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Schools can use our downloadable template to develop their Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy. The template includes suggested text to make sure the policy meets the legal requirements. Your school needs to tailor parts of this policy to reflect how your school operates.
This section identifies the name of the policy.
The sample policy is called the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy to align with Ministerial Order 1359.
If your school has another policy for the safety and wellbeing of students, you can change the name of the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy to something else.
This section identifies the purpose of the policy.
The policy should state that it is designed to meet the requirements of Ministerial Order 1359.
This section specifies 'who' the policy will apply to and ‘where' the policy will apply.
This section provides definitions relevant to the policy.
You should provide a link to the standard definitions in your policy. For clarity, you can re-state important definitions in your policy if needed. You must not change any of the standard definitions.
You can add other definitions. Make sure they do not conflict with terms in the standard definitions.
Statement of commitment to child safety
This section helps your school to make a strong statement about child safety.
Sample text is provided to tailor to school’s needs.
Roles and responsibilities
This section identifies who is responsible for child safety and wellbeing in your school.
List the responsibilities of leaders and adults engaged in child-related work, including:
- the principal, assistant principal and school or school boarding premises leaders
- school and school boarding premises staff and volunteers
- school councils and school council members.
Include information about individuals with specific responsibilities. These may be:
- your nominated school child safety champion and their key responsibilities
- school leaders with responsibilities for child safety or student wellbeing
- who to contact about child safety concerns or for further information.
Child Safety Code of Conduct
This section provides information about your Child Safety Code of Conduct. A Child Safety Code of Conduct sets a high standard of behaviour to protect students from harm or abuse.
Your school’s Child Safety Code of Conduct establishes the expected behaviour of adults with children and young people in your school.
Your policy should provide a link to your school’s Child Safety Code of Conduct.
Managing risks to child safety and wellbeing
This section describes how you manage child safety risks. Identifying and addressing risks to child safety are essential to ensuring that children are safe and protected from harm and abuse.
Your policy should include information about:
- measures in place to identify child safety risks in physical and virtual environments
- how your school undertakes ongoing risk management and review.
Provide a link to your school’s policies related to behaviour as these policies help to mitigate child safety risks (for example, a Child Safety Code of Conduct).
Your policy should identify who to contact for further information.
Establishing a culturally safe environment
Your school can list the strategies you will take in your Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy or in another document.
This section describes your school’s commitment to student empowerment. Students are more likely to feel safe and report concerns when schools empower students.
Document the actions your school will take to enable students to have their rights respected, take part in decisions, and have their voices heard. You may need to add links to related policies and curriculum documents.
This section describes your school’s commitment to family engagement. When schools engage with families about child safety, everyone can help to create a child safe environment.
Document the actions your school will take to engage with, consult and respond to the diverse needs of families. You may need to add links to related policies and curriculum documents.
Diversity and equity
This section describes your school’s commitment to diversity and equity. Children have better opportunities to fulfil their potential when diversity is valued. Negative experiences like exclusion and discrimination can be harmful. Negative experiences increase the risk of harm and abuse to a child and decrease the likelihood of them telling someone and receiving an effective response.
List the actions your school will take to respect and respond to the diversity of children and young people’s circumstances and needs. Link to any related policies and documents, for example your schools’ Bullying Prevention Policy (login .
You should also include vulnerable cohorts in your school, and pay particular attention to:
- students with disability
- students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- students who are unable to live at home
- international students
- lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) students.
Suitable staff and volunteers
This section describes how schools recruit staff and volunteers who are suitable to work with children. It also covers how schools support and train staff and volunteers on child safety.
This section of your Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy should describe:
- your school’s recruitment practices, including child safety screening
- how your school inducts and supervises staff and volunteers engaged in child-related work
- training for the school council or school governing authority about child safety
- your school’s child safety requirements for volunteers
- child safety training for staff and volunteers, and how often they should attend
- who to contact for further information about staff and volunteers.
Add links to your recruitment and volunteer policies, if publicly available.
Child safety knowledge, skills, and awareness
This section describes how you will ensure that school or school boarding premises staff and volunteers have the relevant knowledge and skills to keep children and young people safe.
You should describe the training your school will provide to staff and volunteers, and how often they should attend.
Complaints and reporting processes
This section describes your school’s policies and practices to respond to child safety concerns and complaints.
Your school must have a process to respond to child safety concerns and complaints. The process must be focused on the needs of children and young people and families.
Government schools should use the Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations Policy and Procedures (login for this purpose. Non-government schools may use a different policy title.
The policy must include processes to respond to complaints and concerns about child abuse made by or in relation to:
- a child or student
- school staff
- service providers
- any other person connected to the school.
Include links to your policies if they are publicly available.
This section describes your commitment to communicating about child safety. It describes how your schools will make information available to the school community.
Your schools should describe:
- how the school community can access policies related to child safety
- other ways child safety information is available
- communication strategies your school will use including:
- face-to-face information sessions
- any other electronic channels.
Privacy and Information Sharing
This section provides a statement about your school’s practices on privacy and information sharing.
This section provides a statement about your recordkeeping, confidentiality and privacy practices.
Government schools must follow the Records Management — School Records .
Non-government schools must follow Public Record Office Victoria Recordkeeping Standards and guidance provided by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and Independent Schools Victoria.
Review of child safety practices
This section describes how your school will review and improve its child safety policies and practices.
Your school should review and improve its child safety and wellbeing policies and procedures:
- at least every two years
- after a significant child safety incident.
Engage, inform and improve
Your schools also needs to:
- engage and inform families and your school community in review processes
- commit to regularly analysing complaints and concerns and making improvements.
Related policies and procedures
This section provides links to any other policies and procedures related to child safety.
These may be developed by:
- the school
- the Department of Education and Training
- Catholic Education Commission
- Independent Schools Victoria
Policy status and review
This section states your school’s commitment to review and update this policy at least every two years and who is responsible for the review.
This section identifies the policy owner, approving body, approval date and date of next review.
In government schools, the policy must be endorsed by the principal.
In non-government schools the policy must be endorsed by the governing authority.
Completing the policy template
This Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy template helps schools comply with Ministerial Order 1359. It can be used by:
- government schools
- non-government schools
- school boarding premises.
Schools MUST adapt and contextualise this template, so it is relevant to their school environment.
Failure to do so may result in non-compliance with Child Safe Standard 2 and Ministerial Order 1359.
If your school also operates a school boarding premises, a combined Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy may be appropriate. School boarding premises need to consider their different environments, risks and circumstances.
Guide to completing the template
Retain or replace information where appropriate:
- state that the policy is written to meet the requirements of Ministerial Order 1359
- retain and replace relevant text and insert additional information specific to your school
- replace references to [example school] with your school’s name.
Adapt the template to your school:
- ensure it is relevant to your school or school boarding premises environment
- tailor the policy name to meet the needs of your school
- check the text is meaningful and appropriate for your school
- change the font and text styles to reflect your school colours and include your school logo, if desired.
Make it accessible:
- limit the use of images to enhance accessibility
- consider the use of accessibility aids or translations for families from non-English speaking backgrounds.
The template includes example and explanatory text:
- Green highlighted text: Guidance - delete before finalising your policy.
- Yellow highlighted text: Examples - insert individual school details.
Reviewed 25 August 2022