Welcome to Term 2!
Sister Aloysius Martyn Arts Centre
We are delighted to be formally opening the Sister Aloysius Martyn Arts Centre next Friday at 10.30am at our Coolock Campus, Junortoun. The building will be blessed by Bishop Leslie Tomlinson and the ceremony will be attended by various representatives that have been associated with the funding, planning and establishment of the building. The new facility has made an enormous impact at Coolock as the staff and students develop the various programs to best utilise the various specialised spaces within the curriculum program. We look forward to completing the final step in a process that commenced back in 2017. Parents and families are more than welcome to attend the ceremony and tour the new facility after the formal opening. If you wish to attend, please notify the office at Coolock on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the coming week the College will have an independent auditor ensuring that we are achieving, at least, the minimum standards associated with Child Safe.
The Child Safe Standards (the Standards) are compulsory minimum standards for all organisations that provide services to children including Victorian schools. The aim of the Standards is to ensure organisations are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect. It is recognised that many schools will have existing policies and procedures that aim to keep children safe.
The Standards provide a framework to identify gaps and improve policy and practices around child safety. On 26 November 2015, the Victorian Parliament passed the Child Wellbeing and Safety Amendment (Child Safe Standards) Bill 2015, which amended the Child Safety and Wellbeing Act 2005 to introduce the Child Safe Standards that would apply to all organisations involved in child related work in Victoria.
The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) as regulator for all Victorian schools has responsibility for ensuring compliance with the Child Safe Standards in schools. The Standards are:
- Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
- Standard 2: A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety
- Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
- Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
- Standard 5: Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
- Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
- Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.
Ministerial Order 870 – Child Safe Standards – Managing the Risk of Child Abuse in Schools provides guidance on how the Standards apply to a school setting. It came into effect on 1 August 2016. To implement the minimum Standards in accordance with the Order school governing authorities must:
- take account of the diversity of all children, including (but not limited to) the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with disabilities, and children who are vulnerable; and
- make reasonable efforts to accommodate such diversity.
Please note that the associated documentation associated with Child Safe are located on Schoolbox and on our website. https://www.cmc.vic.edu.au/our-college/child-safety/
Please see the Protect – Four Critical Actions procedure where the College must act, following the four critical actions, as soon as a member of staff witnesses an incident, receives a disclosure or forms a reasonable belief that a child has, or is at risk of being abused.
It is important that you read these policies and follow the various prompts associated with the PROTECT documents. This process is a growing reality of our work. The purpose of the audit is to ensure that we as an organization are compliant and our staff are familiar with the associated documents and procedures. Last Friday time was spent with staff detailing the policy, process and various scenarios. In many instances these matters are complex and we attempt to be as pastoral and sensitive as we can be within the Standards.
Thank you to the parents at Coolock who were so patient and flexible with the late cancellation of the athletic sports. The athletics have been postponed until next Tuesday, 7 May. There is a slight chance of rain, but far less threatening than the forecast for this week.
Parent Student Teacher (PST) Interviews
Please remember to book a time to meet the teachers of your children at the Parent Student Teacher Interviews that are fast approaching. These opportunities are really important. Please note there will be some staff absent. Feel free to contact them and make an alternate time or get additional feedback.
Mr Brian Turner, Principal