Child Protection Code of Conduct
|Brighton Grammar School is committed to fulfilling its duty of care to all students and specifically students under the age of 16 in relation to the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), which was amended in 2014 to include offences of: (i) failing to disclose a sexual offence; (ii) grooming for sexual conduct; and (iii) failing to protect a child from sexual offence. This policy is underpinned by the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).
Brighton Grammar School is fully committed to the protection of children and young people during all School activities and environments both within and outside of School hours.
All Brighton Grammar School employees, volunteers, contractor and visitor and others interacting with children and the school are required to observe all laws and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children. Teachers and other professionals are also reminder of their additional reporting obligations in the event of suspected physical or sexual abuse of a child.
All employees, volunteers, contractor and visitor and others interacting with children in the Brighton Grammar School community are responsible for supporting the safety, wellbeing and empowerment of children by adhering to the Code of Conduct set out below:
It is expected that every employee, volunteer, contractor and visitor to Brighton Grammar school will:
- Adhere to the School’s Child Protection Policy and uphold the School’s expectations within this Code of Conduct at all times
- Report any reasonable belief of child abuse (including sexual abuse) to the police or fulfil their obligation as Mandatory Notifiers (if applicable); and
- Provide an educational environment that is supportive of all children’s emotional, physical and cultural safety;
- Take all reasonable steps to avoid placing themselves, students or other children in circumstances which may reasonably be considered a risk to their safety or wellbeing;
- Consider what they do and say in terms of the potential for (in interacting with a student or child) misunderstanding, allegations, misinterpretation or innuendo;
- Avoid being alone (without reasonable visibility from outside the room) with a student or child;
- Comply fully with preventative supervisory practices (as set out below);
- Take an active role to ensure the protection of students and other children on Brighton Grammar School premises and elsewhere;
- Report any conduct or event which poses a risk to the safety and wellbeing of a student, child, supervising adult or the School to a Head of School and / or the Headmaster without delay;
- Maintain strict confidentiality of information relating to events or individuals in regard to allegations of unwelcome or inappropriate conduct (except to report it as required to managers and external authorities);
- Fully cooperate with any investigation, formal or informal, which occurs as a consequence of allegations or misunderstandings regarding conduct being brought to the School’s attention;
- Refrain from activities, conduct or communication involving students or children that would reasonably be seen to have a negative impact on the reputation of the School or employees or students of the School.
Expected conduct for employees in respect to the protection of students and other children includes:
- Employees condoning and developing only appropriate relationships and conduct toward students and other children;
- Employees complying with the above instruction whether at School or not;
- Employees maintaining appropriate relationships and interactions with parents, guardians and caregivers, focused on the pastoral and educational interests of the student;
- Employees accepting that their behaviour out of work hours may impact on their professional standing, the reputation of the School, their ability to fulfil the inherent requirements of their contract and subsequently to be able to work at Brighton Grammar School;
- Employees compliance with legal requirements (and the School’s Directions) in respect of matters such as mandatory reporting, privacy, occupational health and safety, negligence, discrimination, harassment and vilification.
These expectations also apply outside working hours to the extent that the conduct or consequences of the conduct would have an impact on the Employees member’s ability to fulfil the inherent requirements of their role.
If an employee is charged by Police or under investigation for matters regarding the protection of students and children, the School considers the nature of their normal duties to determine whether it is possible for the individual to fulfil the inherent requirements of their normal role while such matters are dealt with.
If their normal duties would involve interaction with Brighton Grammar School students the School reserves the right to suspend or exclude the employee from the workplace while the matter is resolved.
If this were to occur, the School would take all reasonable steps to protect the rights and reputation of the individual and to provide access to external and internal support for the individual’s wellbeing.
Any steps of this nature would be at the discretion of the Headmaster.
In cases where allegations against an employee are found to have no merit, the employee shall be protected from potential victimisation as a consequence of any investigation.
Conduct Expectations in terms of Student Protection
In terms of the conduct expected of individuals (in addition to matters specified elsewhere in this Policy), every employee, volunteer, contractor and visitor must:
- conduct themselves at all times in a manner which upholds the values and enhances the reputation of Brighton Grammar School; this expectation extends to social, sporting and other outside activities at which the employee may be associated with the School;
- comply with reasonable and lawful instructions in regard to the supervision of students and other children;
- consider their conduct (and possible interpretations of that behaviour) and the conduct of other Employees around them in terms of obligations regarding student protection;
- follow preventative supervisory practices when interacting with students and other children (as set out below);
- conduct themselves in a lawful manner and consistent with the principles of ‘mutual trust and confidence’ underpinning their employment relationship with Brighton Grammar School;
- refrain from touching, handling, pushing or otherwise physically engaging with students or others in a manner which is not wholly necessary and consistent with reasonable requirements of their role;
- refrain from social visits to a student in his home or outside School unless the visit relates to School business (see ‘Code of Conduct’);
- ensure that a parent or guardian of a student (under 18 years of age) is present when a Employees member visits the home on School business or for any other reason.
Preventative Supervisory Practices
It is understood that academic, sporting and co-curricular aspects of an individual’s work may bring them into situations where they may be in close or regular contact with BGS students and or other children, and may develop rapport or may have incidental contact with students outside the context of their duties at School.
It is expected that the following principles (based on the prevention of situations or events which might lead to allegations or misunderstandings between Employees and students or other children) will be observed:
- Whenever required to be in a one to one situation with a student or child, the individual will ensure that the door is open or that another adult is in attendance;
- Whenever possible, individuals will avoid ‘one to one’ situations with students and children;
- Will only work within the scope of their professional expertise and the requirements of their position description;
- Will take a balanced and fair approach to managing relationships with students (no ‘favourites’ or special arrangements which might be construed to be inappropriate); and
- Language and subject matter used in the presence of or in communicating with students and children will be appropriate;
- Behaviour (either observed or by the individual) that would constitute bullying or manipulation is not to be tolerated, trivialised or ignored;
- Behaviour which would constitute bullying or manipulation of students or other children does not occur (and could not be construed);
- Relationships and interactions are not overly familiar nor intimate; and
- Attempts by students or other children to build relationships which would be inappropriately familiar or intimate are discouraged and must be reported to the relevant Head of School.
Outside the school including phone, online and social media interactions:
It is expected that contact with a child or his/her family is for educational purposes only and via the schools authorised ICT systems and with the permission of the child’s parent or guardian.
- Any image of a student is only to be taken or used for designated school purposes. Images must not be stored on personal devices but must be transferred to a school file and deleted from the personal device.
Breach of the Child Protection Policy and/or the Child Protection Code of Conduct shall be considered either misconduct or serious misconduct (depending on the circumstances) and may result in further action as which may lead to termination of employment and/or reporting to relevant Authorities.
|This Policy is a controlled document. Any printing of this document is uncontrolled. Please refer to the school portal for the latest version of this policy|
|Policy Version number||1|
|BGS Compliance Framework Risk Area||Student Welfare|
|Policy reviewed and approved by||Risk and Governance Committee|
|Next Review Date||May 2022|