Safeguarding Students and Children
St Michael’s Collegiate School has achieved independent, national accreditation from the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) for the Safeguarding Children Program. This voluntary accreditation scheme has five phases that independently validated our systems for protecting students and children.
This accreditation is for a three-year period from 22 May 2019 and recognises that Collegiate is committed to the safety, wellbeing and protection of all the students and children in our care. This commitment includes the provision of a safe and supportive learning environment for all and requires all employees and volunteers to model and encourage exemplary behaviour that protects students and children from harm.
Our commitment to safeguarding children is reflected in our policies and procedures, employment and training strategies and our collective organisational culture, which is focused on best practice outcomes for students, children and their families. The ACF process is based on the premise that a child-safe culture is not only about systems and policies, but also organisational culture.
Collegiate began this accreditation process in May 2017, as the School aimed to achieve best practice and continuous improvement in safeguarding our students and children, from our Early Learning Centre through to Year 12.
The comprehensive process addressed seven standards giving rise to advances in our processes and further empowerment to students and children.
Collegiate was the first girls’ school in Australia to gain this accreditation from ACF, which demonstrates our proactive approach to achieve best practice.
St Michael’s Collegiate School is committed to the safety, wellbeing and protection of all students and children in our care. This commitment includes the provision of a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and requires all employees, volunteers and visitors to model and encourage exemplary behaviour that protects students from harm.
We promote a culture where children feel safe and have a voice in decisions that affect them. The School has the responsibility to ensure that every member of our community understands the responsibility they have and the important role they play to ensure the safety of all children in our care. We will take a proactive and preventive role in child safety and support a climate where all people feel safe to report concerns. The School is committed to following employment procedures that accord to the principles of the Australian Childhood Foundation Safeguarding Children Program.
It is the responsibility of all at Collegiate, from the Board, Principal and Senior Management to staff and volunteers, to understand the important responsibility they have to:
- Protect students and children from all forms of abuse, bullying and exploitation by our people;
- Be alert to incidents of child abuse and neglect occurring outside the scope of our operations and services that may have an impact on the students and children to whom we provide a service; and
- Create and maintain a child safe culture that is understood, endorsed and put into action by all the individuals who work for, volunteer or access our programs and services.
We expect all within our organisation, regardless of their role or level of responsibility, to act to safeguard children from such harm by:
- Adopting the practices and behaviour we have set as our standard when carrying out their roles, and
- Reporting any abuse or neglect of which they become aware to our management and/or to external authorities responsible for child protection or to police, regardless of whether that abuse is being perpetrated by personnel within our organisation, or by those outside our organisation including those from the child’s family, extended family, their family’s extended network or strangers.
Our partnership with the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF)
The Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) works to defend the right of all children to a safe and loving childhood.
They do this by working directly with children, young people and their families, and also in partnerships, through consultation and in collaboration with governments, service providers and community members.
The Australian Childhood Foundation believes it is important to do more than raise awareness about protecting children and young people. While knowing about protecting children is extremely important, adopting explicitly stated standards gives organisations practical and effective steps to protect children and young people.
The seven standards that form the core of the Safeguarding Children Program are based on research, evidence and expert opinion on practical measures that help to protect children and young people while they are in the care of our School.
For information on the Australian Childhood Foundation, please visit www.childhood.org.au.
- HR13 Collegiate's Safeguarding Students and Children Policy - Version 4
- HR13a Safeguarding Practices and Behaviour Guidelines and Policy - Version 2
- Safeguarding Children Statement of Commitment (to be signed)
Information for Parents
Information for Students and Children
Training Requirements for Staff, Volunteers, Contractors and Other
- Participating at St Michael's Collegiate School - Contractors, Coaches and Volunteers
- Safeguarding Children Online Training - Instructions for Users
To access online training, click here.
Reporting and Notification
- Child Abuse Incident Report Form - External Notification
- Notification of concerns direct to Child Safety Services - Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) - non-urgent
- Mandatory Reporting (responding to child abuse reports and allegations policy)
- Action Flow Chart - Responding to Incidents, Disclosures and Suspicions
Fact sheets and Resources