Interaction with other statutory schemes
This school community safety order scheme is intended to operate side by side with, and in some cases considered by schools in addition to or instead of, the following laws and schemes:
It is important for schools to understand when one scheme is likely to be more effective than the other in addressing inappropriate behaviour.
Trespass warning notices
Although the school community safety order scheme will be the preferred option in many cases, trespass warning notices may still be preferred in situations where a person needs to be told to leave and not enter school premises, without needing to comply with the procedural requirements to issue a school community safety order (order).
However, ongoing school community safety orders provide schools with greater flexibility and options to tailor an order to address inappropriate behaviour (for example, by prohibiting communication or attendance at school related places).
Trespass warning notices may be an additional option where a school community safety order is in place but the person is not complying with the order and swift action is necessary to protect the school community.
Family violence and personal safety intervention orders
An authorised person can still issue a school community safety order where there is an interim, final or application for a personal safety intervention order or family violence intervention order in relation to that person. This is because the school community safety order scheme is designed to protect individuals within the school community from certain types of behaviour, as opposed to:
- family violence intervention orders made between family members which protect family members from the behaviour of another family member
- personal safety intervention orders, made between people who are not family members. which protect a person from another person.
Examples of where an authorised person may also wish to issue a school community safety order to a person who is also the respondent to a family violence intervention order and/or a personal safety intervention order include where:
- a person who is the respondent to a family violence intervention order (who may or may not have children enrolled at the school) causes significant disruption to the school and its activities, and the family violence intervention order does not prohibit them from engaging in that behaviour towards staff or others at school
- a school staff member is seeking a family violence intervention order in relation to a member of their family, who is also harassing them on school grounds, impacting upon the safety of the school community.
In most instances, the existence of a family violence intervention order or personal safety intervention order will not be relevant to an authorised person’s assessment of whether there are grounds to make an order. However, they may be relevant to the conditions that are included in the order.
The existence of a school community safety order and any enforcement proceedings initiated because of a breach of a school community safety order may be relevant to law enforcement and courts in deciding about an application for a family violence intervention order or personal safety intervention order.
Students or staff affected by family violence
Authorised persons must not issue school community safety orders to manage family violence matters unrelated to the school or where they do not occur on school related places, in place of the Family Violence Intervention Order scheme. Authorised persons and schools should instead encourage families to seek advice and support to respond to family violence through appropriate family support services, including encouraging parents to consider applying for a family violence intervention order on behalf of themselves and/or their child(ren).
Under the , schools have responsibilities to identify and respond to family violence. Refer to for determining the appropriate action to be taken in relation to family violence matters in alignment with MARAM, the , and other school reporting requirements.
Child Safe Standards and Reportable Conduct Scheme
Authorised persons must ensure that the conditions of a school community safety order do not prevent the school from complying with the Reportable Conduct Scheme or the Child Safe Standards, particularly Standard 4: Family Engagement which require schools to:
- make sure families participate in child safety and wellbeing decisions which affect their child
- engage and openly communicate with families and the school community about its child safe approach.
Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Schemes
The provide authorised organisations, including Victorian schools, with an expanded ability to request and share confidential information to promote the wellbeing or safety of children or to assess or manage family violence risk.
Authorised persons in information sharing entities (which includes principals in schools) can use these schemes to support decision-making and appropriately consider and manage risks to children, in relation to issuing an order and after an order is made.
Examples of interaction with other schemes
The following examples aim to assist schools and authorised persons in understanding when one scheme is likely to be a more effective than the other in addressing inappropriate behaviour.
A parent emails their child’s teacher daily and the tone is often aggressive and offensive. This is despite the school providing responses to the parent’s concerns on many occasions and attempts to warn the parent about the negative impacts of their behaviour on staff.
Consider making an ongoing order prohibiting the parent from continuing to contact the teacher about that issue
A parent regularly calls the school and behaves aggressively and offensively over the phone to school staff regardless of who the parent is communicating with.
Consider making an ongoing order prohibiting the parent from telephoning any staff member and requiring the parent to communicate with the school via email or other stipulated mode of alternative communication.
A group of people living near a school comes onto school grounds on Friday evenings to consume alcohol after all students and staff have left. They continuously leave behind rubbish that causes a nuisance to the school in needing to clean the premises every week, but their behaviour does not directly affect members of the school community.
Consider issuing a trespass warning notice prohibiting the group of people from being on school grounds, as the behaviour does not affect any members of the school community and therefore, does not satisfy any of the grounds for issuing an order.
If the individuals cause significant damage to school property or grounds, and that damage interferes with the wellbeing, safety and educational opportunities of students when they attend school the following week, there may be a case to issue an ongoing order.
The parent attends on school grounds and yells and behaves in an intimidating way towards various staff members. The parent also sends aggressive and offensive emails and is abusive over the phone.
Consider making an ongoing order to prohibit entry onto school grounds and communication with staff members. Consider trespass warning notice if behaviour on school grounds continues and requires police involvement.
The parent is unhappy about how the school has managed their concerns about incidents involving their child. The parent telephones the principal makes threats to physically hurt the principal.
Consider applying for a personal safety intervention order protecting the principal and make an ongoing order.
Reviewed 10 July 2022