​3 Ways School Principals Can Reduce the Risk of Child Abuse on their Watch and Comply with Regulations and Ministerial Orders.

3 Ways School Principals Can Reduce the Risk of Child Abuse on their Watch and Comply with Regulations and Ministerial Orders.

Education and Training Reform Act 2006
Ministerial Order No. 870
The Minister for Education makes the following Order.
Dated 22 December 2015

5. Schools to meet minimum child safety standards
(d) screening … and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse in accordance with Clause 10;

Cleard.life Response: Our human resource practice and intelligent screening methods meets and exceeds this requirement.

10. School staff selection
(4) must make reasonable efforts to gather, verify and record the following information about a person whom it proposes to engage to perform child-connected work:
(a) Working with Children Check status, or similar check;
(b) proof of personal identity and any professional or other qualifications;
(c) the person’s history of work involving children; and
(d) references that address the person’s suitability for the job and working with children.

Cleard.life Response: 10.4 (a) through to (c) does not explicitly mention that the person selected needs to be assessed as suitable.

True, the Referee component (d) does mention the ideal goal of suitability but it does not explain what suitability standards are or which ones to use or what is being referenced. The Royal Commission on Sexual Abuse “Scoping Documents” showed the futility of basic referee checks. Our answer is to use the human resource practice of obtaining nominated & un-nominated referees to gather information about a person’s suitability.

(5) The school need not comply with the requirements in Clause 10(4) if it has already made reasonable efforts to gather, verify and record the information set out in Clauses 10(4)(a) to 10(4)(d) about a particular individual within the previous 12 months.
Cleard.life Response: Employing a yearly maintenance suitability regime is a sure-fire way to meet these legislative requirements.

In Summary:

Consider enhancing the efforts of 10.4.a-d by adding the following:

#1. Suitability Assessment: Complete a One-on-One interview with the candidate using the Suitability Indicators explained in the Attorney General’s Adjudicative Guidelines – Honesty, Trustworthy, Tolerance, Maturity, Loyalty and Resilience, in a non-discriminating way.

#2. Consider adding nominated & un-nominated Referees, focusing on the Candidate’s character and background, not their competence level or cultural fit.

#3. Add our multi-dimensional background check, delivered in less than three days.

#4. Conduct the suitability check each year as a way to maintain this safety compliance measure.

Read more here:

    • FAQs: Click here
    • Our Response to the Royal Commission on Child Sex Abuse. Read here

  • Extreme Referencing: It’s a tough pitfall to avoid. Read more here.
  • Questions we can ask, but you probably can’t. Read more here.

Source of Legislation: