In many societies, including ours, children are valued, and their health, safety and wellbeing are important. Protecting our children and young people from harm is everyone's job.
In Australia, each state has laws to keep children safe and to make sure their needs are met. In NSW, this law is the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.
Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) is the main government department in NSW that puts this law into practice, but all government departments, partnership agencies, and the community share this responsibility.
Harm in the form of child abuse and neglect can happen to any child or young person in any family, and it can have lasting and damaging effects.
The School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the safety, welfare, and wellbeing of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
We have zero tolerance for child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns are treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures. St Columba Anglican School has a legal and moral obligation to contact authorities when we are worried about a child's safety, which we follow rigorously.
If a parent or community member has any concerns in regard to child protection, staff misconduct and child safety, these should be brought to the attention of the Principal or Deputy Principal in the first instance. You can also make a complaint or give feedback via our Feedback Form.
St Columba Anglican School's Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
St Columba Anglican School has developed the following Statement of Commitment to Child Safety as an overarching statement that provides key elements of our approach to protecting children and young people from abuse and sets the tone for the School’s entire Child Protection Program.
It is designed to be St Columba Anglican School's public statement of commitment to child safety and a demonstration of the School’s leaders’ commitment to champion child safety in our School. It has also been approved and endorsed by the School Council and is regularly reviewed by them.
The Statement is published on our public website and communicated through other mediums such as the Annual Report, Induction and Welcome Packs and all Staff contracts for School Council members, staff members, Direct Contact Volunteers and Direct Contact Contractors.
This Statement provides the framework for:
the development of work systems, practices, policies and procedures that promote child protection, safety and wellbeing within the School
the creation of a safe and supportive School environment and a positive and robust child protection culture
the promotion and open discussion of child protection issues within the School
complying with all NSW laws, regulations, and standards relevant to child protection
Statement of Commitment
St Columba Anglican School is committed to providing education and care to children and young people to assist them to develop into high-achieving supported students, positively connected to each other and to the communities in which they live and which they will serve.
The School is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children and young people at the School and is dedicated to protecting them from abuse and harm. At St Columba Anglican School, we have a zero tolerance for child abuse. The School regards its child protection responsibilities with the utmost importance. As such, it is committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure compliance with all relevant child protection laws and regulations and to maintain safe and supportive School physical and online environments for all children and young people.
Child Safe Values and Principles
The following child safe principles guide the School's commitment to child safety and form the basis for all child protection policies and procedures at the School.
All children and young people have the right to be safe and treated fairly.
The welfare and best interests of children and young people are paramount.
The views and the privacy of children and young people must be respected.
Our Child Safety of Conduct
The safety of children and young people are dependent upon the existence of a child safe culture.
Child safety awareness is promoted and openly discussed within our School community.
Procedures are in place to screen all staff, Volunteers, Third Party Contractors and External Education Providers who have direct contact with children and young people.
Child safety and protection is everyone's responsibility.
Child protection training is mandatory for all School Council members, staff members and Direct Contact Volunteers.
Procedures for responding to alleged or suspected incidents of child abuse and harm are simple and accessible for all members of the School community, and all are welcome and encouraged to use them.
Procedures are in place to ensure all School premises are designed to ensure the safety of children. Child Protection Officers As part of our commitment to child safety and protection, St Columba Anglican School has appointed Child Protection Officers as honest, mature, ethical and experienced members of the School community who can deal with sensitive issues relating to child protection and safety.
Our Child Protection Officers are:
Mr Allan Guihot - Principal
Ms Emma Bylsma - Deputy Principal
Ms Shannon Rosewood and Mr Paul Rikmanis - Heads of School
They can be contacted through the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Child Protection Officers are available to answer any questions that you may have with respect to our Statement of Commitment to Child Safety and the Child Protection Program.
The School acknowledges that child protection is everyone's responsibility. At St Columba Anglican School, all directors of the School Council, staff members, Volunteers, Third Party Contractors and External Education Providers have a shared responsibility for contributing to the safety and protection of children and young people.
Reporting Child Protection Concerns
Our Child Protection Program provides detailed guidance for all members of the School community as to how to identify key risk indicators of child abuse and how to report child abuse concerns to one of our School’s nominated Child Protection Officers. It also contains detailed procedures with respect to the reporting of child abuse incidents to relevant external authorities. Staff, Volunteers, Third Party Contractors, External Education Providers, students, parents/carers or other community members who have concerns that a child or young person may be subject to abuse are asked to contact one of the School’s Child Protection Officers.
Communications will be treated confidentially on a 'need to know basis'. Whenever there are concerns that a child is in immediate danger the Police should be called on 000. St Columba Anglican School is committed to the continuous improvement of our Child Protection Program and to ensuring the School’s compliance with NSW child protection law and regulation. The Program is regularly reviewed for overall effectiveness and to ensure compliance with all child protection related laws, regulations and standards.
The Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW) has provided the videos below for parents and community members.