All references to 'schools' in this guidance include school boarding premises.
This standard commences on 1 July 2022.
This standard focuses on building child safety knowledge, skills and awareness in staff, volunteers and school governing authorities.
All schools should deliver training to new and existing staff and volunteers. The training must be tailored to the needs of the school and the role the person performs at the school.
Benefits of child safety knowledge, skills and awareness
By delivering tailored training to all staff and volunteers, everyone will share an understanding of:
- what child safety means
- the importance of child safety
- what to look for, and
- what to do.
This provides staff and volunteers with the knowledge and skills they need to create a schoolwide culture of child safety.
Appropriate training and supervision helps keep staff and students safe and helps schools meet their child safety and occupational health and safety legal requirements.
Standard 6 provides more information about child safe recruitment and support for staff and volunteers.
Actions schools must take
To comply with this standard, at minimum, schools must:
- Provide child safety training to staff engaged in child-connected work every year. This training should include:
- the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and the Child Safety Code of Conduct
- the procedures for responding to complaints and concerns about child abuse
- guidance on recognising indicators of child harm, including harm caused by other children and students
- guidance on responding effectively to issues of child safety and wellbeing and supporting colleagues who disclose harm
- guidance on how to build culturally safe environments for children and students
- guidance on their information sharing and recordkeeping obligations
- guidance on how to identify and mitigate child safety and wellbeing risks in the school environment without compromising a child or student’s right to privacy, access to information, social connections and learning opportunities.
- Provide training and information to volunteers engaged in child-connected work that is appropriate to their role that will equip them with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe.
- Support staff and volunteers to implement the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and the Child Safety Code of Conduct where these policies apply to their role and responsibilities.
- Provide appropriate training and guidance to the members of the governing body every year. This training should include:
- individual and collective obligations and responsibilities for implementing the Child Safe Standards and managing the risk of child abuse
- child safety and wellbeing risks in the school
- the child safety policies, procedures and practices of the school.
- 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 8 – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
Implementing the standard
Think about actions your school might take
There are many actions schools may use to address this standard. To get started, review the example actions on this page.
Develop training and policies
The department will provide training resources for:
- school council members
Take all the necessary actions
Use this checklist to make sure your school is doing everything required to comply with this standard:
- Government schools: Child Safety Action List (DOCX, 110KB)
- Non-government schools: Child Safety Action List (DOCX, 384KB)
Use these presentations to train your school governing authority, staff and volunteers:
- School council training- Child Safe Standards (PPTX, 741KB)
- School staff training- Child Safe Standards (PPTX, 1MB)
- Volunteer training - Child Safe Standards (PPTX, 2.3MB).
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 to equip staff and volunteers with knowledge, skills and awareness
Induct new staff and volunteers to child safety requirements
- Nominate a child safety champion and support them to facilitate the induction and training programs for staff and volunteers.
- Provide an induction for new staff, volunteers and new school council members on child safety, appropriate to the person’s role that covers:
- the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy
- the Child Safety Code of Conduct
- the Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations (incl. mandatory Reporting) policy and procedures
- signs of harm and risk factors caused by peers or adults (including grooming and family violence) and the different ways young people express concerns or disclose harm
- building culturally safe environments
- privacy, information sharing and recordkeeping obligations
- how to facilitate child-friendly ways for students to express their views, participate in decision making and raise concerns
Provide ongoing education and training
- Deliver regular child safety briefings for all staff, for example through staff meetings, newsletters, year level briefings.
- Require all staff with Mandatory Reporting obligations to refresh their Protecting Children – Reporting and Other Legal Obligations (Mandatory Reporting) training at least once a year.
- Inform staff and volunteers (as appropriate) of their responsibilities under the information sharing and family violence reforms. These reforms support staff to meet their child safety obligations by enabling them to:
- Maintain records of annual child safety programs including presentation materials, agenda, minutes and list of attendees.
- Identify staff to attend information sharing and family violence reforms training, available as online webinars or eLearning modules.
- Offer further training appropriate to staff and volunteers’ level of involvement in the school community, on topics such as:
- child safety (including family violence)
- mandatory reporting
- responding to student sexual offending
- human rights and the rights of children
- diversity and inclusion
- harassment and bullying
- cultural safety
- privacy and information sharing.
- Offer a range of optional and compulsory education and training activities, including:
- Staffroom briefings and ‘toolbox talks’
- Professional Learning Communities
- Peer discussions, scenarios and worked examples
- Presentations, seminars or webinars
- Training days
- E-learning modules, for example the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations modules.
- Remind staff regularly that they need to be alert for signs of harm and risk factors and aware of physical and online risks to child safety.
- Provide staff and relevant volunteers with up-to-date contact details for local support services for students and families.
- Consider staff needs when designing training, such as:
- Cultural safety for the needs of staff and volunteers who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- Cultural sensitivity for staff and volunteers who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Inclusivity of gender diversity and sexuality
- Accessibility for those with a disability, including individuals mobility, visual or hearing impaired
- Accessibility to those who are rurally or remotely located or unwilling to attend physically.
Plan to resource and prioritise child safety training
- Develop and communicate your Child Safe Code of Conduct, Child Safety and and Wellbeing Policy, and Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations Policy.
- Include child safety improvement and training in school planning.
- Provide time-release for teachers, non-teaching and auxiliary staff to undertake child safety and related training.
- Direct staff to PROTECT for guidance on:
- information to assist them to recognise indicators and risk factor of child harm, including harm caused by other children and young people
- the processes to follow if a concern is raised.
- Keep a record of all staff and volunteers who complete child safety training to ensure all are appropriately trained and training is refreshed as required.
For further help to meet Child Safe Standard 8 and Ministerial Order 1359, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.