Steps to compliance
Develop a policy or statement that identifies the school’s strategies and actions to establish a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal children and young people. See examples under ‘Further resources’.
Schools can use their Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy or another document.
Make sure the policy or statement has an explicit commitment to identify, confront and address racism. This may require updates to other policies that reference expected standards of behaviour for staff and students.
The school governing authority must endorse the policy or statement.
- ensure staff, students, volunteers and the school community understand the importance of Aboriginal culture to the wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal students
- implement actions and strategies listed in policies
- encourage and support student’s ability to express their cultural rights
- actively support participation and inclusion of Aboriginal students and their families.
Examples of common non-compliance
- A school does not develop a policy or statement because they have no Aboriginal students.
- The policy or statement has commitments to cultural safety, but no strategies and actions.
- A policy or statement covers cultural safety generally and does not cover Aboriginal students and their families.
- The policy or statement is good, but there is little or no evidence the school implements the actions and strategies.
Clause 5 of Ministerial Order 1359 aligns to Child Safe Standard 1 and states:
5.1 Schools and school boarding premises must establish culturally safe environments in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children, young people and students are respected and valued.
5.2 In complying with clause 5.1, the school governing authority or school boarding premises governing authority must, at a minimum, ensure:
- a child or student’s ability to express their culture and enjoy their cultural rights is encouraged and actively supported
- strategies are embedded within the school or school boarding premises which equip school staff or school boarding premises staff, students, volunteers and the school community or school boarding premises community to acknowledge and appreciate the strengths of Aboriginal culture and understand its importance to the wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal children and students
- measures are adopted by the school or school boarding premises to ensure racism is identified, confronted and not tolerated, and any instances of racism within the school environment or school boarding premises environment are addressed with appropriate consequences
- the school or school boarding premises actively supports and facilitates participation and inclusion by Aboriginal children and students and their families
- all of the policies, procedures, systems and processes of the school or provider of school boarding services, taken together, create a culturally safe and inclusive environment and meet the needs of Aboriginal children and students and their families.
5.3 The school governing authority or school boarding premises governing authority must develop and endorse a policy or statement that details the strategies and actions the school or school boarding premises will take to implement clauses 5.1 and 5.2.
- The term ‘Aboriginal’ in this Order includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is important to be respectful of how individual children, students, their families and community refer to themselves, and use appropriate language when referring to individuals or communities.
- This clause applies even if there are no children or students at a school or school boarding premises that identify as Aboriginal.
- A statement can take the form of any written record, for example, a documented plan, posted on a website or online communication platform or a statement incorporated into an existing policy or another document.
Guidance from the Department of Education helps schools consider and action all aspects of this Standard:
A template for government schools is available to help you develop a Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy. It can also be adapted for non-government schools. If using a template as the basis for creating this document, schools must tailor it to their student cohort and community:
Reviewed 13 January 2023