Child Safeguarding

Child Safeguarding

The Cottage School is committed to ensuring the safety, protection and wellbeing of all children and young people at the school and in all school environments.

At The Cottage School, we have a zero tolerance for child abuse, neglect and grooming.

The school’s commitment to child safety is based on the following overarching principles that guide the development and regular review of our work systems, practices, policies and procedures to protect children from abuse.

  1. All children and young people have the right to be safe.
  2. The welfare and best interests of the child or young person are paramount.
  3. The views of the child or young person and their privacy must be respected.
  4. Clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children and young people are established in our Child Safe Code of Conduct and Maintaining Professional Boundaries policy.
  5. The safety of children and young people is dependent upon the existence of a child safeguarding culture.
  6. Child safety awareness is promoted and openly discussed within our School community.
  7. Procedures are in place to screen all staff, Committee members, Volunteers, Third Party Contractors and External Education Providers in accordance with the Registration to Work with Vulnerable People Act 2013 (Tas).
  8. Child safety and protection is everyone’s responsibility.
  9. Child protection training is mandatory for all Committee members, staff members, Direct Contact Volunteers and Direct Contact Contractors.
  10. Procedures for responding to alleged or suspected incidents of child abuse, neglect or grooming are simple and accessible for all members of the school community.
  11. Procedures are in place to ensure all school premises are designed to ensure the safety of children and young people.

 

Child Safe Code of Conduct

Family and Community Communication

Safeguarding Policy

Mandatory Reporting

 

2023 Actions completed 

Policy and Procedures
  • Appointment of Child Safety Officers
  • Development of Child Safety policies and procedures 
  • Screening process for all staff, Committee members, volunteers, contractors in accordance with Registration to Work with Vulnerable People Act 
  • Safeguarding incorporated into recruitment practices (selection criteria, interview questions, reference checks)
Teaching and Learning
  • Rights and responsibilities whole school teaching and learning
  • Explicit teaching of language and strategies for boundaries, consent and help seeking 
  • Risks to child safety identified in camp, environment day risk assessment processes, mitigations planned and implemented
Professional Development
  • 3 x in house Safeguarding professional learning sessions
  • All staff PL in Ten Principles of Child Safe Organisations and Conventions on the Rights of the Child
  • All staff completed 2 x modules of Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Whole staff review of existing practices, specifically in relation to adult:child relationships, camps, toileting. Collaboratively developed updated understanding of accepted practices.
  • 6 x staff completed Social Stencil training, incorporating children’s rights and consent
  • School Leader PL Safeguarding toolkits and digital resources
Community Engagement
  • 3 x newsletter articles about Safeguarding in Friday Notice communications
  • Links provided to all families to Ten Principles of Child Safe Organisations and Conventions on the Rights of the Child
Governance and Strategy
  • Committee involvement in the development and adoption of all Child Safe policies 

2024 Completed Actions and Commitments (as at 6 February 2024)

Policy and Procedures
  • Planned review and resources committed to update all school policies and procedures, incorporating Child Safety principles where relevant
Teaching and Learning
  • Development of Student Parliament in 2024, with opportunity for student voice / agency in development of child safety policies, actions and language
  • Continued whole school teaching and learning focus on rights and responsibilities 
  • Continued explicit teaching of language and strategies for boundaries, consent and help seeking – ongoing
  • Implementation of Social Stencil program, including pre and post student, parent and staff qualitative and quantitative surveys – starting Feb 2024
Professional Development
  • Staff induction – all staff have read and signed off following policies:  Maintaining Professional Boundaries, Child Safe Code of Conduct and Mandatory Reporting – 9 Feb 2024
  • All staff complete 4 additional modules of Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Safeguarding goal to be identified in all staff members’ 2024 Professional Development Plans (PDPs) 
Community Engagement
  • Parent Social Stencil information sessions 
  • Updates in Friday Notice 
Governance and Strategy
  • Committee involvement in development and adoption of all policies & procedures – ongoing
  • Safeguarding goal to be included in 2024-2026 Strategic plan (currently under development)
  • Australian Government Safeguarding Self Assessment Tool collectively completed by all staff – completed 31 Jan 2024
  • Staff working group established for follow up actions 2024 – established 31 Jan 2024