Catholic systemic schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney are guided by a fundamental mission to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students entrusted to our care. This policy reflects the legislative responsibilities of Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) and demonstrates a commitment to protect the safety and wellbeing of students, while supporting employees and volunteers working with children and young people in our educational context.
SCS has in place a variety of strategies to ensure child safe schools and offices. This includes ensuring compliance with legal obligations, including the obligation for all employees working in child-related work to hold a valid Working With Children Check clearance (WWCC), and the obligation on the employer to verify those WWCCs.
The WWCC is administered by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian (OoCG). The relevant legislation is the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (CP Act) and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulations 2013 (CP Regulations). The main features include the introduction of an online WWCC application process and real time monitoring of all persons who seek to, or do currently, work in child-related work. The CP Act introduced statutory categories (schedule 2) that automatically ‘disqualify’ a person from holding a WWCC, and identified matters (schedule 1) which require the OoCG to conduct a risk assessment of an applicant/holder of a WWCC. The purpose of these provisions is to improve the safety of children.
This policy sets out the process SCS will follow to ensure compliance with its legal obligations and to provide a safe and supportive environment for students and staff.