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Student Protection

INTRODUCTION

  • Parklands Christian College is committed to the safety and well-being of all children and young people who access its educational services.
  • All students have a right to protection from harm.
  • The wellbeing and interests of our students are paramount in the learning process, thus, Parklands Christian College will act to ensure that its students have a secure and nurturing environment, in which to grow and learn.
  • Parklands Christian College supports the rights and well-being of its staff and volunteers and encourages their active participation in building and maintaining a secure environment for all participants.

 

REFERENCES

RESPONDING TO REPORTS OF HARM

When the school receives any information alleging ‘harm’[1] to a student (other than harm arising from physical or sexual abuse) it will deal with the situation compassionately and fairly so as to minimise any likely harm to the extent it reasonably can. This is set out in the school’s Child Risk Management Strategy. Information relating to physical or sexual abuse is handled under obligations to report set out in the Child Protection Policy[2].

Concerns relating to the safety of a student should reported to:-

  • Social Workers, Mrs Bernii Elvery or Miss Laura Robinson
  • Head of Secondary, Mr Gary Cully/Ms Jess Grounds
  • Head of Primary, Mr Grant Jakins[3].

Reporting Sexual Abuse[4] or Likely Sexual Abuse[5]

Section 366 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 states that if a staff member becomes aware, or reasonably suspects in the course of their employment at the school, that any of the following has been sexually abused or is likely to be sexually abused by another person:

  1. a student under 18 years attending the school;
  2. a pre-preparatory aged child registered in a pre-preparatory learning program at the school;
  3. a person with a disability who:-
  4. under section 420(2) of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 is being provided with special education at the school; and
  5. is not enrolled in the preparatory year at the school

then the staff member must give a written report about the abuse or suspected abuse to the Principal or to a director of the school’s board immediately.

(Under section 366B of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006,the directors of a school’s governing body may delegate the directors’ function under section 366 to an appropriately qualified individual (this cannot be the Principal or any other staff member of the school). Directors should ensure they are well briefed about the requirements of section 366B before delegating this function.)

Reporting Physical and Sexual Abuse

Under Section 13E (3)of the Child Protection Act 1999, if a doctor, a registered nurse or a teacher forms a ‘reportable suspicion’ about a child in the course of their engagement in their profession, they must make a written report.

A reportable suspicion about a child is a reasonable suspicion that the child: –

  1. has suffered, is suffering, or is at unacceptable risk of suffering, significant harm caused by physical or sexual abuse; and
  2. may not have a parent able and willing to protect the child from the harm.

The doctor, nurse or teacher must give a written report to the Chief Executive of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (or other department administering the Child Protection Act 1999). The doctor, nurse or teacher should give a copy of the report to the Principal.

A report under this section must include the following particulars:-

  1. state the basis on which the person has formed the reportable suspicion; and
  2. include the information prescribed by regulation, to the extent of the person’s knowledge[6].

AWARENESS

The school will inform staff, students and parents of its processes relating to the health, safety and conduct of staff and students in communications to them and it will publish these processes on its website[7]. In addition information on Student Protection can be located via the staff intranet, brochures, hard copies in Student Services and the RTC and links in the school newsletter.

[1] Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2001 (Qld) s.10(8): the definition of ‘harm’ for this regulation is the same as in section 9 of the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld)

[2] Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2001 (Qld) s.10(2)

[3] Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2001 (Qld) s.10(3) and s.10(4)

[4] Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2001 (Qld) s.10(5)(a)

[5] Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2001 (Qld) s.10(5)(a)

[6] Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) s.13G (2). There is no such regulation at 12 December 2014.

[7] Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2001 (Qld) s.10(6)