Wellbeing - Child Safety

At Mary MacKillop Primary School, we believe that ensuring the safety of the students in our care is an integral part of who we are as a Catholic faith community.

Mary MacKillop Primary School is committed to meeting the Victorian Child Safe Standards, as passed by the Victorian Parliament in 2015, and maintaining this through school policies, staff training and, ultimately, through the strategies used in dealing with the students and families within our school community.

 

Key Documents concerning Child Safety at Mary MacKillop

Student Physical and Sexual Abuse, and Neglect

Children’s rights to be safe are fundamental to our work in the Diocese of Sale. It is crucial that each child is protected against physical and sexual abuse, and neglect.

When teachers form a belief that a child may be at risk of harm due to sexual abuse or physical injury that results from abuse or neglect, they have a legal responsibility to notify the Department of Human Services.

In 2010, education and human services stakeholders established a joint protocol ‘Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people’ to provide a unified and consistent approach that defines roles and responsibilities to protect the safety and wellbeing of all Victorian children and young people. The protocol provides information for licensed children’s services and Victorian schools to take appropriate action when it is believed that a child has suffered harm, or is likely to suffer harm, through abuse or neglect.

Referral Pathways

Mary MacKillop School, together with support from CEOSale staff, work together to determine appropriate referral pathways based on the individual needs of students. Some of the organisations for specialist expertise used include:

  • Centre against Sexual Assault
  • CatholicCare
  • Victoria Police
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • General Practitioners
  • Anglicare
  • Headspace
  • Department of Human Services

The Victorian System of Care Referral Matrix is a tool which supports parents and carers, school staff and other professionals to appropriately refer children and young people to mental health services.

Students in Out of Home Care

Children and young people in Out of Home Care live in a range of alternative care arrangements away from their parents, including living with relatives or friends (kinship care), living with non-relative families (home-based care, sometimes known as foster care) and living in residential care units with rostered care staff (residential care). This is a diverse group who share the common experience of being exposed to significant abuse and trauma which has resulted in them being removed from the care of their parents. It is a fundamental right that all children and young people are protected, cared for and educated in a way that maximises their life opportunities.

The Out-of-Home Care Education Commitmen, A Partnering Agreement between the Department of Human Services, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Independent Schools Victoria (the Partnering Agreement) acknowledges that providing the best start in life for children and young people in out-of-home care is a shared responsibility. It provides a common understanding of the expectations and requirements of all parties to ensure that strategies are implemented for all children and young people in out-of home care to provide the foundations for educational success.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapidly progressive allergic reaction that is potentially life threatening. The most common allergens in school-aged children are peanuts, eggs, tree nuts (e.g. cashews), cow's milk, fish and shellfish, wheat, soy, sesame seeds, latex, certain insect stings and medications.

The keys to prevention of anaphylaxis are planning, risk minimisation, awareness and education

All schools within the Diocese of Sale have an anaphylaxis management policy.

The following guidelines prepared by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2014) have been developed to assist all Victorian Schools in planning for, and supporting students with severe allergies.

Emergencies and Natural Disasters.

Mary MacKillop has an emergency management plan that identifies procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. If an emergency should occur, the school emergency management team is quickly established to support and meet the needs of students and families.

If there is an emergency situation during the school day, the safety and wellbeing of students will be the highest priority. No student details will be released to anyone other than those authorised on their enrolment form.

To assist schools to prepare for and manage emergencies, we ask you to:

  • ensure your child’s emergency contact details held by the school are up to date
  • ensure school staff are alerted to any special medical or dietary requirements of your child
  • notify the school principal of any emergency situation involving your child.

Smoke Free Learning Environments

From 13 April 2015, under the Tobacco Act 1987 smoking is prohibited within the grounds of, and within four metres of an entrance to, all Victorian childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools and schools. This ban ensures that children and young people can enter and leave these areas without being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.

Second-hand tobacco smoke is particularly dangerous to children and young people because they have smaller airways and less developed immune systems compared to adults.

Online Safety

Access to the online world offers students the chance to explore a virtually limitless world. It provides provide new opportunities for learning and connecting across the globe, but like the real world, there are dangers that exist. To address this, schools in the Diocese of Sale implement a range of safety strategies that are tailored to meet the needs of their school community.

Parent Complaints

Mary MacKillop School is committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect and encourages good communication between parents and school.

Schools and the Catholic Education Office in the Diocese of Sale act in accordance with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s parent complaints policy and processes when managing your complaint.

For details on how to raise a concern or make a complaint, please see the following documents.

Download:
Child_Safe_Code_of_Conduct_Mary_MacKillop.pdf
Child_Safety_Policy_.pdf
ChildSafeStandard5_SchoolsGuide.pdf
FourCriticalActions_ChildAbuse.pdf