All references to 'schools' in this guidance include school boarding premises.
This standard commences on 1 July 2022.
This standard focuses on incorporating the 11 Child Safe Standards into school policies, procedures and practices, which work together to create a child-safe culture.
Schools should ensure these policies and procedures are:
- informed by community consultations so they are relevant to the school
- accessible to all
- informed by best practice
- championed by leaders
- well understood by those they apply to
- implemented effectively.
Benefits of being a child-safe organisation
Being a child-safe organisation requires ongoing effort.
Schools are safer for children and students when child safety policies and procedures are championed by leaders and understood by all members of the school community.
Actions schools must take
To comply with this standard, at minimum, schools must:
- implement practices for a child-safe environment
- establish policies and procedures that meet all the Child Safe Standards
- make sure all relevant school staff, governing body and volunteers understand and implement the policies and procedures
- champion and model the policies and procedures for a child-safe environment
- document their policies and procedures and make them easy to understand
- make sure their policies and procedures are informed by best practice models and stakeholder consultation.
- Ministerial Order 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards – managing the risk of child abuse in schools and school boarding premises(PDF, 363KB)
- Child Safe Standard 11 – Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people
Implementing the standard
Think about actions your school might take
There’s a wide range of actions schools may choose to implement. To get started, review the example actions on this page.
Develop policies that work together to improve child safety
Each Child Safe Standard contains links to policies that schools should develop.
Talk to families and students when developing and implementing child safe policies. For guidance, use Child Safe Standard 4: Family Engagement
Policies and procedures should be informed by stakeholder consultation, which can include:
- informal feedback, such as talking with parents when they pick up their children
- formal feedback, such as scheduled parent or carer interviews
- other feedback processes, such as surveys or focus groups
- reviews, such as reviews of your policies and procedures
- processes for raising concerns and handling complaints.
Child safety policies and procedures should include:
- an effective date, review date and approval details
- contact details for support
- references to related documents
- the school’s underlying child safety and wellbeing values and principles
- definitions of any specialised terms used
- who the policy applies to
- responsibilities of leaders, staff and volunteers
- how to recognise child harm
- how to recognise and report complaints or allegations of child harm
- legal reporting obligations
- reporting lines (which can be shown by a diagram)
- what actions to take if a child or young person is at risk or has disclosed harm
- education and training requirements, including frequency.
Take all the necessary actions
Use this checklist to make sure your school is doing everything required to comply with this standard:
Actions required to comply with this standard are listed in the:
- Government schools: Child Safety Action List (DOCX, 110KB)
- Non-government schools: Child Safety Action List (DOCX, 385KB)
Review child safety policies
Schools must review their child safety and wellbeing policies:
- after any significant child safety incident
- at least once every 2 years.
Examples of actions for implementing child safety policies and procedures
Make policies and procedures easily accessible
- Publish your child safety policies in an easily accessible, public-facing location, such as the school website.
- Integrate child safety into induction processes, ongoing education, training and supervision for all staff and volunteers.
- Provide copies of your child safety policies in welcome packs and transition resources.
Ensure policies are easy to understand
- Use plain language in written materials.
- Use visual representations to accompany discussions with students and their families, as needed to aid understanding.
- Display easy-to-read posters in various locations around the school.
Nominate a child safety champion
- Nominate one or more child safety champions to promote, monitor and report on the implementation of the school’s child safety strategies
- Support the child safety champions by empowering them to investigate child safety issues and allocate time for child safety.
Build a culture of ongoing monitoring and reviewing
- Highlight child safety in recruitment processes.
- Have child-focused complaints policies and procedures.
- Review recordkeeping of child safety complaints to make sure it captures all relevant information.
- Manage child safety risks relating to child abuse using the Child Safety Risk Register template.
- Consider using the Child Safety Risk Register to include other child safety risks, or use another register or format to record these risks
Champion and model compliance with policies and procedures
- Allocate regular time for a child safety agenda item for all-staff or faculty meetings.
- Schedule child safety briefings at information evenings and orientation days.
- Include a regular child safety item in newsletters to families.
Use best-practice models and stakeholder consultation
- Seek feedback on policies and procedures from the school community, staff, families, and students.
- Be aware of emerging legislation, research and resources in child safety and wellbeing and ensure that policies and procedures are informed by any new developments.
Integrate child safety into policies, procedures and practices
- Nominate child safety champions to support school leaders in effectively implementing and monitoring the child safe policies and practices.
- Document the school’s policies, procedures and statements required across all 11 Child Safe Standards.
- Seek feedback from students, families, staff and volunteers on whether the policies and procedures are easy to understand. Make any relevant improvements.
- Produce child safety material in different formats. Use child-friendly and plain language and translated versions.
- Maintain high visibility of child safety and wellbeing. Discuss child safety at staff and parent meetings, and school assemblies. Display posters, write articles newsletters and staff bulletins on child safety topics.
- Train staff and volunteers on school policies and their responsibilities. Create regular opportunities to discuss and reinforce understandings.
- Identify formal and informal ways to monitor policy implementation. Analyse whether current processes achieve the outcomes for each child's safe standard.
- Monitor how staff and volunteers contribute to child safety through supervision, discussions, staff meetings and surveys.
For further help to meet Child Safe Standard 11 and Ministerial Order 1359, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.