Creating and maintaining a safe and friendly school is a dynamic and ongoing process of learning, monitoring and reviewing.
Our school recognizes the fundamental value of children and young people and the right of each child to be safe, supported and protected from neglect and from physical, emotional or sexual maltreatment whether at home, at school or in the community.
Grace Christian School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people and expects all staff, volunteers and visitors to share this commitment.
We regard our child protection responsibilities with the utmost importance. This commitment extends beyond the achievement of academic success to spiritual, intellectual, physical, social and emotional development. It also extends to providing the necessary training for staff, students and others, where applicable, and to the provision of resources and compliance with relevant child protection laws and regulations and the maintenance of a child safe culture.
Everyone working or serving in our school is responsible for the care and protection of our children. All staff are responsible for reporting concerns of neglect or emotional, psychological, physical or sexual abuse. All staff need to be able to recognise the indicators of abuse and neglect, in order to take appropriate action. The School Board, the Principal and staff members must protect students in circumstances where abuse or neglect is suspected; or when allegations of maltreatment or assault are made against employees, students or other people in the community.
How do we do this?
Child Safe Organisation Framework
The framework that underpins all policies and practices at Grace Christian School is the Child Safe Organisations WA: Guidelines by the WA Commissioner for Children and Young People.
The School’s Child Protection Policy underpins our commitment to child safety.
Codes of Conduct
Our three Codes of Conduct for Staff, Parents, Volunteers/Visitors and Students ensure everyone’s safety and responsibilities are implicitly and explicitly clear.
In addition children have access to the child-friendly Student Complaints Process.
School Child Safety Audit
The School conducts a Child Safety Audit, assessed annually and presented to the School Board which follows the Principles and Standards for Child Safety in Organisations endorsed by the Australian Children’s Commissioners and Guardians.
All staff undergo annual professional learning on the recognition of grooming and child abuse and appropriate prevention practices and strategies.
All recruitment advertising includes the above statement (in italics) and all interviewees are questioned about their interests in working with children and their experience and training in the area of child abuse and grooming, to ensure only people with the best intentions for our students are recruited. All persons employed at the school must provide a Working with Children Check prior to commencing work at the school. (For teaching staff, this is included as part of the successful applicant’s current TRBWA registration.) Persons convicted of sexual offences against children will not be employed by Grace Christian School.
Visitors, Volunteers and Parents
All parents, carers, visitors, volunteers or contractors must agree to uphold child safety related policies of the school including the Code of Conduct for Parents, Volunteers and Visitors. All visitors to the School are required to visit the administration office, read the Volunteer/Visitor Code of Conduct, agree to and sign the Visitor Book. All volunteers, in any capacity, and external providers must provide a Working with Children Check (this does not apply to parents or grandparents, unless they are involved in overnight school camps) and/or a federal police clearance.
Grace Christian School has implemented the Holding Hands Protective Behaviours Curriculum (Protective Behaviours WA) designed for students in Kindergarten to Year 6, and All Set for High School – A Protective Behaviours Approach for Secondary students in Year 7 to Year 10. Students in Senior Secondary participate in the PARTY Program, and incursions by Red Frogs and Dr Yes.
These comprehensive, realistic and age-appropriate curricular provide students with the opportunity to develop the essential knowledge, attitudes and skills that will enable them to manage their personal safety, report abuse, understand power in relationships and develop protective strategies, including seeking help. Staff are trained in the use of the curriculum materials.
The safety, protection and wellbeing of our students is of utmost importance. We value working together with our parents and school community to ensure this.