Giant Steps Tasmania puts student safety and well-being at the heart of everything it does and is committed to upholding the 10 National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. As is true of most organisations, we accept that we can always do more and be better and, with the help of our wider school community, we will ensure improvements in this area are continuous. We are however pleased to provide a snapshot of where we are now in our Child Safe journey.
Principle 1. Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organizational leadership, governance and culture.
- Our child safe culture is championed and modelled at all levels of the organization from the top down and the bottom up.
- Our school policies and procedures support the implementation of child safety and wellbeing.
- Our Professional Conduct Policy provides guidelines for staff and volunteers on expected behavioural standards and responsibilities.
- Staff and volunteers understand their obligations on information sharing.
- We use risk management strategies with the aim of identifying and mitigating risks to our students.
Principle 2. Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
- Through the curriculum students are informed about their rights, including to safety, information, and participation.
- Our students have a Student Council, where they can raise concerns and discuss matters of importance to them.
- Our Student Council has input into the key policies and procedures that affect them.
- Students are encouraged to have input into their IEPs.
- Staff can recognise signs of harm and are understand their responsibilities in terms of mandatory reporting.
Principle 3. Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
- Families participate in decisions affecting their child, particularly through their involvement in drawing up an IEP.
- We engage with families and the community about our child safe approach through our newsletters.
- Families, carers and the community are informed about the organisation’s operations and governance through its website.
Principle 4. Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
- The staff of Giant Steps Tasmania understand the needs of our neurodiverse students and provide them with support, understanding and respect.
Principle 5. People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
- Our Staff Recruitment Policy including advertising, referee checks and staff pre-employment screening, emphasise child safety and wellbeing.
- All our staff have current working with children checks.
- All our staff receive an appropriate induction and are aware of their responsibilities to children and young people, including record keeping, information sharing and reporting obligations.
Principle 6. Processes to respond to complaints and concerns are child focused.
- Because of the needs of our students, any grievances or complaints are usually raised by parents/ carers on behalf of the student.
- We have a clear and comprehensive Grievance Policy which details the roles and responsibilities of leadership and the Board in dealing with different types of complaints, breaches of relevant policies or the Code of Conduct and obligations to act and report.
- The complaint handling processes are understood by families and staff.
- All complaints are taken seriously, responded to promptly and thoroughly and are logged.
- We ensure that reporting, privacy and employment law obligations are met when addressing grievances or complaints.
Principle 7. Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
- Our staff are trained and supported to effectively implement the organisation’s Student Well-being and Pastoral Care Policy and Safeguarding Policy.
- Staff receive training and information to respond effectively to issues of child safety and wellbeing and support colleagues who disclose harm.
Principle 8: Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
- Our staff identify and mitigate risks in the online and physical environments without compromising a child’s right to privacy, access to information, social connections and learning opportunities.
- The online environment is used in accordance with the organisation’s Professional Code of Conduct, Technology Policy and child safety and wellbeing policy and practices.
- Our risk management plans consider risks posed by organisational settings, activities, and the physical environment.
Principle 9. Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved.
- We are constantly reviewing, evaluating and improving our childsafe practices as can be seen in our current School Improvement Plan.
- Any complaints, concerns and safety incidents are analysed to identify causes and systemic failures to inform continuous improvement.
Principle 10. Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
- We have the following policies which address the national child safe principles:
- Anti-bullying and Harassment
- Medication Administration
- Off-site Activities
- Personal Care Support
- Positive Behaviour Support
- Staff Induction
- Staff Professional Conduct
- Staff Recruitment
- Student Well-being and Pastoral Care
- Our policies and procedures are documented and easy to understand.
- Staff and student consultation informs the development of the policies and procedures.
- All staff understand and implement the school’s policies and procedures.