The Child Safe Standards aim to drive cultural change in organisations that provide services for children so that protecting children from abuse is embedded in everyday thinking and practice.
Guiding Principles at Northside Christian College
The College’s Child Safety Policy, Code of Conduct, and Procedures are based on the following principles:
- The best interests of the child are paramount.
- The College has zero tolerance for child abuse;
- Child protection is a shared responsibility - student safety is everyone’s responsibility.
- All children have a right to feel safe and be safe at school, and have equal rights to protection from abuse.
- The College will consider the opinions of students and use their opinions to develop child protection policies and procedures.
- The views of students and a student’s privacy must be respected.
- Families can participate in decisions affecting their child and they, and the College community, are engaged and informed about the College’s approach to student safety and wellbeing.
- Clear expectations for appropriate behaviour by staff with students must be established, including in the Child Safety Code of Conduct.
- Student safety awareness is embodied, promoted, and openly discussed within our College community.
- The College will take into account the diversity of all children, including (but not limited to) the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with disabilities, and children who are vulnerable, and make reasonable efforts to accommodate these matters.
- The College is committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, and those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for students living with a disability.
- Staff have regard for a student’s diverse circumstances and needs so that they can provide support and respond to those who are vulnerable and to ensure equity is upheld in policy and practice.
- Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of students in relation to visitors to the School, including third parties contracted to provide services either directly or indirectly to or for students.
- Everyone covered by this Policy must also comply with the College’s Code of Conduct, which sets stringent standards for personal behaviour.
- Procedures are in place to screen all staff and external education providers who engage in student-connected work (whether occurring on the College grounds or at a location connected to the College).
- Annual student safety training is mandatory for all members of the College Committee of Management, the Principal, staff, and anyone else otherwise engaged by the College in relation to student-connected work.
- Procedures for reporting and responding to alleged or suspected incidents of child abuse or reportable conduct (including the complaints process and supports available) are clearly communicated and accessible for all members of the College community. This includes students and otherwise, members of the school community, who must have access to information and support in a reader-friendly, accessible, culturally safe and age appropriate manner.
- The College community is informed about the College’s operations and governance.
Child Safe Strategy Document
Northside Christian College has strengthened the safety of our operations as a result of the implementation of the Child Safe Standards at the College. A key objective for Northside Christian College is to embed child safety practices into our culture. The work that is involved in building a child safe organisation is never completed. It is a dynamic, multifaceted, and ongoing developmental process of learning, monitoring, and reviewing. Maintaining a child-safe organisation is not a one-off task. It must become part of our school’s ongoing processes and be embedded into our culture. Your feedback and support in developing a child-safe culture is greatly valued. Please find below a link to the College's Child Safe Strategy Document:
Child Safe Strategy Document (Last Updated: December 2022)
Child Safety Code of Conduct
Staff, directors, volunteers, and contractors at the College are required to abide by this Code. The purpose of this Code is to promote child safety within all College Environments. Please find below a link to the College’s Child Safety Code of Conduct:
Child Safety Code of Conduct (Last Updated: December 2022)
Child Safety Policy, Code of Conduct and Procedures
The Northside Christian College Committee of Management has approved the Child Safety Policy, Code of Conduct and Procedures (Policy No. 1). The Child Safety Policy is a comprehensive and overarching document that provides an overview of the key elements of Northside Christian College’s approach to creating a child safe organisation.
Child Safety Policy, Code of Conduct and Procedures (Last updated: October 2022)
Child Safe Standards
The Commission for Children and Young People has released ‘plain English’ resource, summarising changes to Victoria’s child safe standards that commenced in July 2022.
Victoria’s Child Safe Standards: Plain language guide
Child Safety Officer
Northside Christian College has appointed Ms Heather Cootee as the College’s Child Safety Officer. She is a contact person for children, young people, parents, employees and volunteers to seek advice and support regarding the safety and wellbeing of children and young people within our College.
The role requires the officer to take action when child protection concerns are reported, including the provision of support to those within the community who have been affected, with an understanding and respect for cultural diversity.
The College’s Child Protection Workers are Ms Heather Cootee, Head of Student Wellbeing and Mr Jared Stocks, College Chaplain.
Procedures for Responding to and Reporting Allegations of Suspected Child Abuse
Northside Christian College has a clear procedure for responding to allegations of suspected child abuse in accordance with Ministerial Order No. 870 and other legal obligations.
Please use this template to document any incident, disclosure, or suspicion that a child has been, or is at risk of being abused:
Responding to Suspected Child Abuse Template
The Fact Sheets below document the College’s procedures in a way that is accessible to children, volunteers, and the wider community.
Feeling Safe: For Primary School Students
Feeling Safe: For Secondary School Students
Spotting the Warning Signs of Child Abuse: For School Staff
Protecting Children from Abuse: For Parents and Carers
Royal Commission Hearing
Please find below a letter from Mr Doug Holtam, which was distributed to the College community on the 22nd October 2014.
Royal Comission Hearing Letter from Mr Holtam