POLICIES & PROCEDURES
CHILD SAFE POLICY
Under the Child Safety and Wellbeing Act, Victorian organisations that provide services to children are required to implement compulsory child safe standards to protect children from harm.
Tanya James School of Dance (TJSD) has written a Child Safe Policy to demonstrate the strong commitment of the principal and staff to child safety and the policies and practices developed to keep everyone safe from any harm, including abuse.
This document demonstrates TJSD is compliant with Child Safe Policies & procedures. For more information, see A Guide for Creating a Child-safe Organisation produced by the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) available at www.ccyp.vic.gov.au
Commitment to child safety
Tanya James School of Dance (TJSD) is a Child Safe organisation. As a school we are committed to and focused on providing a safe community for all students and family members at all times. We want our students to feel safe, supported, respected, happy, empowered and have fun.
The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority and we have a zero tolerance to child abuse. This policy effective 1 January 2017, demonstrates the strong commitment of the Principal and staff to child safety and provides the policies and practices developed to keep everyone safe from any harm, including abuse. It applies to all staff, volunteers, children and individuals involved in our school.
Children’s rights to safety and participation
TJSD staff encourage children to express their views. We listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. We actively encourage all children to ‘have a say’ about things that are important to them.
We teach children about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children, or their parents/carers, raise with us.
We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices. To achieve this we:
• promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families
• promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families
• welcome children with a disability and their families and act to promote their participation
• seek appropriate staff from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Our teaching staff commitment to child safety
Please know that all of our TJSD teachers understand our child safety policy and are as passionate about providing a safe and fun environment for all students, where each and every student in their class feels supported and empowered. See our Teacher’s Code of Conduct below.
TJSD applies the best practice standards in the recruitment and screening of staff. We interview and conduct referee checks on all staff and require current Working with Children Checks for all positions. Our commitment to Child Safety and our screening requirements are included in all advertisements.
All TJSD students and families must let Tanya James know immediately if they have any concerns regarding a teacher. If a teacher has breached their code of conduct or is behaving inappropriately we will handle it immediately.
Teacher’s Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct outlines appropriate standards of behaviour by adults towards children. The Code of Conduct aims to protect children and reduce any opportunities for abuse or harm to occur. It also helps staff and volunteers by providing them with guidance on how to best support children and how to avoid or better manage difficult situations. All staff and volunteers are required to comply.
All TJSD staff and volunteers are responsible for promoting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people by:
• adhering to our Child Safe Policy, and other policies
• taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse
• treating everyone with respect, including listening to and valuing their ideas and opinions
• welcoming all children and their families and carers and being inclusive
• respecting cultural, religious and political differences and acting in a culturally sensitive way
• modelling appropriate adult behaviour
• listening to children and responding to them appropriately
• reporting and acting on any breaches of this Code of Conduct, complaints or concerns
• complying with our guidelines on physical contact with children
• working with children in an open and transparent way – other adults should always know about the work you are doing with children
• respecting the privacy of children and their families, and only disclosing information to people who have a need to know.
TJSD staff and volunteers must NOT:
• seek to use children in any way to meet the needs of adults
• ignore or disregard any concerns, suspicions or disclosures of child abuse
• use prejudice, oppressive behaviour or language with children
• engage in rough physical games
• discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability or sexuality
• initiate unnecessary physical contact with children or do things of a personal nature that children can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes
• develop ‘special’ relationships with specific children or show favouritism through the provision of gifts or inappropriate attention
• exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking site or email addresses with children
• have unauthorised contact with children and young people online or by phone.
I have read this Code of Conduct and agree to abide by it at all times.
As part of the screening and recruitment process, an applicant must provide TJSD appropriate evidence to show that they are suitable to work with children and young people in a safe dance environment. This includes:
• Working with children's check (WWCC)
• up to date First Aid and CPR
• Appropriate / high level of dance experience
• Appropriate dance teaching experience
• Communication and organisation skills
• Lesson planning experience
• Always arrive 15mins before class to set up and welcome students into the class.
• Always make TJSD a fun and supportive environment where no one feels left out.
• Be aware and friendly to other people using Carrington Park Activity Centre.
• If available, be willing to cover other classes.
• Be organised and plan your class before hand.
• Always treat students and family members with respect.
• Do not discriminate against any students, no matter their background or experience.
• Always provide a supportive and safe environment for our students.
• Do not develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children).
• Do not put children at risk of abuse or ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse. (Please read our Child Safety Policy)
• Wear appropriate dance wear at all times.
• Respond professionally and efficiently to any parent concerns.
• Do not do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes.
• Do not engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal social activities).
• Do not use inappropriate language or music in the presence of children.
• Do not express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children.
• Do not discriminate against any child, including but not limited to: because of culture, race, ethnicity or disability.
• Do not have contact with a child or their family outside of our organisation without our knowledge and/or consent.
• Conduct yourself in a confident and friendly, yet professional manner at all times.
• Report all injuries to Tanya James as soon as possible.
• Always empower and encourage our students to be the best they can be.
• Be available and willing to help students at events including concerts.
• Strictly no use of mobile phones during class unless it is class related.
• Keep Tanya up to date with all classes and students.
Reporting a child safety concern or complaint
All TJSD teachers, students and families are supported to raise any concerns or complaints regarding any risks to a child's safety or any signs of abuse.
All concerns or complaints should be made directly to Tanya James and will be resolved as soon as possible. Support will be offered to all people involved.
Please remember that if you believe a child is at immediate risk to call 000 as soon as possible.
Reviewing this policy
This policy will be reviewed every two years and we undertake to seek views, comments and suggestions from students, parents, carers and staff.