What is Ministerial Order 870?
All Victorian primary and secondary schools must comply with Ministerial Order No. 870 – Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools in order to be registered, and remain registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
The Order came in to effect on 1 August 2016 and specifies how every Victorian school must:
- embed a culture of ‘no tolerance’ for child abuse; and
- comply with the prescribed seven minimum child safe standards.
In meeting the requirements of the Order, schools must be inclusive of the needs of all children, particularly students who are vulnerable due to age, family circumstances, abilities, or indigenous, cultural or linguistic background.
School governing authorities (which include school councils, boards of directors, church authorities, religious bodies and principals) have responsibility for ensuring that schools meet all of the obligations set out within the Ministerial Order.
What are the 7 minimum Child Safe Standards?
Schools must comply with the prescribed standards:
- Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety;
- A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety;
- A child safety code of conduct;
- Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse;
- Procedures for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse;
- Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse; and
- Strategies to promote child participation and empowerment.