jigsaw and Little Jigs

 

Solving the Jigsaw is an early intervention and violence prevention program that works to reduce the incidence and impact of violence and bullying in children’s lives.  Solving the Jigsaw believes that children have the right to be safe and to feel safe. Violence of any nature, is not acceptable. Solving the Jigsaw works towards shifting a culture of violence to one of wellbeing.

The Solving the Jigsaw classroom program builds relationships, trust and understanding through a combination of weekly catch-ups and structured activities.

The catch-ups encourage connection, belonging and intimacy within the group. The structured activities, on the other hand, provide opportunities for students to learn about key concepts, values, tools and challenges, and to explore their beliefs and practise problem solving.

Although these activities are planned, the program is flexible and can respond to any important issues that might arise.

 

One major focus of the program is that students are given strategies to resolve conflict independently.  This is done through a process called “Naming It

 

 

 

House System

There are 3 house systems in the school:  Millewa (red), Stratton (green) and Watson (yellow).  Students are allocated a house when they start school, where two of the following points are considered:  the house of older siblings (they will be put in the same house) and keeping house sizes across the school of a similar size.

 

Students are encouraged to wear a coloured polo shirt whenever there is a house event.  These are available to buy from the uniform shop.

 

There are two house trophies:  one is the House Sports Champion trophy and is awarded to the winning house at our House Athletics day.  The other is the House Points cup and is awarded each week at assembly to the house with the most points.

 

House points are awarded by class teachers and are sent to the office at the end of each week to be collated and published in the newsletter.

 

A range of house events and buddy activities are organised throughout the year.  These events include but are not limited to:

Term Activity
1 Buddy activities are run across the school
2 Buddy activities are run across the school
3 Cross age “House Shuffle” activities (lead by Grade 6 students)

Variety of events including: Athletics, Footy Day, One and All, Book Week etc.

4 Buddy activities are run across the school Christmas Shuffle activities

Art Show

 

Bus Etiquette Program

 

Over 40% of students travel to school by bus.  A bus etiquette program is in place which encourages students to display positive behaviours when travelling both to and from school and when on school excursions. The key components of the program are:

  • The use of a bus behaviour video in classrooms at least twice a year. This is used to promote discussion as well as to explicitly state expected behaviour with the use of 5 rules.
  • Each grade will sign a bus behaviour contract at the start of a new school year.
  • Clearly displayed bus rules at the entrance to the school.
  • Weekly bus group meetings with the Principal. Each week, the Principal will meet with a different year level to give students who travel regularly to school by bus, the opportunity to discuss and develop positive behaviour strategies to use on the bus to continue to improve bus behaviour.
  • The use of a “Bus Box”. This is a way for students to be able to report any problems or concerns on the bus.  Students complete a bus issues form (available in classrooms and the office) and put it in the box at the office.  All forms will be investigated and recorded.
  • If a student repeatedly behaves inappropriately then consequences will be put in place which align with our Wellbeing and Engagement Policy.

 

eSmart Schools

 

Echuca West is an eSmart school. The Alannah and Madeline Foundation developed eSmart, which “aims to make cybersafety a normal part of every young person’s life by equipping them to use technologies in ways that protect them from the associated risks” (esmartschools.com.au). The initiative is designed to reduce cyberbullying and bullying and to positively engage students (by illustrating that expected behavioural norms still exist within our new technological landscape). Please refer to the school’s eSmart policy, eSmart domains and eSmart curriculum for further information.

 

Echuca West Primary School

Whole School Wellbeing and Engagement Schedule

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4
“Getting to know you” class wellbeing focus ü
Establish classroom agreement ü
Show and discuss My School Too materials (power point/videos etc) ü
Students sign class copy of My School Too agreement and display in classroom ü
Students sign My School Too board in undercover area ü
Promote My School Too values at assembly and recognise students who are displaying those behaviours through presentation of wristbands ü ü ü ü
Presentation of Star of the Week, Class of the Week and Science/Music/Sport certificates at assembly ü ü ü ü
Watch and discuss bus behaviour video ü ü
Weekly bus catch ups with Mr Judd ü ü ü ü
Revise how to complete a “Bus Issues” form if there is a concern on the bus. ü
Daily circles/catch ups immediately after lunch each day (5-10 minutes) ü ü ü ü
Weekly class wellbeing session focusing on current term’s value or issue arising within class ü ü ü ü
Weekly buddy session across the school ü ü ü
Award House Points within classrooms and the winning House be announced at assembly ü ü ü ü
House Shuffle activities (G6 lead) ü
Student Action Group established and weekly meetings held ü ü ü ü
Rotating Grade 6 student leadership system established and implemented ü ü ü ü
Grade 6 Leadership Day held ü
Transition:  whole school “step up” day to experience new grade ü
Transition:  Opportunities for G6 to visit Echuca College and for teachers and College students to visit the school. Various times throughout year. ü
Transition:  Opportunities for Prep teacher to visit Kinders and for new preps to experience school (4 visits, increasing in duration each time). ü

 

 

All members of the Echuca West Primary School Community have the right to participate in school life without being bullied or harassed.

We have signed our names below to show that we agree with this pledge.

 

 

 

Child Safe Policy

 

Child Safe Standard 2: Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

Title


Title

 

Title

Title

Title

Title

Title

Title