Child: Any child or young person enrolled as a student at the school.
Child Connected Work: Work authorised by the school’s Principal, members of the Leadership Team or Board performed by an adult in the school environment while children are present or are reasonably expected to be present.
Child Abuse: Includes:
- Any Act committed against a child involving:
- A sexual offence
- An offence under section 49B(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (grooming)
- The infliction , on a child of:
- Physical violence
- Serious emotional or psychological harm
- Serious Neglect of a child.
Child Neglect: The failure by a parent or caregiver to provide a child, where they are in a position to do so, with conditions that are culturally accepted as being essential for their physical and emotional development and wellbeing.
Child Physical Abuse: Generally, child physical abuse refers to the non-accidental use of physical force against a child that results in harm to the child. Physically abusive behaviours include shoving, hitting, slapping, shaking, throwing, punching, kicking, biting, burning, strangling and poisoning. The fabrication or induction of an illness by a parent or carer (previously known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy) is also considered physically abusive behaviour.
Child Protection: Statutory services designed to protect children who are at risk of serious harm.
Child Sexual Abuse: Any sexual activity between a child under the age of consent (16) and an adult or older person (i.e. a person five or more years older than the victim) is child sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse can also be:
» Any sexual behaviour between a child and an adult in a position of power or authority over them (e.g. a teacher); the age of consent laws do not apply in such instances due to the strong imbalance of power that exists between young people and authority figures, as well as the breaching of both personal and public trust that occurs when professional boundaries are violated.
» Any sexual behaviour between a child and an adult family member, regardless of issues of consent, equality or coercion.
» Sexual activity between peers that is non-consensual or involves the use of power or coercion.
» Non-consensual sexual activity between minors (e.g. a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old), or any sexual behaviour between a child and another child or adolescent who, due to their age or stage of development, is in a position of power, trust or responsibility over the victim. Sexual activity between adolescents at a similar developmental level is not considered abuse.
Child Safety: Encompasses matters relating to protecting all children from child abuse, managing the risk of abuse, providing support to a child at risk of child abuse and responding to incidents or allegations of child abuse.
Mandatory Reporting: The legal requirement to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect is known as mandatory reporting. Mandated persons include teachers, nurses, police, psychologists, psychiatrists and medical practitioners.
Reasonable Belief: When a staff member is concerned about the safety and wellbeing of a child or young person, they must assess that concern to determine if a report should be made to the relevant agency. This process of considering all relevant information and observations is known as forming a ‘reasonable belief’. A ‘reasonable belief’ or a ‘belief on reasonable grounds’ is not the same as having proof, but is more than mere rumour or speculation. A ‘reasonable belief’ is formed if a reasonable person in the same position would have formed the belief on the same grounds.
School Environment: Any physical or virtual place made available or authorised by the school for use by a child during or outside of school hours including:
- A campus of the school
- Online school environments, including email & intranet systems
- Other locations provided by the school for a child’s use including school camps, sporting events, excursions, competitions, school community and other events.
School Staff: Any individual working in the school environment who is:
- Directly engaged or employed by the school Principal or Board
- A volunteer or contracted service provider
- A minister of religion.