Pacific recognises that protecting students from harm and the risk of harm is fundamental to maximising their personal and academic potential. For this reason, the welfare and best interests of the children within our College will always be a primary consideration.
We expect our students to show respect to our staff and volunteers and to comply with safe practices. We expect all employees to ensure that their behaviour and relationships with students reflects proper professional standards of care and are not unlawful. The College will respond diligently to a report of suspected or actual harm, or risk of harm to a student resulting from either within the College or from outside of the College.
What does the College mean by harm?
Recent Queensland legislation defines harm as:
- Any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. It is immaterial how the harm is caused. Harm can be caused by:
- Physical, psychological or emotional abuse or neglect;
- Sexual abuse or exploitation; or
- Domestic or family violence.
How does the College protect students from harm?
The College has a comprehensive Child Protection and Anti Sexual Abuse Policy, which outlines the actions to be taken if a member of staff or a parent of the College becomes aware or reasonably suspects that harm has been done to a student by other staff, people outside the College or by other students.
What should you do if you become aware or reasonably suspect that harm has been caused to a student of the College by a member of staff, someone outside of the College or by other students?
You should report your concerns to the Principal or member of the Administration and Learning Executive or to any other member of College staff.
What will happen next?
If you report your concerns to a member of staff other than the Principal, the member of staff will report it to the Principal immediately. If the subject of the complaint is the Principal then the member of staff will report to the Chairperson of the College Council.
Child Protection Policy and Procedures
Every student has the right to feel safe and free from harm while at Pacific Lutheran College. We expect students to respect their teachers and other students and we expect that they will receive the same respect in return. Students should never allow themselves to feel unsafe without reporting it to someone they trust.
Who should a student tell if they do not feeling safe at school or at home?
Any member of staff, including the Pastor. If a student does not feel comfortable talking to a member of staff, they may like to write him or her a letter. If a student would prefer to talk to somebody outside of the College on a confidential basis, they can also call Kids Help Line which is a free call – 1800 551 800.
What will happen if a student reports what is happening to a member of staff?
If the concern is worrying the student but not causing them immediate harm, then the member of staff will discuss ways to solve their problem. If the concern is serious and the member of staff believes that the student is being harmed or is in danger of being harmed, he or she will report it to the Principal.
What if the student does not want the member of staff to tell the Principal?
The member of staff will aim to keep the student’s concerns confidential as much as possible. However, if the member of staff is aware or reasonably suspects that harm has been caused to a student of the College, the law states that the matter must be reported to the Principal and it may have to be reported to the Police. If the staff member has no choice about reporting what the student has told them, he or she will explain exactly what will happen next.
The most important thing is that the student feels safe and free from harm. Students must tell someone if they are being harmed or afraid that they will be harmed.
Pacific has a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that students, staff and members of the College community are not subjected to behaviours, practices or processes that may constitute harassment, discrimination, vilification, or victimisation and is therefore committed to developing an environment which promotes respect for a person’s integrity, equitable treatment and natural justice.
Taking and publishing photos, and recordings of school-based activities