Volume 13 of the Final Report of the Royal Commission 2017 contains eight recommendations to prevent child sexual abuse from occurring in schools and, where it does occur, to help ensure effective responses. The Victorian Government accepted in principle seven recommendations in Volume 13 and noted one recommendation. You can read the Victorian Government’s response to Volume 13 here.
The Victorian Government is working closely with other governments on measures to prevent child sexual abuse in schools, including providing support to other states and territories to implement the Royal Commission’s Child Safe Standards.
From 1 August 2016, all Victorian schools were required to comply with the Victorian Child Safe Standards . To support schools to implement the Victorian Child Safe Standards, the Department of Education and Training provides detailed guidance, templates, tools and resources on the PROTECT website . This guidance was developed in consultation with the government and non-government school sectors, and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority which monitors and enforces the Victorian Child Safe Standards in schools. The Department of Education and Training also provides a dedicated email inbox for schools to seek advice in relation to implementing the Child Safe Standards.
The Royal Commission found inconsistencies between teacher registration requirements across states and territories. The COAG Education Council is considering measures to improve national consistency, including recording and making available consistent types of information on teacher registers.
In September 2018, the COAG Education Council noted the recommendations of a National Review of Teacher Registration. The review considered how the current registration framework is operating, including in in relation to implementation, consistency, best practice, and challenges and barriers. The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership is working with jurisdictions to develop an implementation strategy for the recommendations of the National Review of Teacher Registration.
The Royal Commission identified that opportunities for abuse and vulnerability of children to abuse resulted in a higher risk to children in boarding schools than day schools. The Victorian Government is currently considering the extent to which the existing powers of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority enable it to monitor the compliance of boarding schools and other providers of student accommodation with Victoria’s Child Safe Standards.
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Further support for survivors of past abuse, violence or childhood trauma is available.
Find and Connect Support Services (freecall M-F 9am-5pm) 1800 161 109
Lifeline 13 11 14
Sexual Assault Crisis Line (freecall M-F 5pm-9am and weekends) 1800 806 292