Executive Director’s Update to Principals #23 - 28 April 2022
New Child Safe Standards
As you will be aware, the New Child Safe Standards begin on 1 July 2022. We remain very conscious of the workload that is placed on our Principals, leaders and school staff and recognise that you are consistently being asked to take on more and more. I know you will agree, however, that the implementation of the new Victorian Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order 1359 is of paramount importance for us and extends the culture of care offered in our educational communities.
Mindful of your other school responsibilities, CEB will endeavour to provide clarity in our advice and the necessary information to assist you as efficiently as possible. We will also consider the broader “ask” and workload coming from our office to try to provide some relief to allow you to give a focus to the implementation of these new standards.
The new standards include a number of additional requirements to:
- involve families and students in efforts to keep children and young people safe,
- focus on the safety for Aboriginal children and young people,
- better manage the risk of child abuse in online environments,
- improve governance, systems and processes to keep children and young people safe.
Policy template and guidance materials will shortly be made available and DOBCEL schools will be required to update their child safety strategies, policies and practices to strengthen their culture of child safety by 1 July 2022. All workshop sessions will be recorded and made available to you within subsequent CSS Executive Director Updates.
Guidance material will include a Child Safe Standards Action List that school leadership teams and Child Safety Officers can use to identify actions they need to take to implement the new standards.
Schools should be confident to know you are well placed to build on your existing child safety strategies, policies and practices in order to strengthen your culture of child safety and to comply with the new standards.
Our key objective will be to start with the necessary compliance elements and then move towards embedding an exemplary culture of child safety over time. CEB is working to update or develop the policies below to be forwarded for your use in a systematic way, commencing from 11 May. Please note that this is may not be the final list.
New DOBCEL CSS policies to be prepared by CEB will include:
- School Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy (replaces Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Policy and DOBCEL Child Safe School Policy)
- School Bullying and Cyber Bullying Prevention Policy
- School Diversity and Inclusion Policy School
- School Empowerment and Participation Policy (written for students)
- School Engaging Families in Child Safety Policy
- Recruitment Policy (to include all CECV Guidelines)
- Record Keeping Policy
Revised and updated DOBCEL CSS policies to be prepared by CEB will include:
- Safeguarding Children and Young People Code of Conduct
- School PROTECT Reporting and Responding Obligations (including Mandatory Reporting) Policy
- Complaints Management Policy (parents)
- Digital Technologies Policy
- Empowerment and Participation of Students Policy (adults)
Initial Briefing (online) will be held on 11 May 2022 from 2pm-3pm
School leaders and child safety officers and compliance and risk officers can register for this Webex briefing here and an invitation with a Webex link will be sent to you.
The direct link to the Webex briefing is also here.
The briefing will:
- explain the purpose of the new standards
- outline changes schools need to be aware of
- provide an overview of the 11 new standards and guidance and resources available to support schools to implement the new standards from Friday 1 July 2022
Actions schools can take now
- School leadership teams and Child Safety Officers can read only the Child Safe Standards Action List to prepare and gain a preliminary understanding of what actions will be required to implement the new Standards. Please note all policy and guidance materials are currently under review and finalised versions will be rolled systematically from 19 May
- School principal to arrange relevant school leaders, Child Safety Officers and/or Compliance and Risk Officers as preferred, to attend online briefings and practical workshops from 11 May
- Prepare to prioritise time and resources to update local policies, procedures and practices in Term 2
- Prepare to train staff and volunteers as needed from Term 3 noting CEB will offer professional learning opportunities
DOBCEL Online Workshops during Term 2 [recorded]
The objective of these workshops will be to address each of the 11 CSS individually, to go through the Action List, as well as provide additional information. Approximate running time is 45 minutes inclusive of question time. The Webex link for all sessions is here. This briefing and subsequent CSS sessions will all be recorded and made available within subsequent CSS Executive Director Updates.
Thursday 19 May 3.45pm-4.30pm
Standard 1 - Culturally Safe Environments &
Standard 5 - Diversity & Equity
Wednesday 25 May 3.45pm- 4.30pm
Standard 2 - Child Safety and Wellbeing is Embedded in Leadership, Governance & Culture
Tuesday 31 May 3.45pm-4.30pm
Standard 3 – Child & Student Empowerment &
Standard 4 - Family Engagement
Thursday 2 June 3.45pm- 4.30pm
Standard 6 - Suitable Staff & Volunteers &
Standard 7 - Complaints process
Wednesday 8 June 3.45pm- 4.30pm
Standard 8 - Child Safety Knowledge, Skills and Awareness
Tuesday 14 June 3.45pm- 4.30pm
Standard 9 - Child Safety in Physical & Online Environments
Thursday 16 June 3.45pm-4.30pm
Standard 10 - Review of Child Safety Practices
Standard 11 - Implementation of Child Safe Practices
DET PROTECT Guidance & Resources
The following DET guidance and resources are due to become active 27 April:
DET BRIEFINGS - These are optional sessions for DOBCEL school leaders or child safety delegates. The same content is covered in each session. These are Government School focused but open to non-government school members to view.
- Thursday 12 May 2022, 3:30 pm – 4.30 pm
- Tuesday 17 May 2022, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
- Thursday 19 May 2022, 11 am – 12 pm
- Tuesday 24 May 2022, 1 pm – 2 pm
- Thursday 26 May 2022, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
- A short guide to the new Child Safe Standards
- Overview of the new Child Safe Standards
- Implementation and Action Plan Tool
- A guide for creating a child safe organisation – tip sheets
Find out more
For further information please contact Manager of Safeguarding & Standards;
Jacqui Righetti email@example.com | 0409 114 268.