Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are committed to providing safe environments for students. Whilst we have a legal obligation to protect children, this commitment is central to our Catholic beliefs. At St Mary's Primary School, we believe that all children have a right to a safe environment, which is free from any form of abuse or harm. At St Mary’s, relationships between adults and children are governed by trust and Gospel values.
Schools in NSW are required to meet the statutory obligations of legislation relating to child protection. Schools in this diocese are required to uphold the policies and guidelines set out by the Catholic Schools Office.
This legislation includes:
- The Ombudsman Amendment (Child Protection and Community Services) Act, 1998
- The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act, 1998
- Commission for Children and Young People Act, 1998
Catholic Schools Office documents include:
- Child Protection – Identifying and Notifying Abuse
- Guidelines for the Implementation of the Ombudsman Amendment Act
- Child Protection – Procedures for Schools
- Code of Professional Standards for Catholic School Employees
All volunteers are required to complete a working with children check with Roads and Martine Services and return this number and the Prohibited Employment Declaration prior to commencing as a volunteer. Information and the Prohibited Employment Declaration forms can be collected from the school administration office.
It is very important for volunteers to read the Declaration before signing, as it is an offence for a prohibited person to apply for, undertake, or remain in child-related employment.
- Volunteers not willing to provide a Prohibited Employment Declaration are not permitted to undertake any duties in the school.
- A volunteer who has any doubts about his/her status should seek independent legal advice.