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6.10 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that:

  1. an independent oversight body in each state and territory is responsible for monitoring and enforcing Child Safe Standards. Where appropriate, this should be an existing body.
  2. the independent oversight body is able to delegate responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the Child Safe Standards to another state or territory government body, such as a sector regulator.
  3. regulators take a responsive and risk-based approach when monitoring compliance with the Child Safe Standards and, where possible, utilise existing regulatory frameworks to monitor and enforce the Child Safety Standards.

The Government of South Australia is actively considering recommendations relating to an independent oversight body responsible for monitoring and enforcing the Child Safe Standards.

This includes investigating whether any existing independent bodies could undertake the oversight and monitoring functions described.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

6.11 - Final Report

Each independent state and territory oversight body should have the following additional functions:

  1. provide advice and information on the Child Safe Standards to institutions and the community
  2. collect, analyse and publish data on the child safe approach in that jurisdiction and provide that data to the proposed National Office for Child Safety
  3. partner with peak bodies, professional standards bodies and/or sector leaders to work with institutions to enhance the safety of children
  4. provide, promote or support education and training on the Child Safe Standards to build the capacity of institutions to be child safe
  5. coordinate ongoing information exchange between oversight bodies relating to institutions’ compliance with the Child Safe Standards.

See the response for Recommendation 6.10.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

6.19 - Final Report

Ministers for education, through the Council of Australian Governments, should establish a nationally consistent curriculum for online safety education in schools. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner should be consulted on the design of the curriculum and contribute to the development of course content and approaches to delivery. The curriculum should:

  1. be appropriately staged from Foundation year to Year 12 and be linked with related content areas to build behavioural skills as well as technical knowledge to support a positive and safe online culture
  2. involve children and young people in the design, delivery and piloting of new online safety education, and update content annually to reflect evolving technologies, online behaviours and evidence of international best practice approaches
  3. be tailored and delivered in ways that allow all Australian children and young people to reach, access and engage with online safety education, including vulnerable groups that may not access or engage with the school system.

The Government of South Australia supports a nationally consistent curriculum for online safety education in schools. It will continue to engage with the Australian Government and other states and territories on this recommendation through the Council of Australian Governments Education Council. Should a recommendation be made or new resources developed to ensure national consistency, South Australia will consider how to integrate these into its existing Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum (KS: CPC) program.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

6.21 - Final Report

Pre-service education and in-service staff training should be provided to support child-related institutions in creating safe online environments. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner should advise on and contribute to program design and content. These programs should be aimed at:

  1. tertiary students studying university, technical and further education, and vocational education and training courses, before entering child-related occupations; and could be provided as a component of a broader program of child sexual abuse prevention education (see Recommendation 6.2)
  2. staff and volunteers in schools and other child-related organisations, and could build on the existing web-based learning programs of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

The Government of South Australia is engaging with the Australian Government and other states and territories on this recommendation through the Council of Australian Governments Education Council.

Implementation of this recommendation is considered a long-term project which will require collaboration with the higher education, vocational education and early childhood education and care sectors.

In the interim, analysis will be undertaken by the Department for Education to identify any gaps in current training activities and programs as they apply to pre-service and in-service staff working or seeking employment in education and care settings.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

6.23 - Final Report

State and territory education departments should consider introducing centralised mechanisms to support government and non-government schools when online incidents occur. This should result in appropriate levels of escalation and effective engagement with all relevant entities, such as the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, technical service providers and law enforcement.

Consideration should be given to:

  1. adopting the promising model of the Queensland Department of Education and Training’s Cyber Safety and Reputation Management Unit, which provides advice and a centralised coordination function for schools, working in partnership with relevant entities to remove offensive online content and address other issues
  2. strengthening or re-establishing multi-stakeholder forums and case-management for effective joint responses involving all relevant agencies, such as police, education, health and child protection.

The Government of South Australia supports the intention of this recommendation by continuing its existing centralised model for managing high level critical incidents in government schools and by developing guidance for government and non-government schools to support responses to online incidents. This cross-sector guidance will include advice on when to engage other agencies such as the South Australian Police.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.5 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that non-government schools operating in the state or territory are required to comply, at a minimum, with standards applicable to government schools in relation to the creation, maintenance and disposal of records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse.

The Government of South Australia will implement this recommendation by developing a policy (or amending an existing policy) in consultation with the non-government school sector that includes standards on the creation, maintenance and disposal of records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse.

This policy will apply to both government and non-government schools and will become a registration requirement for all schools.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.9 - Final Report

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Education Council should consider the need for nationally consistent state and territory legislative requirements about the types of information recorded on teacher registers. Types of information that the council should consider, with respect to a person’s registration and employment as a teacher, include:

  1. the person’s former names and aliases
  2. the details of former and current employers
  3. where relating to allegations or incidents of child sexual abuse:
    1. current and past disciplinary actions, such as conditions on, suspension of, and cancellation of registration
    2. grounds for current and past disciplinary actions
    3. pending investigations
    4. findings or outcomes of investigations where allegations have been substantiated
    5. resignation or dismissal from employment.

Recommendations relating to teacher registration were taken into account by the National Review of Teacher Registration. Its report, One Teaching Profession: Teacher Registration in Australia, released in September 2018, made 3 recommendations in relation to improving teacher registers and information sharing in order to strengthen child safety. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Education Council Royal Commission working group is satisfied the National Review’s recommendations address the Royal Commission recommendations on teacher registration.

The Department for Education and the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia are supportive of the activities and milestones put forward recently by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership to progress the recommendations of the National Review related to strengthening children’s safety. The Government of South Australia will continue to engage with states and territories on these recommendations through the COAG Education Council.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.10 - Final Report

The COAG Education Council should consider the need for nationally consistent provisions in state and territory teacher registration laws providing that teacher registration authorities may, and/or must on request, make information on teacher registers available to:

  1. teacher registration authorities in other states and territories
  2. teachers’ employers.

See the response to Recommendation 8.9.

As well as the work taking place at the national level relating to the recommendations from the National Review of Teacher Registration, the Government of South Australia is in the process of reviewing the Teachers Registration and Standards Act 2004. This review will consider improved information sharing arrangements  between the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia and other relevant authorities to enable them to share information about teachers relevant to child safety and workforce mobility.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.11 - Final Report

The COAG Education Council should consider the need for nationally consistent provisions

  1. in state and territory teacher registration laws or
  2. in administrative arrangements, based on legislative authorisation for information sharing under our recommended information exchange scheme providing that teacher registration authorities may or must notify teacher registration authorities in other states and territories and teachers’ employers of information they hold or receive about the following matters where they relate to allegations or incidents of child sexual abuse:
    1. disciplinary actions, such as conditions or restrictions on, suspension of, and cancellation of registration, including with notification of grounds
    2. investigations into conduct, or into allegations or complaints
    3. findings or outcomes of investigations
    4. resignation or dismissal from employment.

See the response to Recommendations 8.9 and 8.10.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.12 - Final Report

In considering improvements to teacher registers and information sharing by registration authorities, the COAG Education Council should also consider what safeguards are necessary to protect teachers’ personal information.

See response to Recommendation 8.9.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.13 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that policies provide for the exchange of a student’s information when they move to another school, where:

  1. the student may pose risks to other children due to their harmful sexual behaviours or may have educational or support needs due to their experiences of child sexual abuse and
  2. the new school needs this information to address the safety and wellbeing of the student or of other students at the school.

State and territory governments should give consideration to basing these policies on our recommended information exchange scheme (Recommendations 8.6 to 8.8).

In August 2019 the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 was passed by the South Australian Parliament. This legislation will permit schools, preschools, children’s services and other relevant authorities to share prescribed information that would assist the performance of official functions relating to the education, health, safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child; or to manage any risk to children that may arise as an employer or provider of services.

Where a child is transferring between schools, the legislation will provide for a principal of a school to which a child is to be enrolled to request a report from the principal of the child’s previous school, including information on the academic progress of the child, information relevant to the safety or wellbeing of the child or that may be relevant to the safety or wellbeing of other children or persons at the child’s new school. Principals will be required to provide this information.

The legislation will also require families to provide particular information about their children upon enrolment, and the Chief Executive of the Department for Education can request further information or documents from them.

The Government of South Australia is currently planning for implementation of the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.14 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that policies for the exchange of a student’s information when they move to another school:

  1. provide that the principal (or other authorised information sharer) at the student’s previous school is required to share information with the new school in the circumstances described in Recommendation 8.13 and
  2. apply to schools in government and non-government systems.

See the response to Recommendation 8.13. Relevant provisions in the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 apply to both government and non-government schools.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.15 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that policies about the exchange of a student’s information (as in Recommendations 8.13 and 8.14) provide the following safeguards, in addition to any safeguards attached to our recommended information exchange scheme:

  1. information provided to the new school should be proportionate to its need for that information to assist it in meeting the student’s safety and wellbeing needs, and those of other students at the school
  2. information should be exchanged between principals, or other authorised information sharers, and disseminated to other staff members on a need-to-know basis.

The Education and Children’s Services Act 2019, as discussed in the response to Recommendation 8.13, includes provisions to ensure that the personal information of children is kept confidential and handled appropriately.

In addition, safeguards are provided for in South Australia's Information Sharing Guidelines for promoting the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and families as well as the Information Privacy Principles Instruction which guides South Australian public sector agencies on the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.15 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that policies about the exchange of a student’s information (as in Recommendations 8.13 and 8.14) provide the following safeguards, in addition to any safeguards attached to our recommended information exchange scheme:

  1. information provided to the new school should be proportionate to its need for that information to assist it in meeting the student’s safety and wellbeing needs, and those of other students at the school
  2. information should be exchanged between principals, or other authorised information sharers, and disseminated to other staff members on a need-to-know basis.

The Education and Children’s Services Act 2019, as discussed in the response to Recommendation 8.13, includes provisions to ensure that the personal information of children is kept confidential and handled appropriately.

In addition, safeguards are provided for in South Australia's Information Sharing Guidelines for promoting the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and families as well as the Information Privacy Principles Instruction which guides South Australian public sector agencies on the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.16 - Final Report

The COAG Education Council should review the Interstate Student Data Transfer Note and Protocol in the context of the implementation of our recommended information exchange scheme (Recommendations 8.6 to 8.8).

The Government of South Australia continues to engage with other states and territories on this recommendation through the Council of Australian Governments Education Council.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

13.01 - Final Report

All schools should implement the Child Safe Standards identified by the Royal Commission.

Once the National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations has been issued by the Government of South Australia, the Child Safe Standards will be integrated into South Australia’s existing regulatory and policy framework and all schools will be required to implement them. In preparation, the Department for Education will review and update its policies, procedures and other resources to reflect the National Principles.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

13.02 - Final Report

State and territory independent oversight authorities responsible for implementing the Child Safe Standards (see Recommendation 6.10) should delegate to school registration authorities the responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the Child Safe Standards in government and non-government schools.

The Government of South Australia is considering this recommendation in the context of Recommendation 6.10.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

13.03 - Final Report

School registration authorities should place particular emphasis on monitoring government and non-government boarding schools to ensure they meet the Child Safe Standards. Policy guidance and practical support should be provided to all boarding schools to meet these standards, including advice on complaint handling.

See response to Recommendation 13.02.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

13.4 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should ensure that needs-based funding arrangements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students are sufficient for schools and hostels to create child safe environments.

The Government of South Australia considers that the allowance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students provided to government and non-government schools is sufficient to ensure child safe environments.

Unlike other states and territories, there are no non-government boarding schools or facilities in South Australia catering wholly or in substantial part to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Although this recommendation is considered complete, South Australia will continue to contribute to national discussions on this recommendation through the Council of Australian Governments Education Council.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Complete

13.05 - Final Report

1. Boarding hostels for children and young people should implement the Child Safe Standards identified by the Royal Commission.

2. State and territory independent oversight authorities should monitor and enforce the Child Safe Standards in these institutions.

In relation to part 1, See response to Recommendation 6.4.

In relation to part 2, see the response to Recommendation 6.10.

Government response: 1) Accepted in principle. 2) For further consideration
Lead agency: 1) Department of Human Services 2) Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: 1) Implementing 2) Planning

13.06 - Final Report

Consistent with the Child Safe Standards, complaint handling policies for schools (see Recommendation 7.7) should include effective policies and procedures for managing complaints about children with harmful sexual behaviours.

The guideline entitled ‘Responding to problem sexual behaviour in children and young people’ helps all South Australian public, Catholic and independent schools manage concerns about children with harmful sexual behaviour.

This guideline reflects the process for reporting concerns about children displaying harmful sexual behaviours.

Complaints about departmental service delivery and responses are managed through the department’s complaints processes.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Complete

13.7 - Final Report

State and territory governments should provide nationally consistent and easily accessible guidance to teachers and principals on preventing and responding to child sexual abuse in all government and non-government schools.

The guidelines Responding to problem sexual behaviour in children and young people and Managing allegations of sexual misconduct provide state-consistent and easily accessible guidance for teachers and principals on preventing and responding to child sexual abuse in schools.

The Government of South Australia will continue to engage with other states and territories around achieving national consistency.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

13.8 - Final Report

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) should consider strengthening teacher registration requirements to better protect children from sexual abuse in schools. In particular, COAG should review minimum national requirements for assessing the suitability of teachers, and conducting disciplinary investigations.

See the response to Recommendation 8.09.

The Government of South Australia has amended the Teachers Registration and Standards Act 2004 to enable the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia to immediately suspend, or impose conditions on, the registration of a teacher charged with serious criminal offences, which includes serious offences related to the safety of children. The amendment removes any potential ability for a teacher to hold themselves out to be a fit and proper person to work as a teacher while they are the subject of serious criminal charges relevant to the safety of children.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Completed

14.4 - Final Report

The independent state and territory oversight bodies that implement the Child Safe Standards should establish a free email subscription function for the sport and recreation sector so that all providers of these services to children can subscribe to receive relevant child safe information and links to resources.

See the response to Recommendation 6.10.

As part of its investigation into an independent oversight body, the Government of South Australia will consider how it can enhance the way it provides advice, resources and information on child safe environments, including the possibility of a free subscription function.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

32 - Criminal Justice Report

Any person associated with an institution who knows or suspects that a child is being or has been sexually abused in an institutional context should report the abuse to police (and, if relevant, in accordance with any guidelines the institution adopts in relation to blind reporting under recommendation 16).

The Government of South Australia supports the moral and ethical duty in the circumstances described in the recommendation. The Child Safe Environments Program encourages organisations to have support in place for all people making reports of suspected abuse or neglect, not just those that have a legal obligation to do so.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Complete

Page last updated: 5 December 2019