Policy last updated
1 July 2022
- School councils
This policy supports schools to create and maintain a child safe organisation and protect students from all forms of abuse.
- Ministerial Order 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools outlines how the Victorian Child Safe Standards apply in schools.
- Schools can visit the PROTECT for templates, guidance and checklists to support schools to create and maintain a child safe organisation where children and young people are protected from abuse and feel safe.
- If a school staff member holds a reasonable belief that a child has been abused or is at risk of being abused, please refer to Protecting Children — Reporting and Other Legal Obligations and the Four Critical .
The Child Safe Standards
The Child Safe Standards (the Standards) are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian schools to ensure they are well prepared to keep children and young people safe and protect them from abuse. Ministerial Order 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools provides the framework for child safety in schools.
Victorian schools can continue to build on their existing child safety strategies, policies and practices to strengthen their culture of child safety and protect children and young people from abuse.
The Child Safe Standards include requirements to keep children, young people and students safe, including:
- involvement of families and students in child safety
- schools’ focus on safety for Aboriginal students
- better management of child abuse risks in online environments
- governance, systems and processes for keeping students safe.
The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority is responsible for regulating the compliance of schools with the Standards. Schools are required to comply with the Standards as part of the prescribed minimum standards for registration.
There are 11 Child Safe Standards:
- Standard 1: Culturally safe – Establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued.
- Standard 2: Leadership, governance and – Ensure that child safety and wellbeing are embedded in school leadership, governance and culture.
- Standard 3: Child and student – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
- Standard 4: Family – Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
- Standard 5: Diversity and – Equity is upheld and diverse needs are respected in policy and practice.
- Standard 6: Suitable staff and – People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
- Standard 7: Child-focused complaints – Ensure that processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.
- Standard 8: Child safety knowledge, skills and – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
- Standard 9: Physical and online – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
- Standard 10: Review of child safety - Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
- Standard 11: Implementation of child safety – Policies and procedures that document how schools are safe for children, young people and students.
What help is available?
Schools can visit:
- the PROTECT for templates, guidance and checklists to support compliance with each Standard.
- the School Policy Templates (staff login required) for templates policies to support compliance with the Standards.
- Protecting children — Reporting and Other Legal Obligations
- Student Sexual Offending and Problem Sexual Behaviour
- Working with Children and other Suitability Checks for School Volunteers and Visitors
Guidance, policies and templates
The PROTECT includes detailed templates, guidance and checklists to support schools to implement the new standards.
- Ministerial Order 1359
- information about regulation and
- guidance on how to implement the 11 Child Safe
- training, resources and .
Updated guidance for child safety is also available.
Other updated policy templates for schools are available through the School Policy Templates (staff login required) – including bullying prevention, child safety responding and reporting obligations, complaints, digital learning, student wellbeing and engagement, supervision, visitors and volunteers.
Steps to implementation
Government schools can use this action list to implement the Standards:
Child Safety Action List (DOCX, 386
To meet the Standards, schools should consult with families, students and the local community when developing policies and practices to address the Standards.
For additional guidance on how to consult, refer to Child Safe Standard 4: Family .
Schools must review their child safety and wellbeing policies:
- after any significant child safety incident
- at least once every 2 years.
For further support to implement the Child Safe Standards, schools can contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources to support schools implement the Child Safe Standards.
Child Safe Standards Action List for Government Schools – a quick reference check list of requirements for each Standard
Template policies and school documents
- Child safety and wellbeing
- Child safety code of
- Child safety risk
- School Policy Templates (staff login required) — additional templates that schools can use to help them comply with the Child Safe Standards
Guidance for Child Safety Champions
Guidance for child safety – schools can nominate a senior staff member as a child safety champion to support child safety
School training resources
Child Safe Standards training – including PowerPoint presentations for school councils, school staff, and volunteers
– information to help schools fulfil their obligations under Ministerial Order 1359
Reviewed 04 August 2020