The Education Portal
The following Essential Questions must be comprehensively considered and form the basis of whole school community dialogue on the school’s policies and practices related to safeguarding and child protection:
- Has the school created a definition of child protection with ensuing policies/procedures which are fully understood and followed by Board Members/ Governors/Owners, school leaders, staff, students, parents and volunteers?
- Do the school’s culture and values support and encourage good practice leading to enhanced child protection?
- Does the school comply with all legal and statutory requirements / obligations in relation to child protection within the country in which it operates? Does it have effective working relationships with support agencies (where they exist)?
- Does the school have robust policy/procedures, which are successfully implemented, to ensure that it only employs and engages people of sound moral character? If so, is the school compliant?
- Does the school have robust and fully implemented policies/procedures to ensure that all helpers, volunteers and contract workers are people of sound moral character and suitable to work with children?
- Does the school communicate publicly its child protection policy/procedures?
- Are child protection policies and procedures reviewed with sufficient regularity and systematically?
- Is there a designated Child Protection Officer (CPO) in the school with oversight of child protection procedures and related school policies?
- Do the school’s operational procedures support and encourage good practice leading to enhanced child protection, including:
- Training and support;
- Identification/Disclosure; and
- Reporting in line with policy.
- Are the school’s buildings and facilities, security and protection measures compatible with child protection and related policies?
- Does child protection education and on-line/virtual safety form part of the written and taught curriculum?
- Are students, staff and volunteers aware of what to do if they feel uncomfortable or have concerns about mistreatment or abuse?
- What measures are taken by the school to ensure the safety and protection of students in homestay accommodation or on residential trips and student-exchange programs, and to what extent are they successful?
Expectations are based on the following principles:
- All children have equal rights to be protected from harm and abuse.
- Everybody has a responsibility to support the protection of children.
- All schools have a duty of care to children enrolled in the school and those who are affected by the operations of the school.
a. A values statement about the rights of the child has been developed and formally adopted by the school that is aligned with the responsibilities set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
b. The school has developed and adopted an appropriate definition of child abuse including physical, emotional or sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect and commercial or ideological exploitation and inappropriate behaviour of children towards other children.
c. The school has a policy and defined procedures approved by the School Board or equivalent body that ensures the safety and welfare of all students and describes how it is committed to preventing and responding appropriately if children are harmed, or if allegations of harm to children are made.
d. The school has specific child protection policies, practices and designated faculty with staff training programmes that ensure the safety and welfare of all students. This covers all aspects of school life and includes boarding facilities, homestay and residential arrangements and excursions, trips and students exchanges.
e. School safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures are subject to an annual scheduled review and revision.
f. The school has recruitment policies and executes rigorous recruitment procedures that ensure all employees and volunteers are of sound moral character and are suitable people to work with children and young adults.