The child safe standards came into effect for all Victorian schools on 1 August 2016.
Throughout 2017, one in three Victorian schools will be involved in a child safe standards compliance or feedback program. Compliance is being monitored through the cyclical school review process and the initial school registration process.
Additionally, 10 per cent of Victorian schools have been invited to participate in a feedback project, which aims to understand schools’ experiences in implementing the child safe standards.
resources page for more information and resources.
Ministerial Order No. 870 [accessible] sets out the specific actions that registered schools need to take to meet the
child safe standards. The Ministerial Order places accountability for managing the risk of child abuse with school governing authorities.
minimum standard for school registration requires schools to meet the requirements of the Ministerial Order.
A note about definitions
The Ministerial Order broadly defines some terms.
Definitions for a full explanation of the terms used in Ministerial Order No. 870.
How is compliance with the child safe standards being monitored?
Compliance with the child safe standards is monitored through the:
Additionally, the VRQA has invited 10 per cent of Victorian schools to participate in an implementation feedback project.
Schools scheduled for a cyclical reviewed in 2017 will be assessed against the child safe standards.
All schools applying for registration will be assessed against the child safe standards.
Schools invited to participate in the implementation feedback project would have received an email in May 2017.
The implementation feedback project will be undertaken over three phases during Terms 2 and 3. In phase one, the VRQA will look at schools’ child safe standards self-assessment and action plans all schools completed in 2016.
In phase two, the VRQA will look at how child safety is promoted within the school communities and which key documents are made publicly available on school websites.
In phase three, schools will be invited to participate in a 20-minute telephone conversation. Here, the VRQA hopes to better understand the experiences of individual schools, and gain insight into the different approaches to implementing the child safe standards.
A full project outline is available in the project
We know that schools are safe places. The implementation feedback project aims to identify areas of child safety best practice that can be shared across the system to help all schools in their commitment to child safety or to help determine where to next?
The project also provides an opportunity for the VRQA to understand any obstacles schools faced in implementing the standards and where more support may be needed.
In total, the VRQA has invited over 200 schools to participate in the project as a representative sample chosen from the State Register. The sample takes measures to ensure representation across:
The VRQA has a number of resources to help schools meet each of the child safe standards.
These have been shaped by responses to the VRQA Child Safe Standards Readiness Tool and feedback received at the VRQA Child Safe Standards Information Sessions.
resources page for more information and resources.
Under the child safe standards, what are my responsibilities for the welfare of students outside of school hours?
In meeting the child safe standards (via the requirements of Ministerial Order No. 870), you must take into account your school’s additional responsibilities to students outside of school hours and/or your school’s main campuses.
Activities that may need to be considered in meeting the child safe standards include:
How do the standards apply to an international student's living arrangements?
The standards apply to an international student’s living arrangements where:
International students aged under 18 can only enter Australia on
Student Visas where:
CRICOS registered schools that issue a CAAW letter are accepting responsibility for the student’s ‘accommodation, support and general welfare’ arrangements, and must approve the student’s accommodation in either:
In Victoria, the student must be at least 13 years of age for a CAAW letter to be issued.
A CAAW letter retains responsibility for the student’s accommodation, support and general welfare from the student’s arrival in Australia until either:
VRQA approved SEOs that issue an AASES form are accepting responsibility for the student’s ‘accommodation, support and general welfare’ arrangements for the duration of the secondary student exchange program, and must approve the student’s placement in a local host family.
CRICOS registered schools and VRQA approved SEOs can engage commercial agencies and third parties to assist the school in exercising its responsibilities – but education providers and SEOs
cannot delegate their CAAW or AASES responsibility to a student to any other entity.
Further information is available from the VRQA.
Minister of religion
School governing authority