By the very nature of their mission and ethos, Catholic schools in Queensland place the highest priority on the safety and care of the children and young people who are their students.
Catholic school authorities in Queensland continue to create teaching and learning communities in Queensland Catholic schools in the context of the nine elements of the National Safe Schools Framework.
Catholic educators are constantly working to build on existing policies and procedures, and working to develop proactive approaches to student protection.
Catholic schools see student protection as not only complying with regulations but moving beyond mere compliance to prevention by creating open, aware cultures where people have the commitment and knowledge to identify risks of harm and respond appropriately.
The Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2001 and the Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2001 provide the overarching legal requirements for student protection in all Catholic schools in Queensland. The fundamental obligation is for each school to develop and maintain a Risk Management Strategy which seeks to reduce the risk of harm to students. It also includes documentation of policies and procedures which demonstrate the school’s compliance with all other forms of child protection legislation in this state and implementation of best practice procedures for the protection of children and young people from harm.
The consequences of failing to act in accord with legislation and regulations are serious because of the potential impact on the lives of students, the well-being of families, school staff and the reputation of the school itself. In addition, failure to comply will attract considerable penalties in the form of fines, convictions and can place the accreditation status of the school in jeopardy.
Because this is such a serious, complex and continually evolving area of activity, QCEC has retained a Student Protection Subcommittee that regularly advises the Commission on student protection issues.
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