Becoming Child Wise Accredited: Christ Church Grammar School
Christ Church Grammar School engaged Child Wise to conduct a child safety review, with the view to attaining accreditation. In December 2020, their child safety review findings report and improvement plan were delivered to the School, reviewed by decision makers and accreditation was awarded.
Christ Church Grammar School is a Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 Anglican day and boarding school for boys in Perth, Western Australia and current has more than 1650 students.
As part of the accreditation process, Child Wise conducted a systems-based examination of child safety across the School to identify strengths and areas for development, based on the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The review used a mixed method approach and was conducted over an eight-month period, between October 2019 and June 2020. It involved work on the main campus and a site visit to the Outdoor education facility. The work included a desktop review of 86 documents, 6 focus group discussions, surveys of 711 students, 673 parents/carers and 107 staff, along with 6 leadership interviews (including members of school council and the executive team).
Based on recommendations in a tailored improvement plan, Christ Church Grammar School then embarked upon a range of capacity building activities to ensure a whole of school approach to fostering a culture of child safety and wellbeing.
The review identified a significant and genuine commitment from Christ Church Grammar School, to improving child safeguarding practice across all areas of the School. This commitment was evident at board and senior leadership level and across the entire staff team. It is this child safeguarding approach that is at the very heart of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, emphasising the need to ensure that child safety is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture, and prioritised from the top down.
A few of the many achievements by the School post-review have been the:
- establishment of a diversely represented Child Safety Working Group to lead and oversee child safety improvements
- introduction of formalised Child Safety Champion roles across both Preparatory and Senior Schools
- establishment of clear communication pathways for students wishing to provide feedback
- inclusion of child safety questions in student and parent/carer engagement surveys to track progress
- refresh of a range of child safeguarding policies and procedures related to child safety and wellbeing, recruitment and selection, complaints and concerns, and child safety training
Christ Church Grammar School views organisational child safety as an ongoing process of improvement and continues to strive to be a better, safer place for children and young people.
Every boy deserves to feel safe at the school. Safety means physically safe, safe from sexual abuse, emotionally safe, safe from neglect."
Alan Jones, Principal
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