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Purpose

This Code of Conduct has a specific focus on safeguarding children and young people at St Monica’s against sexual, physical, psychological and emotional abuse or neglect. It is intended to complement other professional and/or occupational codes. 

All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy and board/school council members at St Monica’s are expected to actively contribute to a school culture that respects the dignity of its members and affirms the Gospel values of love, care for others, compassion and justice.   They are required to observe child safe principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children. The following Code of Conduct provides guidance to our staff and volunteers in their role at St Monica’s Primary School, all of whom will receive training on the requirements of the Code. 

Acceptable behaviours

All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy and board/school council members are responsible for supporting the safety of children by:

  • adhering to the school’s child-safe policy and upholding the school’s statement of commitment to child safety at all times  
  • taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse 
  • treating everyone in the school community with respect (modelling positive and respectful relationships and acting in a manner that sustains a safe, educational and pastoral environment) 
  • listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child have been abused or that they are worried about their safety/the safety of another child 
  • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child’s self-identification) 
  • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination)  
  • promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, during personal care activities) 
  • ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not alone with a child 
  • reporting any allegations of child abuse to the school’s leadership (or child safety officer if the school has appointed someone to this role)
  • understanding and complying with all reporting obligations as they relate to mandatory reporting and reporting under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.)  
  • reporting any child safety concerns to the school’s leadership (or child safety officer if the school has appointed someone to this role) 
  • if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensuring as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe.

Unacceptable behaviours

All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy and board/school council members must not:

  • ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse 
  • develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children)  
  • exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical (for example, inappropriate sitting on laps)  
  • put children at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors) 
  •  initiate unnecessary physical contact with children or do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes 
  • engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal social activities)  
  • use inappropriate language in the presence of children  
  • express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children  
  • discriminate against any child, including because of age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability, sexuality, ethnicity or disability  
  • have contact with a child or their family outside of school without the school’s leadership or child safety officer’s (if the school has appointed someone to this role) knowledge and/or consent or the school governing authority’s approval (for example, unauthorised after-hours tutoring, private instrumental/other lessons or sport coaching); accidental contact, such as seeing people in the street, is appropriate  
  • have any online contact with a child (including by social media, email, instant messaging etc.) (unless necessary e.g. by providing families with newsletters or assisting students with their school work)  
  • use any personal communication channels/device such as a personal email account  
  • exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking sites or email addresses  
  • photograph or video a child without the consent of the parent or guardians 
  • work with children while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs 

Review

 

The governing authority has contributed to and approved the policy and practise and has continuing oversight of planning and reviewing.

 

Initially Ratified: May 2016

Reviewed: Jan 2019

Next Review: Jan 2021

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The Sandhurst Catholic Education Office and Schools acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which their Offices and Schools are built. We commit to working in partnership with Aboriginal people for reconciliation and justice.

Believe !     Imagine !     Serve !
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