At St Mary’s we hold the care, safety and wellbeing of children as the central and fundamental responsibility of our Parish school. This commitment is drawn from and inherent to the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the sanctity of each human person at the heart of the Gospel.
As a faith community, guided by the teaching and mission of Jesus, we are committed to:
- having a zero tolerance for child abuse.
- actively listening to and empowering children.
- promoting physical, emotional and social safety for all children.
- providing a safe and supported environment for all children.
- being culturally sensitive whilst educating parents, teachers and children about child safety.
- having specific policies, procedures and training in place that support our leadership team, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.
- having policies and procedures to protect children from abuse, and taking all allegations and concerns very seriously and responding to them consistently and appropriately.
St Mary’s, is resolutely committed to ensuring that all those working in our Parish and school, whether in a paid or volunteer capacity, promote the inherent dignity of children and young people and their fundamental right to be respected and nurtured in a safe school environment. This is particularly so for the most vulnerable children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with a disability.
St Mary’s, Thornbury recognises that we have a moral, legal and mission-driven responsibility to create nurturing school environments where children and young people are respected, their voices are heard and where they are safe and feel safe. When allegations of abuse concerning children and young people are raised, St Mary’s will take prompt action to have these appropriately referred and investigated, and take any necessary steps to protect those involved from further abuse.
St Mary’s, Thornbury recognises that the fundamental issues of understanding effective practices in child safety and identifying and responding to child harm are areas in which we must strive for continual improvement that is responsive to emerging thinking, evidence and practice, so as to eliminate the possibility of abuse occurring in the first place. Creating a child-safe school environment is a dynamic process that involves active participation and responsibility by the school, its families and our wider community. This is marked by collaboration, vigilance and proactive approaches across policies, procedures, curriculum and practices.
Every person involved in St Mary’s Thornbury has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role they play individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of our children is at the forefront of all we do and every decision we make.