St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community adopts Administrative & Human Resource practices to ensure its recruitment & performance management processes not only identify the most suitable candidates to undertake ‘Child Connected Work’, but fosters continual improvement in child safety practices.
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community will only employ staff members, casual relief teachers, contractors, and engage volunteers, who share the school’s commitment to maintaining a Child Safe environment.
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community maintains detailed position descriptions for all teaching and non-teaching staff members that define the roles and responsibilities for the maintenance of Child Safety and reporting requirements. The school has also developed simple ‘duty statements’ for volunteers who wish to engage in ‘Child Connected Work’.
Position descriptions are relevant to individual roles and clearly define:
» The school’s mission & vision.
» Tasks and duties associated with the position.
» Qualifications, experience and attributes required.
» The level of responsibility and authority associated with the role.
» Requirements relating to applicable assessment to be completed;
‒ Victorian Institute of Teaching Registration
‒ Police / Criminal Record Checks
‒ Working With Children Checks
» Responsibility to maintain current assessments and the requirements to report any breach immediately to the Principal.
» Responsibility for complying with the school’s Child Safety Code of Conduct.
» Responsibilities for participating in all identified training.
» Child safety complaint, disclosure, breach or suspected abuse reporting requirements.
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community recognises that well developed ‘position descriptions’ & ‘duty statements’ are more likely to attract suitably qualified and experienced personnel & volunteers, who share its commitment to Child Safety.
When seeking to engage staff members, contract service providers or volunteers St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community clearly communicates its commitment to Child Safety in all job advertisements and duty statements. Statements encouraging only applicants who share the school’s commitment to Child Safety will be incorporated as will those encouraging applications from Aboriginals, Torres Strait Islanders and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Assessing Potential Staff Members or Volunteers
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community will conduct a thorough assessment of potential candidates and volunteers prior to engaging them or authorising them to conduct ‘Child Connected Work’.
When assessing potential candidates and volunteers, members of the school Leadership Team, the school’s Child Safety Officer and others on the assessment panel will consider the following:
» What motivates the individual to work with children (personal and/or professional).
» Relevant & verifiable experience.
» Understanding of Children’s physical & emotional needs.
» Understanding of professional boundaries
» Attitudes towards Children’s rights and how these can be upheld.
» Values (honesty, integrity, reliability, fairness and non-discrimination).
» Responses from referees
Responses to these indicators will determine a candidates or volunteers suitability to undertake ‘Child Connected Work’ and will be given sufficient ‘weight’ as part of the selection process.
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community acknowledges the importance of assessing potential candidates and volunteers prior to engagement and is committed to undertaking a thorough & rigorous screening process.
The process of interviewing and screening potential candidates and volunteers remains confidential at all times. The school ensures that at least one member of the interview panel is responsible for and experienced in conducting reference checks.
When conducting reference checks the identified member of the interview panel will ask the following questions of the referee:
» Would you employ the applicant again?
» Do you have any concerns about the applicant working directly with children?
» Are you comfortable knowing that the applicant may at times work alone with children?
» Did the applicant have any disciplinary matters relating to them directly or about their adherence to the School’s Code of Conduct?
» Can you provide an example of a time when you observed the applicant managing the behaviour of a child?
Any negative response or reluctance on behalf of the referee to any of the above mentioned questions will be viewed unfavourably and may result in the candidate being ineligible for the position.
Victorian Institute of Teaching Registration
All teaching staff will be required to maintain current Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) Registration prior to being considered for employment. A copy of the teacher’s current VIT registration will be taken and kept on their employee file.
Criminal Record Checks are a requirement of VIT Registration every five years and it is the staff member’s responsibility, at their expense, to ensure that this is undertaken. A member of the Leadership Team will regularly monitor the currency of VIT Registrations via the School Portal on the VIT Website.
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community ensures the currency of all VIT Registrations via maintenance of a VIT tab located within the School’s Compliance Register. The currency of registration is regularly monitored.
Working With Children’s Checks
Working with Children’s Checks (WWCC) will be required by all non-teaching staff, volunteers, members of the clergy and contractors engaged by the school. WWCC screen an individual’s criminal record and professional conduct, acting as a mechanism for identifying those individuals who pose a risk to child safety.
A current WWCC (within 5 years) is required for all non-teaching staff, volunteers, members of the clergy and contractors and a copy must be provided to the school Administration Officer prior to being authorised to undertake ‘Child Connected Works’. A member of the Leadership Team will regularly monitor the currency of WWCC.
Any member of the school community that wishes to participate in ‘Child Connected Work’ must provide the school with a copy of their current WWCC prior to being authorised to do so.
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community ensures the currency of all WWCC via the maintenance of a WWCC tab located within the School’s Compliance Register. The currency of WWCC is regularly monitored.
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community may request a Police Check for Administrative Staff, Cleaning Staff and others who may at times be permitted to work alone at the school.
The school acknowledges that Police Checks differ from WWCC and provide a list of offences that are disclosed from a person’s national criminal record. It may look beyond those of a WWCC into areas of fraud & road offences. Police Checks may be requested by the school in addition to WWCC.
Screening of Casual Relief Teachers (CRTs).
Prior to being approved to undertake Casual Relief Teaching all CRTs must attend an interview with a member of the Leadership Team. Reference checks will be conducted by a member of the school’s Leadership team or Child Safety Officer prior to any CRT being authorised to conduct work at the school. Where a CRT is engaged via an agency, the agency must be able to demonstrate that it maintains robust processes to support Child Safety. The agency must demonstrate sufficient screening and induction procedures. The school’s Code of Conduct will also be provided to the agency to be embedded into their own induction documentation.
All CRTs must maintain current Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) Registration and provide this to the school prior to commencing work.
CRTs will be provided with a copy of the School’s Child Safety Code of Conduct and requested to acknowledge their understanding of its content, as well as their commitment to complying with it, prior to being authorised to commence work.
Screening of Volunteers
Any volunteer including parents, guardians, care givers, grandparents, student teachers, work experience students who make a request or are approached by the school to participate in ‘Child Connected Work’ must provide a copy of a current Working With Children Checks (WWCC). This includes volunteers who anticipate assisting the school in any capacity, not limiting school camps, excursions, sporting events, classroom helpers, canteen etc.
All Volunteers are to be provided with a copy of the School’s Child Safety Code of Conduct and asked to sign this prior to being permitted to conduct work on its behalf.
Where the volunteer is a work experience student the participating school must provide assurance to the Principal and /or the School Child Safety Officer that the attending student has no prior convictions of any kind. Failure to disclose convictions will result in a request for the student to be removed from the program.
Screening of Contract Service Providers
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community ensures that any contract service provider it engages is suitably qualified has assessed all risks associated with the works they are engaged to complete and holds all relevant licences and insurances.
Contractors will also be screened to ensure they do not pose a risk to students or other members of the school community prior to being authorised to commence work. Copies of Working With Children Checks (WWCC) are obtained for all Contractors. Where a WWCC has not be provided the Contractor or their workers are not permitted to conduct work in the presence of any student. A member of Staff must be present at all times.
All Contractors and their workers are to be provided with a copy of the School’s Child Safety Code of Conduct and asked to sign this prior to being permitted to conduct work on its behalf.
WWCC, as well as, Police Checks are required for all cleaning staff, canteen staff and before and after school care employees. These must be obtained prior to them being authorised to conduct work on its behalf.
All Contractors and their employees must also undergo a formal induction into the schools OHS requirements. This induction makes specific reference to Child Safety requirements and responsibilities for both the school and the Contractors.
To ensure the identification of all contractors and their workers, they will be required to wear visitor identification at all times when on the school site.
Child Safety Code of Conduct
All staff members, clergy, casual relief teachers, volunteers & contractors required to undertake work on behalf of St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community or who participate in ‘Child Connected Work’ are required to read and sign a copy of the school’s Child Safety Code of Conduct.
The Child Safety Code of Conduct provides clear expectations for appropriate behaviour by adults towards children & young people. It aims to protect children and reduce any opportunity of abuse or harm to children. This Code of Conduct also provides anyone engaged by St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community with guidance on how best to support students and young people and how to avoid or better manage difficult situations.
All staff members, clergy, casual relief teachers, volunteers & contractors are required to read and acknowledge their understanding of appropriate child safety behaviours at least annually.
St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community ensures the currency of all those required to read and sign the Child Safety Code of Conduct via the maintenance of a tab located within the School’s Compliance Register. The currency of signatory’s regularly monitored.
Support, Training & Supervision of Employees & Volunteers to Ensure Child Safety
Once Staff Members & Volunteers have commenced work St Brigid’s Catholic Learning Community provides them with regular development opportunities, support, supervision & training to assist with addressing child safety matters.
Members of the School Leadership Team, the school’s Child Safety Officer and identified Year Level Coordinators are responsible for providing mentoring and support to Staff Members on all aspects relating to Child Safety & reporting. These school leaders are also governed with the responsibility of raising performance issues and required improvements with individual Staff Members, where required. They commit to meeting at least once a term to discuss observations and the effectiveness of the school’s Child Safety Strategies.
All new staff members are mentored throughout the early phase of their employment. Their assigned mentor in conjunction with the School’s Child Safety Officer will provide guidance and support to new employees to assist them identify and address Child Safety matters.
Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are established and discussed with staff on an annual basis. The school has incorporated KPIs into staff Performance Management Plans that have a specific Child Safety Indicator. This indicator includes, but is not limited to the following:
» Staff Members are required to read and sign the School’s Code of Conduct annually.
» Maintain current VIT Registration or WWCC and provide copies to the school.
» Staff Members are required to participate in identified Child Safety & Mandatory Reporting training, and provide a certificate of completion to a member of the Leadership Team or Child Safety Officer.
» Staff Members must be able to demonstrate sufficient awareness of signs of child abuse and reporting requirements.
» Staff Members must demonstrate how they provide a physical & psychologically safe environment, where the wellbeing of students & young people is nurtured.
» Staff Members must demonstrate how they develop a positive, responsible and caring teaching and learning environment, which recognises the rights of all people to be safe and free from abuse.
» Staff members must demonstrate how they foster an inclusive teaching and learning environment that values diversity and promotes a culture of empowerment of Aboriginal students including those with disabilities and from diverse cultural or linguistically different backgrounds.
Training & Improvement Opportunities
To further support Staff Members meet and exceed their KPIs for Child Safety the school identifies professional learning & training opportunities annually.
Learning & training opportunities supported by the school include, but are not limited to:
» Child Safety remains a regular Staff meeting agenda item to facilitate communication and consultation on all matters relating to Child Safety.
» Annual induction into the School’s Child Safety requirements.
» Annual refresher on professional & legal obligations & responsibilities relating to Child Safety.
» Annual refresher and acknowledgment of the School’s Code of Conduct requirements.
» Annual completion of the Victorian Department of Education’s ‘on-line’ Mandatory Reporting Module.