Type: Policy

Classification: Operational
Policy Number: HR201807-1.0
Version: 1.0
Updated:  August 2018

Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) is committed to ensuring that all schools are places of safety for students and staff. A critical aspect of this responsibility is to ensure that schools prevent prohibited weapons from being present on the school site to minimise risk to staff and students.

SCS is committed to student and staff safety.
The presence of prohibited weapons on a school site exposes a risk to all present.
It is the expectation of SCS that staff and students will not bring prohibited weapons onto the school site or during the course of any school day/activity.
To minimise the risks to staff and students it is critical that all staff and students are aware of protocols in relation to reporting the presence on site of a prohibited weapon including reporting to the appropriate authorities.
Prohibited weapons

A prohibited weapon includes but is not limited to:

  1. all knives; with the exception of those knives required for school lessons and provided by the school under the supervision of staff. Where senior subjects require students to supply knives (i.e. hospitality) all instructions regarding procedures for transporting/carrying knives must be followed
  2. guns
  3. darts
  4. batons
  5. machetes
  6. and anything else which can be used to cause serious injury or harm.
Process in relation to prohibited weapons
In the case of a student, staff or visitor bringing a prohibited weapon to a school event/site/activity, the police will be notified immediately.
Possession of a prohibited weapon includes having one in a bag or locker.
It is the duty of any adult at a school event/site/activity to ensure that students are not carrying a prohibited weapon.
It is the duty of parents to ensure that their child does not carry a prohibited weapon to a school event/site/activity.
The school will cooperate with police in relation to any investigation around possession of prohibited weapons.
Any person in possession of a prohibited weapon at a school event/site/activity may be in breach of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW), Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW), Firearms Act 1996 (NSW), and Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) as amended or replaced and may, therefore, be subject to penalties including gaol sentences.
Students who bring a prohibited weapon to a school event/site/activity will be subject to the Student Management: Suspension, Transfer and Exclusion policy.
Any adult who is in breach of this policy may, in addition to criminal penalties, be subject to actions including an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO), Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) or a notice under the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901 (NSW) preventing access onto school sites.
Responsibilities of Principals
Principals must implement measures and take steps as far as is reasonable and practicable to ensure the safety of students and staff on school sites.
Principals must notify police of the presence of any prohibited weapon on the school site.
Principals must ensure that a search is undertaken of student bags and possessions if there is a reasonable belief that a student is in possession of a prohibited weapon. Where a student does not allow this to occur the police will be contacted immediately to conduct the search. See 4.0 in the associated guidelines regarding the power to search.
Responsibilities of Parents/guardians
Parents must not carry prohibited weapons onto school sites or at any school event/activity.
Parents have a responsibility to ensure that students do not bring prohibited weapons to any school event/site/activity and may be subject to criminal charges under the relevant legislation if they allow their child to carry a prohibited weapon.
Parents are required to cooperate with any investigation.
Parents are required to acknowledge at enrolment the school’s power of search (see 4.1.1 of the associated guidelines).
Responsibilities of Employees
Employees must not carry prohibited weapons onto school sites or at any school event/activity.
Employees must immediately notify the Principal, or appropriate delegate, of the presence (or suspected presence) of prohibited weapons on the school site or at any school event/activity.
Responsibilities of Students
Students must not carry prohibited weapons onto school sites or at any school event/activity, even if they are of the belief it is for their own protection. If the student feels worried, intimidated or fearful of harm/bullying they should talk to the school Principal, teacher or counsellor.
Principals will consider any requests for students or staff to bring knives onto the school site for the purpose of lessons (i.e. hospitality) in consideration of this policy, guidelines and the safety of staff and students.
No knives may be brought onto the school site without the express permission of the Principal.
Legislative definitions are provided in the attached guidelines
Appendix 1: Summary of Appropriate Responses to an Incident with a Prohibited Weapon (internal access only)
Appendix 2: Response to an Incident with a Prohibited Weapon: Suggested Checklist (internal access only)
Policy Number: HR201807-1.0
Version: 1.0

Last modified: August 2018

This policy supersedes all previous policies relating to matters contained therein. In so much as any aspect of this policy may appear to be in conflict with another Archdiocesan system or school-based policy, then precedence is to be given to this policy.

Audience: Public
Review by: October 2021
Approved by Leadership Team: 4 February 2016
Approved by Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools: 25 May 2016

Review approved by Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools: 8 August 2018

Commencement Date: 1 June 2016 (reviewed 2018)