Welcome to Term 3
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We were delighted to return to school this term with our new classrooms and courtyard completed in the Senior School. This concludes 18 months of extensive building and refurbishments. Students and staff are now enjoying the Anne Feehan Building, beautiful new classrooms and freedom of movement across the courtyard! I am very grateful to the staff who managed this project led by Steve Cuddon, our Chief Finance and Operating Officer and Michael Lawrence, our Property Manager. Both Steve and Michael have been very responsive to the needs of students and staff during this time to ensure the least amount of disruption possible.
At the beginning of this term we welcomed two staff to cover Long Service Leave positions. Rebecca Leondidis who is taking Mrs Scarff’s Foundation class and Fay Mak who is replacing Nima Reddy one of our Laboratory Technicians. We are also delighted that Geoff Cunningham has commenced as an Art Technician in the Senior School. Geoff is an artist and was an Artist-In-Residence working with students last term. Our new manager of the Uniform Shop is Nancy Leong, a former parent of Camberwell Girls and active member of the former Parents’ Auxiliary. Former parents, Tiffany Butler and Jo Chadwick are also assisting Nancy to provide support in the shop.
Child Safe Standards
This year there is a new regulatory landscape surrounding child safety as a result of the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry. This inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations, commenced in Victoria in April 2012. As a result there have now been amendments to the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.), the introduction of the Child Safe Standards and the release of Ministerial Order 870, explaining the specific actions that schools need to take to meet the Child Safe Standards.
Whilst the first phase of implementation of the standards applies to schools and education and training organisations, the second phase of implementation during 2017 will apply to other organisations that provide services for children such as churches, sport and recreational services, youth organisations, coaching and tuition services as well as camps.
The Child Safe Standards apply to child sexual abuse, physical abuse, serious emotional and psychological abuse and serious neglect of children. They aim to:
- Create a culture where protecting children from abuse is a part of everyday thinking and practice in organisations
- Strengthen existing approaches to preventing and responding to child abuse and provide for consistency in how these issues are managed.
The seven standards are:
- Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organizational culture of child safety
- Standard 2: Child Safety Policy / Statement of Commitment
- Standard 3: Child Safety Code of Conduct
- Standard 4: School staff selection, supervision and management practices for a child-safe environment
- Standard 5: Procedures for responding to and reporting allegations of suspected child abuse
- Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
- Standard 7: Strategies to promote child empowerment and participation
There are also three principles that apply to each of the standards:
- Promoting the cultural safety of Aboriginal children
- Promoting the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Promoting the safety of children with a disability
Whilst our current policies and procedures in these areas have been compliant, in implementing these new standards, a number of policies have been reviewed and there has been the development of a statement of commitment as well as a new Child Safety Policy as required by the standards. In the next few weeks as we will be discussing the updated policies and procedures with students and parents will receive a more detailed letter with copies of relevant policies for their information. There will also be periodic updates and opportunities to discuss any questions with relevant staff.
I look forward to seeing you at a number of events this term including our eagerly awaited performances of CATS and Ormiston Alive.
With best wishes,