Child protection, safety and code of conduct
Our children are our greatest resource; their future, our greatest responsibility. All permanent, casual and temporary employees of the NSW Department of Education are bound by rules, policies and codes of conduct aimed to protect the welfare and wellbeing of students – our primary stakeholders.
All new school and child-related employees, including casuals, need to:
- read the procedures Protecting and Supporting Children and Young People
- participate in child protection awareness training (staff only) on these procedures (unless there is a record of previous attendance at a briefing)
- participate in a briefing on Responding to Allegations Against Employees in the Area of Child Protection (PDF 405.7KB).
- ensure you have provided a valid Working with Children Check clearance
You are required to read the documents and to be aware of the contents and implications of these documents, and recognise that you will be held accountable for actions delegated to you in these documents.
You will also participate in annual training and development activities about the procedures.
All teachers in government schools need to ensure that teaching practices and programs are consistent with the department's policies and procedures.
Risk of harm
The department requires all school staff to inform the principal when they have reasonable grounds to suspect risk of harm to a child or young person. You are expected to be aware of the indicators of abuse and neglect and to assist by providing relevant and available information to the principal who will make a report to the Department of Family & Community Services (FACS). You should make a report directly to the FACS Helpline (telephone: 132 111) if there are reasons precluding you making a report to the principal.
Workplace health and safety
The NSW Department of Education is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy working and learning environment for staff, students and visitors to schools, colleges and other workplaces across the organisation. In addition, the department is committed to injury management aimed at the early and safe return to work of injured staff.
This commitment extends to casual teachers who, like all departmental staff, have both WHS rights and responsibilities under the legislation.
A self-paced WHS induction package (staff only) has been developed for department staff. It outlines general WHS procedures, provides advice on how to access health and safety information and refers to the principal for specific advice on local WHS issues.
Code of Conduct
Our code of conduct is based on the principles of fairness, respect, integrity and responsibility.
The department is committed to improving the social and economic wellbeing of the people of NSW through the provision of high quality education and training.
As employees of the department, we have significant influence in developing an informed, dynamic and democratic society by providing experiences that inspire and facilitate teaching and learning.
In a large, complex organisation, this relies on the ethical principles and good judgement of each individual employee. All staff are required to be familiar with the code of conduct and to follow it.
What is the code of conduct?
The code of conduct establishes a common understanding of the standards of behaviour expected of all department employees. It provides a framework to help you decide on the appropriate course of action when you are faced with an ethical issue.
What does it cover?
The code of conduct has been updated to include a statement of ethics (PDF 216.29KB) and guidance for the use of social networking, blogs and wiki sites. It is written in plain English and it includes examples and vodcasts of teachers and managers providing their thoughts on various aspects of the code.
Who does it apply to?
It applies to everybody from the Secretary to casual and contracted staff as well as volunteers.
Mandatory training for school-based staff
There is a range of mandatory training that new school-based staff must complete to comply with legislative and departmental requirements.
- code of conduct
- child protection training
- corruption prevention training
- e-Emergency care
- WHS induction for employees