Protecting children and young people (child protection)

Schools are required to provide a protective and caring school environment that ensures student safety, welfare and wellbeing.

Principals must ensure that all staff:

  • have participated in initial child protection induction and annual updates
  • are aware of the indicators of abuse and neglect of children and young people, their obligations to advise the principal of any concerns about their safety, welfare and wellbeing, and the mandatory obligation to report suspected risk of significant harm and the procedures for doing so.

Principals must also:

  • establish workplace systems for coordinating services for families and children in ways that strengthen and support them and exchanging information with other agencies as permitted by law
  • escalate concerns if serious safety issues remain after a report has been made
  • continue to support and promote the safety of the child or young person who is the subject of concerns
  • comply with record keeping requirements, including staff completion of induction and annual updates, and reports to the Helpline.

Where there are concerns about risk of harm, principals must:

  • use professional judgement and appropriate tools such as the Mandatory Reporter Guide to make decisions
  • report to Family and Community Services if the concerns are considered to be risk of significant harm
  • seek advice from the Child Wellbeing Unit if there is uncertainty, the Mandatory Reporter Guide indicates this, or there is an observable pattern of cumulative harm.

This information is from the Protecting and Supporting Children and Young People Policy. Principals must read the whole policy.

DEC policy documents

DEC resources