All references to 'schools' in this guidance include school boarding premises.
This standard commences on 1 July 2022.
This standard focuses on continuous improvement in child-safe policies, procedures and practices.
- regularly review and evaluate policies and strategies
- analyse child safety incident data
- share review findings with the school community.
Benefits of regularly reviewing child safety practices
Being a child-safe organisation requires ongoing effort.
Child safe organisations have an open and transparent culture, learn from their mistakes, and put the interests of children first. Taking time to review policies, procedures and practices puts child safety and wellbeing at the centre of the school’s activities.
Regular reviews of policies, procedures and practices:
- makes sure they are adequate, up-to-date and effective, fully implemented and followed by everyone
- helps schools maintain the best approach to child safety and wellbeing and minimise the risk of harm.
Actions schools must take
To comply with this standard, at minimum, schools must:
- review and evaluate their child safety and wellbeing policies, procedures and practices after any significant child safety incident, or at least every 2 years and improve where applicable
- analyse complaints, concerns and safety incidents to identify causes and systemic failures and to inform continuous improvement
- report on the outcomes of relevant reviews to staff, volunteers, the community, families and students.
- 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 10 – Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
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.
Review your policies
When to review
Reviews of child safety policies and practices may be prompted by:
- a concern expressed by a student, family member, staff member, volunteer or community member
- a complaint or confirmed incident of child harm
- a legislative or regulatory change
- new issues or new activities proposed, such as new technologies or building changes
- discovery that staff or volunteers are not aware of child safety policies, or not implementing child safety policies as intended
- after a pre-determined period has passed.
What to review
Schools should conduct thorough reviews and consider:
- Child Safety and Wellbeing policy
- Child Safety Code of Conduct
- Child Safety Risk Register
- Complaints Policy
- Procedure for responding to complaints and concerns relating to child abuse
- Recordkeeping and information management protocols
- Policies and practices on accessibility, cultural safety, diversity and inclusion
- Recruitment policies and practices for staff and volunteers
- Induction programs
- Training for staff and volunteers
- Communication aimed at students, their families and the community about child safety
- How the school is embedding child safety and rights in the curriculum.
What to consider
- What’s changed since the school last reviewed child safety?
- Can the school adapt its environment to better support child safety?
- Do the current child safety policies and procedures address Ministerial Order 1359?
- What is the school doing well in terms of child safety practice?
- What is the root cause of a complaint or incident?
- What can be learned from incidents, concerns and complaints?
- How can the school address weaknesses, failures and gaps?
- Are child safety policies understood and implemented by staff and volunteers as intended?
- Are students, families and community members involved in the school’s approach to child safety and wellbeing?
- Who is responsible for actions to improve child safety?
- Who is accountable for child safety incidents?
- Does the school need to seek advice from independent specialists?
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, 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 to support the review of child safety practices
Create and update child-safe policies
- Develop a register of existing child safe standard policies, noting the date the policy was approved, and schedule a review date every 2 years.
- When required, develop a work plan and establish a working group led by the child safety champion, to review and update policies and procedures.
- Monitor and manage child safety risks using a risk register.
- Determine the causes of child safety incidents and monitor for repeat issues or systemic failures.
- Use complaints and incidents as a learning opportunity to inform continuous improvement.
- Identify ways to involve staff, volunteers, students, families and community members in review processes. Refer to Child Safe Standard 4 for actions on how to engage families and communities.
Implement current child safe policies and procedures
- Keep records of documentation, such as board meeting papers and minutes, outlining recommendations on how child safe practices can be improved and implemented.
- Develop an audit log (that is appropriately secured and has version control) of complaints and concerns, demonstrating appropriate responses and mitigations.
- Review complaints received and incidents reported for gaps, weaknesses or failures in policies.
- Make review findings and recommendations easy to access and understand.
- Include findings from child safety reviews in child safety training for staff and volunteers.
- Communicate review outcomes to students in age-appropriate ways.
- Inform the school community of any child safety policy changes were relevant or applicable.
- Use surveys, focus groups and discussions to review the accessibility and level of awareness of child-safe policies and procedures by students, families, staff and volunteers.
For further help to meet Child Safe Standard 10 and Ministerial Order 1359, contact firstname.lastname@example.org