Child safety risk management

All schools must assess child safety risks to comply with Child Safe Standards.

  • Any reference to ‘schools’ also includes school boarding premises
  • If your school operates a school boarding premises, a single risk assessment may be appropriate
  • This guidance is designed for government schools. It can also be used by non-government schools

Why schools need child safety risk management

All students are vulnerable to child safety risks. The Child Safe Standards require schools to put in place systems and processes to help prevent harm to students.

A thorough risk analysis is the first thing schools should do to prevent harm to students. Risk analysis provides the foundation for all other child safety work.

All child safety risks have severe consequences. Schools need to assess child safety risk with a focus on preventing and reducing child abuse and harm. It is not possible to eliminate every risk to child safety. Schools should manage and monitor risks and regularly review their risk assessment.

Schools must document their risk management approach and put in place treatments to reduce child safety risks.

How to comply with Ministerial Order 1359

Ministerial Order 1359 provides the framework for child safety in schools. It requires all schools to undertake a child safety risk assessment.


To comply with the order, schools must:

  • develop and put in place risk management strategies that:
    • focus on preventing, identifying and mitigating risks related to child safety and wellbeing in the school
    • consider the school environment, programs the school delivers and needs of students.
  • record the risks and the actions the school will take to reduce or remove them (risk controls and risk treatments)
  • each year, monitor and review child safety and wellbeing risks and assess the effectiveness of risk controls.

School volunteers

Your school must consider risks related to volunteers and their roles.

  • If reasonable and appropriate, the school may need to collect information about volunteers such as:
    • proof of personal identity
    • information about essential or relevant professional or other qualifications
    • the person's history of working with children.
    • references that address suitability for the job and working with children

In addition, your school must:

  • Provide staff engaged in child related work with annual training to ensure they know how to:
    • identify and mitigate child safety risks
    • protect a student’s right to privacy
    • provide access to information
    • support social connections and learning opportunities.
  • Provide similar training for volunteers, relevant to their role
  • Enable students, families and volunteers to have input into the school’s child safety and wellbeing risk strategies.