3 Ways School Principals Can Reduce the Risk of Child Abuse on their Watch and Comply with Regulations and Ministerial Orders.
 
VICTORIA
Education and Training Reform Act 2006
CHILD SAFE STANDARDS – MANAGING THE RISK OF CHILD ABUSE IN SCHOOLS
Ministerial Order No. 870
The Minister for Education makes the following Order.
Dated 22 December 2015

PART 2 – MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR A CHILD SAFE ENVIRONMENT
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 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: Nowhere in 10.4 (a) through to (c) does it explicitly mention that the person selected needs to be assessed as suitable. The Referee component (d) mentions the goal of suitability but it does not explain what suitability standards are or which ones to use. Common practice is to ask the person to tick a box in their application, but how many actually ‘accidentally’ click the wrong box? The Royal Commission scoping documents showed the futility of a 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. One-on-One interview/screen the Candidate from a Background Suitability perspective 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. Obtain nominated & un-nominated Referees, focusing on the Candidate’s Character not Competence level.

#3. Add our 10-dimensional background check, delivered inside three days, that will take us around 1.5 hours to interview, analyse & send the Result to you.  Do this suitability check each year as your maintenance compliance measure.
 
 
 
 
Read more here:

  • FAQs: Click here  
  • Our Response to the Royal Commission on Child Sex Abuse. Read here
  • A Police check + Basic Screening are not enough safeguard measures, called ‘futile’. Read more 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:
https://www.safeguardingservices.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ministerial_order_870.pdf