Working With Children Policy

Preamble

The Working with Children (WWC) check aims to assist in protecting children from sexual or physical harm. It is designed to complement good selection, supervision and training practices (including rigorous reference checking).  The intent of this policy is to outline which positions at Glen Waverley South Primary School require a WWC check and the process to be followed.  This policy applies to all positions at Glen Waverley South Primary School other than teaching positions, including volunteer, honorary, consultant and contractor positions. Any reference to ‘candidates’ also extends to staff currently occupying a position.

Definitions

Child:   a person who is under the age of 18 years.
Student:  any child who is enrolled at the school.

The WWC Check

The WWC check verifies a person’s history to make sure they do not have any relevant criminal offences or findings from professional disciplinary bodies.  The WWC check is valid for 5 years (unless revoked). During this time the cardholder continues to be checked for new relevant offences or findings. The WWC check is administered by the Department of Justice.

At Glen Waverley South Primary School, a WWC check is required for any person, volunteer or paid, who engages with students in any school related/approved activity.

The Application Process

The candidate must complete an online Working with Children Check application via the Department of Justice website http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/.  Under the section marked ‘Details of Organisation’, candidates should ensure they state Glen Waverley South Primary School.  If the applicant passes the check they will be sent a successful Assessment Notice, followed by a WWC check card 2-3 weeks later.  Further information about the application process is available on the Department of Justice webpage.

If the applicant does not pass the check they will be given an Interim Negative Notice. The applicant can then make a submission to the Department of Justice to explain why they believe they should pass. If this submission is not successful the applicant will be issued with a Negative Notice. This means they have failed the WWC Check and cannot undertake ‘child-related work’ or work in the school.

Commencement

Commencement at Glen Waverley South Primary School is conditional upon possession of a successful Assessment Notice or WWC check card. Any queries should be directed to the Principal. 
Candidates who are required to undergo a WWC check as a condition of working or volunteering at Glen Waverley South Primary School will not receive reimbursement for any costs associated with the WWC check.

Glen Waverley South Primary School will assess and verify the suitability of staff and volunteers who will work with children.

Police Records Check

A police records check gives information about a person’s past criminal record and is only valid at the time of issue. GWSPS may require a criminal record check in addition to a WWC check. The WWC check is valid for 5 years (unless revoked). During this time, cardholders continue to be checked for new relevant offences or disciplinary findings from professional bodies such as the Victorian Institute of Teaching. In addition, not all criminal offences are relevant to the WWC check. Broadly, the WWC check considers serious sexual and violent drug offences.  A staff member or volunteer is required to undertake a WWC check even if they have already completed a police records check.


Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the principal to ensure that only suitable and eligible persons are employed in the school. To maintain high standards of conduct and professionalism in our school, Glen Waverley South Primary School will ensure that the Department’s procedures for criminal record checks are implemented.

The School will:
• assess and verify the suitability of staff and volunteers who will work with children
• identify all staff who require a Working with Children check.  This applies to all non-teaching staff as all teaching staff must have a current VIT registration.
• ensure existing staff and volunteers are informed of the requirement to undergo the check.
• ensure prospective staff and volunteers have passed a WWC check before commencement at the school.
• check each person’s card validity on the Department of Justice webpage, during term 2 each year.
• Keep a photocopy of each WWC card and keep the details (name, card number, expiry date) updated on the school’s WWC register.  Staff members will have a hard copy on their personnel file.
• ensure suitable monitoring procedures are in place to ensure staff members hold a valid WWC check card at all times.  Card expiry dates will be monitored by the Business Manager on a regular basis.

The staff member or volunteer will:
• provide the successful WWC check card prior to commencement at Glen Waverley South Primary School;
• notify the office if there has been a relevant change in circumstances, for example, if they have been charged or found guilty of a new relevant offence;
• apply for a new WWC check before their card expires.

Exemptions

The Working with Children Act identifies categories of individuals who are exempted from the requirement to have a WWC check. Glen Waverley South Primary School reserves the right to nevertheless require a WWC check if the principal considers it necessary in the circumstances.
The exempt categories are:
• Student volunteers - A student who is 18 or 19 years of age is exempt from the WWC check for volunteer work organised by the educational institution they attend
• Teachers with Victorian Institute of Teaching permission to teach
• Police Officers

School Register

• All staff who require a WWC check will have a hard copy of their card on their personnel file and the details (name, card number and expiry date) recorded electronically in the Staff DET Training Register.
• All other personnel, volunteers and paid workers, will have a hard copy of their WWC card kept in a central WWC folder, filed in the administration filing cabinet.  The electronic register of these details (name, card number and expiry date) will be saved to the administration network.

Related Documents

Working with Children Act 2005 (Vic).
Department of Justice website http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au

Evaluation

This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s three-year review cycle.
This policy was last ratified by School Council on:  20/06/16.

 

Flowchart for Working With Children Checks