At Sacred Heart School we hold the care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people as a central and fundamental responsibility of our school. Our commitment is drawn from and inherent in the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the sanctity of each human person at the heart of the gospel.
Catholic schools have a moral, legal and mission-driven responsibility to create nurturing school environments where children and young people are respected, their voices are heard and they are safe and feel safe.
The following principles underpin our commitment to child safety at Sacred Heart School:
1. All students deserve, as a fundamental right, safety and protection from all forms of abuse and neglect.
2. Sacred Heart School works in partnership with families and the community to ensure that they are engaged in decision-making processes, particularly those that have an impact on child safety and protection.
3. All students have the right to a thorough and systematic education in all aspects of personal safety, in partnership with their parents/guardians/caregivers.
4. All adults in our school, including teaching and non-teaching staff, clergy, volunteers, and contractors, have a responsibility to care for children and young people, to positively promote their wellbeing and to protect them from any kind of harm or abuse.
5. The policies, guidelines and codes of conduct for the care, wellbeing and protection of students are based on honest, respectful and trusting relationships between adults and children and young people.
6. Policies and practices demonstrate compliance with legislative requirements and cooperation with the Church, governments, the police and human services agencies.
7. All persons involved in situations where harm is suspected or disclosed must be treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect.
8. Staff, clergy, volunteers, contractors, parents and students should feel free to raise concerns about child safety, knowing these will be taken seriously by school leadership.
9. Appropriate confidentiality will be maintained, with information being provided to those who have a right or a need to be informed, either legally or pastorally.
National Child Safe Guidelines:
Affirm the right of all school community members to feel safe at school.
Promote care, respect and cooperation, and value diversity.
Implement policies, programmes and processes to nurture a safe and supportive school environment.
Recognise that quality leadership is an essential element that underpins the creation of a safe and supportive school environment.
Ensure that roles and responsibilities of all members of the school community in promoting a safe and supportive environment are explicit, clearly understood and disseminated.
Recognise the critical importance of pre-service and ongoing professional development in creating a safe and supportive school environment.
Have a responsibility to provide opportunities for students to learn through the formal curriculum the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed for positive relationships.
Focus on policies that are proactive and orientated towards prevention and intervention.
Regularly monitor and evaluate their policies and programmes so that evidence-based practise supports decisions and improvements.
Take action to protect children from all forms of abuse and neglect.