A child protection policy (CPP) sets the framework for the expectations around child safety from the board of trustees. The interests and protection of the child are paramount at all times. The principal should have the delegated authority to develop the procedures that support the policy.
The requirements of the CPP
A CPP is a mandatory requirement for school boards under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. It must:
- contain provisions on the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect in accordance with section 15 of the Children and Young Persons, and their Families Act 1989 and
- be available on the school’s internet site (if any) or premises and
- be reviewed within three years of its first adoption or its most recent review.
Changing the culture
Whilst the development of the policy is the responsibility of the board, involving other people in its development will help to change the culture of the whole community including staff, parents and students. Developing a CPP provides an opportunity for the board to reflect on its current culture and address any concerns, attitudes or behaviour to ensure the safety of children is put first.
Create the need
You will need to motivate your school board, staff, parents and the school community to recognise the importance of creating a safe environment for children and help them understand that child safety is paramount.
To do this your board could
- involve school leaders/kaumatua in the process
- involve the community (parents and wider school community)
- ensure success by introducing easy to implement strategies quickly e.g notify everyone that a CPP exists
- provide additional support to staff if needed
- make child safety a regular discussion point at meetings and in announcements
- empower staff – ensure child safety is included as part of the induction process, provide professional development opportunities