At Columba Catholic Primary School, we acknowledge and understand that child safety is the responsibility of every person and is an integral aspect of student wellbeing. We aim to work collaboratively with parents, students and other community members to ensure a safe school environment.
Our commitment to the protection of students is based in our belief that each person is made in the image of God, and our ethos is to provide a safe and supportive environment. All students have the right to expect that the school will always act to protect them from any kind of harm.
We work under the Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited Guidelines and use their policies to guide the procedures that are implemented in our school.
Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL) is committed to creating an environment where the safety, wellbeing and participation of all children and young people is paramount. DOSCEL's Commitment Statement to Child Safety affirms our commitment to:
- zero tolerance to child abuse
- listen to and empower children and young people
- keep children and young people safe.
As a school, all staff are focuse on the safety of the students and work with our CHild Safety Champion to ensure we are all up to date with policies and procedures that ensure the safety of our students.
Protection of children and young people is based upon the belief that each person is made in the image and likeness of God, and that the inherent dignity of all should be recognised and fostered.
DOSCEL is committed to child protection strategies and procedures to ensure the care, safety and protection of all children and young people in Catholic schools in the Diocese and safeguarding children and young people against sexual, physical, psychological and emotional abuse and/or neglect.
Victorian Child Safe Standards
DOSCEL and in turn Columba Catholic Primary School are committed to complying with Ministerial Order No. 1359: Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the Risk of Child Abuse in Schools and School Boarding Premises.
New Child Safe Standards
On 1 July 2021, the Victorian Government announced that new Child Safe Standards to further strengthen child safe environments and protect children from abuse would be implemented. The 11 new Child Safe Standards are;
- Child Safe Standard 1 – Establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued
- Child Safe Standard 2 – Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
- Child Safe Standard 3 – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
- Child Safe Standard 4 – Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
- Child Safe Standard 5 – Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice
- Child Safe Standard 6 – People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice
- Child Safe Standard 7 – Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused
- Child Safe Standard 8 – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
- Child Safe Standard 9 – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
- Child Safe Standard 10 – Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved
- Child Safe Standard 11 – Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people
Prevention and Response
Preventing and responding to child abuse requires a whole of community response to bring about broad cultural change. To this end, the Victorian Child Safe Standards apply to a broad range of organisations that provide services for children, including schools, churches, sporting clubs and youth services.
Ensuring we have child safe communities goes to the heart of our faith and core purpose. Therefore, we are dedicated to upholding the values and practices that create safe learning environments for students.
Reporting and Contacts
If you have any concerns or questions regarding Child Safety please contact our Child Safety Officers
Andrew Greco (Principal) or Caz Websdale (Deputy Principal)
Child Safety Champion -
There are a number of supports available when responding to incidents, disclosures or suspicions of child abuse.
Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited
24 Hour Services
Victoria Police: 000
DHHS Child Protection: 131 278
- Australian Childhood Foundation: 1800 176 453
- BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636
- Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA): 1800 806 292
- Child Wise: 1300 CHILDWISE
- Commission for Children and Young People: 1300 782 978
- eHeadspace: 1800 650 890
- Kids First: (03) 9450 0900
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- MensLine Australia: 1300 787 978
- Office of the eSafety Commissioner: 1800 880 176
- Safe Steps: 1800 015 188
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
- Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA): (03) 9287 8800
- Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation: (03) 9411 9411
- 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732
- Anti Bullying and Prevention Policy
- Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy
- Complaints and Grievances Management Policy
- Duty of Care Policy
- Mandatory Reporting Policy
- Pastoral Care Policy
- Protection of Children - Anti-Grooming Policy
- Protection of Children - Failure to Disclose Policy
- Protection of Children - Failure to Protect Policy
- FOUR CRITICAL ACTIONS FOR SCHOOLS Responding to Incidents, Disclosures and Suspicions of Child Abuse
- Guide to Reporting Conduct Under the Reportable Conduct Scheme
- PROTECT - Identifying and Responding to Student Sexual Offending
- PROTECT - Identifying and Responding to All Forms of Abuse in Victorian Schools
- SCHOOL TV
- Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic.)
- Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic.)
- Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic.)
- Ministerial Order No. 1359: Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the Risk of Child Abuse in Schools and School Boarding Premises.
Child Information Sharing Scheme and the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme
The Information Sharing Schemes were introduced in response to Royal Commissions, coronial inquests and independent inquiries over the past decade that identified poor information sharing as a barrier to service collaboration with detrimental outcomes for children and families. The Information Sharing Schemes will enable schools and other prescribed Information Sharing Entities (ISE) to access and share relevant information to promote the wellbeing and safety of children, and to assess and manage family violence risk.
Phase One of implementation of the Schemes commenced in September 2018 and included key tertiary and frontline services, such as Child Protection, Maternal and Child Health Services and Victoria Police. From 19 April 2021, as part of Phase Two, universal services such as education and health will be authorised to share information using the Schemes. On and from this date, DOSCEL and its schools, Victorian government, non-government schools and centre-based education and care services, such as long day care, kindergarten and outside school hours care services, will be prescribed as ISE under the Child Information Sharing Scheme and the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme and will have an expanded ability to collaborate and share confidential information with other authorised professionals.
The Information Sharing Schemes complement and expand upon existing information sharing and child protection laws and do not replace already existing authorisation to share information such as the Child Safe Standards, reporting to Child Protection or Victoria Police, the Reportable Conduct Scheme and other privacy and information sharing laws.
From the commencement of Term 2 2021, DOSCEL and its schools will also become Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) organisations and will be required to align to MARAM over time.
Information Sharing Scheme Entities can make contact with us by phoning 56295933 or emailing email@example.com
Students in Out of Home Care
Children and young people in Out of Home Care live in a range of alternative care arrangements away from their parents, including living with relatives or friends (kinship care), living with non-relative families (home-based care, sometimes known as foster care) and living in residential care units with rostered care staff (residential care). They are a diverse group who share the common experience of being exposed to significant abuse and trauma which has resulted in them being removed from the care of their parents. It is a fundamental right that all children and young people are protected, cared for and educated in a way that maximises their life opportunities.
The Out-of-Home Care Education Commitment: A Partnering Agreement between the Department of Human Services, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Independent Schools Victoria (the Partnering Agreement) acknowledges that providing the best start in life for children and young people in out-of-home care is a shared responsibility. It provides a common understanding of the expectations and requirements of all parties to ensure that strategies are implemented for all children and young people in out-of home care to provide the foundations for educational success.
Emergencies and Natural Disasters
CEOSale schools are well prepared to deal with emergency situations.
Each school has an emergency management plan that identifies procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. If an emergency should occur, the school emergency management team is quickly established to support and meet the needs of students and families. We ask all families have their contact details updated with the school office and that all families are connected through our Communication Apps.
If there is an emergency situation during the school day, the safety and wellbeing of students will be the highest priority. No student details will be released to anyone other than those authorised on their enrolment form.
To assist schools to prepare for and manage emergencies, we ask you to:
- ensure your child’s emergency contact details held by the school are up to date
- ensure school staff are alerted to any special medical or dietary requirements of your child
- notify the school principal of any emergency situation involving your child.
CODE RED days
A Fire Danger Rating of Code Red, is the highest level of rating in Victoria. It signifies the worst conditions for grassfires and bushfires. Code Red ratings are only called for days of extraordinary and extremely dangerous conditions.
Columba has been identified as being at high fire risk for grassfire, and will close on days determined Code Red by the Emergency Management Commissioner.
Where possible, three (3) days notice of a planned closure will be provided. However, experience indicates that a Code Red fire danger rating day may be forecast at short notice. Parents and guardians should expect that in some instances less than three days notice may be provided. Once the final decision to close is confirmed at 12 noon the day prior, this decision will not change – regardless of any changes in the weather forecast. This will help limit confusion and help families plan for how their children will be cared for when their school is closed.
When a school is closed in response to bushfire risk, no one, including staff, contractors and other users, will be permitted on site. Families will be notified via the SZapp communication app if it is necessary to close the school on a Code Red day.