30 Oct 23

Protect Children

Newsletter | Principal's Message

“Beware that you don’t look down upon a single one of these little children.
For I tell you that in heaven their angels have constant access to my Father.”
(Jesus in the Bible)

The Christian Bible explicitly directs all adults to protect children.

As we know, schools are organisations established to manage the care and education of children. Therefore, schools must protect children through systems and structures, and through policies and practices. And because of the clear directives that the Bible sets for adults to protect children, a Christian school is an organisation that should function as a pro-social collaborative community where parents and staff partner together in the protective nurture of the children.

Therefore, I am writing to you to remind you about a policy we have. This particular policy is actually part of the government-required responsibility of all schools. That means that all schools are required by the government to have an up-to-date policy that delineates how each school will put in place protective and responsive steps to keep children safe.

The particular aspect of child safety that the policy is to address is safety from child abuse. I am sure you would agree that this is a very good requirement that the government has implemented.

Schools are communities, and a clear policy about child safety clarifies the behavioural expectations of all adults in each school community. You see, all staff (not just teachers), all family members (not just parents) and all volunteers (not just school board members) have to be responsible to look out for and respond to any evidence of child abuse.

So, firstly let me draw your attention to the policy. It is Policy 15, “Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy”. It is lengthy, but please read it. It instructs how we adults are to actively protect children. The policy is always accessible on our MCC website, and the link is here for your convenience.

Secondly, so that you are informed, I want to explain how and when the policy is reviewed.

The policy itself was significantly updated in 2022. That update was in response to a requirement for all schools to update their child safety policies to align with the government publishing a new set of ‘Child Safe Standards’. There are other times that the policy will be updated too. Each year the policy is reviewed. It is reviewed by the school’s governing body; that’s the College Council. It is also reviewed by me as principal, by staff, and parents are asked to review the policy also, we want you involved and feeling connected. If there is a breach of policy, the policy gets reviewed immediately.

Each year, all staff re-read the policy so that they are familiar with it. All staff and the school council do online training in a module called the Mandatory Reporting Certificate. We even get tested on this to make sure that we are competent and ready to report any concerns about child safety.

I hope that is all helpful information for you. We know parents and staff perform best when we partner together. We thank you for your commitment to partnering with us in keeping children safe.

david gleeson, principal