Executive Director’s Update to Principals #29 - 6 June 2022
New Child Safe Standards Implementation Update
Catholic Education Ballarat (CEB) continues to offer focused sessions on each of the new Child Safe Standards during Term Two for Principals, other members of Leadership, Child Safety Officers and Compliance Officers. The YouTube links to the sessions which have been recorded to date are included below.
The details of the upcoming sessions are attached for your information:
Thursday 19 May 3.45pm-4.30pm
Standard 1 - Culturally Safe Environments &
Standard 5 - Diversity & Equity
Watch the recording here: New Child Safe Standards Standards 1 & 5 - YouTube
Wednesday 25 May 3.45pm- 4.30pm
Standard 2 - Child Safety and Wellbeing is Embedded in Leadership, Governance & Culture
Watch the recording here: New Child Safe Standards 2 Workshop - YouTube
Tuesday 31 May 3.45pm-4.30pm
Standard 3 – Child & Student Empowerment &
Standard 4 - Family Engagement
Watch the recording here: New Child Safe Standards 3 & 4 Workshop - YouTube
Thursday 2 June 3.45pm- 4.30pm
Standard 6 - Suitable Staff & Volunteers &
Standard 7 - Complaints process
Watch the recording here: New Child Safe Standards 6 & 7 Workshop - YouTube
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
Policy Release and eSORT:
We will commence releasing the new policies associated with the new Child Safety Standards from today.
eSORT will continue to be the system used to support the release of policies and the process for schools to contextualise their policies and upload them to the required locations.
eSORT offers a number of advantages that include-:
- Security of the template file to prevent unintended changes by schools
- A systematic approach to communication and instructions
- A dedicated repository for all policies to be housed on a school-by-school basis
- An ability to provide system oversight of completion and compliance to the DOBCEL Board
Following feedback from many of you we are endeavouring to improve the process via eSORT to make the process as simple and efficient as possible. Some small improvements have been made to eSORT, particularly for fixed DOBCEL policies.
Immediate changes include-:
- A direct communication to Principals via an Executive Director’s Update before policies are released via eSORT. This will support Principals being informed first, and ahead of the notifications generated by eSORT to Principals and/or your delegates
- Simpler and more condensed instruction on what to do within eSORT to make the process more efficient
- Policies can be viewed without having to download the file first and open it within the relevant desktop application
- More support for principals and staff in small schools from Simon O’Brien at email@example.com
New Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy.
- The new Child Safety & Wellbeing Policy is now available to schools.
- This policy meets the requirements for MO 1359 and has been approved by the DOBCEL Board and ratified by Bishop Bird.
- This policy replaces the existing Child Safety Policy and Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Policy.
- This policy applies across all DOBCEL Schools and communicates how schools will prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. This policy sets out DOBCEL’s expectations about child safe practices for staff, volunteers and school communities.
- This policy is required to be contextualised by each school, noting that schools can only change certain aspects of the policy, where indicated.
- This is a public facing policy.
- This policy and the implementation instructions will be forwarded through eSORT to you and/or your nominated delegates today.
Action required by 01 July 2022
- Principals to ensure that the School Advisory Council members, staff and volunteers are aware of this policy.
- This policy is to be uploaded to your school’s webpage.
- This policy replaces the previous Child Safe Policy and the Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Policy.
- Retire (and archive) the previous Child Safe Policy and the Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Policy in eSORT.
- Delete the previous Child Safe Policy and the Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Policy from your website.
The Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority (VRQA) has updated its guidelines to reflect Victoria's new Child Safe Standards (new Standards) and new pathways for secondary education in Victoria.
They can be located here: https://www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/news/Pages/News/article-311.aspx
What stays the same?
The New Standards do not change obligations related to mandatory reporting to the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (formerly the Department of Health and Human Services) or police, the Reportable Conduct Scheme, the Working with Children Check requirements, the Child Information Sharing Scheme or other child safety laws.
Protection of School Communities Bill
The Education and Training Reform Amendment (Protection of School Communities) Bill 2021 received Royal Assent on 28 June 2021. This amendment to the Victorian Education and Training Reform Act 2006 will establish the School Community Safety Order Scheme (the Scheme). The default commencement date is 28 June 2022 if the amendments are not proclaimed to commence earlier.
The Scheme empowers authorised people, such as school principals, to issue Immediate and Ongoing School Community Safety Orders (collectively ‘Orders’) to parents, carers and other people who engage in harmful, threatening or abusive behaviour. The Orders are intended to address the small but not insignificant minority of parents and other adult members of the school community who engage in behaviour that creates a risk of harm to the school community.
Currently, the various CECV entities (including DOBCEL and RI/MPJP Schools) exercise a range of powers/processes similar to those described by the Scheme. However, these existing processes are not codified, centrally communicated or enacted consistently.
Review of existing resources.
Existing CECV material related to protections covered by the Scheme will be reviewed. CECV processes or documentation will be created or updated to ensure adherence to all relevant legislation and to incorporate the Scheme where appropriate. It is anticipated that, as a minimum, the CECV Safe and Sound Practice Guidelines will require updating.
In addition to updating CECV guidance, a framework will be created that details a methodology for the embedding and implementation of this guidance. DOBCEL school principals and authorised CEB senior leadership are responsible for actioning the requirements of the framework within our school communities. CEB will flow the new guidance materials through to schools as soon as possible.