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To outline the processes that North Melbourne Primary School, including North Melbourne Primary
School – new campus (interim name), will follow to recruit, screen, supervise and manage volunteers to
provide a child safe environment, and to explain the legal rights of volunteers.
This policy applies to the recruitment, screening, supervision, and management of all people who
volunteer at our school.
Child-connected work: work authorised by the school governing authority/provider of a school boarding
services and performed by an adult in a school or school boarding premises environment while children
are present or reasonably expected to be present.
Child-related work: As defined by the Worker Screening Act 2020 (Vic), child-related work is work that
usually involves direct contact (including in person, over the phone, written and online communication)
with a child that is a central part of that person’s duties. It does not include work that involves occasional
contact with children that is incidental to the work.
Closely related family member: parent, carer, parent/carer’s spouse or domestic partner, stepparent,
parent/carer’s mother or father in-law, grandparent, uncle or aunt, brother or sister, including step or
Volunteer worker: A volunteer school worker is a person who voluntarily engages in school work or
approved community work without payment or reward.
School work: School work means:
• carrying out the functions of a school council
• any activity carried out for the welfare of a school, by the school council, any parents’ club or
association or any other body organised to promote the welfare of the school
• any activity carried out for the welfare of the school at the request of the principal or school council
• providing assistance in the work of any school or kindergarten
• attending meetings in relation to government schools convened by any organisation which receives government financial support
This is a broad definition and means that volunteers who participate in school community activities, such
as fundraising and assisting with excursions, are legally protected (i.e. indemnified) from action by others
in the event of an injury or accident whilst they are performing volunteer school work in good faith.
North Melbourne Primary School, including North Melbourne Primary School – new campus (interim
name), is committed to implementing and following practices which protect the safety and wellbeing of
children and our staff and volunteers. North Melbourne Primary School recognises the valuable
contribution that volunteers provide to our school community and the work that we do.
The procedures set out below are designed to ensure that North Melbourne Primary School’s volunteers
are suitable to work with children and are well-placed to make a positive contribution to our school
Becoming a volunteer
Members of our school community who would like to volunteer are encouraged to email the school and
state their area of interest e.g., Stephanie Alexander Kitchen/Garden Program (SAKGP) etc.
COVID-19 vaccination information
Our school follows Department of Education and Training policy with respect to the requirements
relating to attendance on school site and COVID-19 vaccinations.
For further information, refer to:
• COVID-19 Vaccinations – Visitors and Volunteers on School Sites
Suitability checks including Working with Children Checks
Working with students
North Melbourne Primary School, including North Melbourne Primary School – new campus (interim
name), values the many volunteers that assist in our classrooms, with the SAKGP and other school
events. To ensure that we are meeting our legal obligations under the Workers Screening Act and the Child Safe Standards,North Melbourne Primary School is required to undertake suitability checks which in most cases will involve asking for evidence of a Working with Children (WWC) Clearance. Additional suitability checks may also be required depending on the volunteer role, such as reference, proof of identity, qualification and work history involving children checks.
Considering our legal obligations, and our commitment to ensuring that all campuses of North
Melbourne Primary School are a child safe environment, we will require volunteers to obtain a WWC
Clearance and produce their valid card to reception or the supervising staff member for verification in
the following circumstances:
• Volunteers who are not parent/family members of any student at the school if they are engaged
in child-related work regardless of whether they are being supervised.
• Parent/family volunteers who are assisting with any classroom or school activities involving
direct contact with children in circumstances where the volunteer’s child is not participating, or
does not ordinarily participate in, the activity.
• Parent/family volunteers who assist with excursions (including swimming), camps and similar
events, regardless of whether their own child is participating or not.
• Parent/family volunteers who regularly assist in school activities, regardless of whether their own
child is participating or not.
• Parent/community School Council members sitting on School Council with student School
Council members, regardless of whether their own child is a student member or not.
In addition, depending on the nature of the volunteer work, our school may ask the volunteer to provide
other suitability checks at its discretion (for example, references, work history involving children and/or
qualifications). Proof of identity may also be required in some circumstances.
Non child-related work
On some occasions, parents and other members of the school community may volunteer to do work that
is not child-related. For example, volunteering on the weekend for gardening, maintenance, working
bees, parents and friends coordination, school council, participating in committees of school council,
fete coordination, other fundraising groups that meet in the evenings during which children will not be,
or would not reasonably be expected to be, present.
Volunteers for this type of work are not required to have WWC Clearances or other suitability checks as
they are not engaged in child-related work and children are not generally present during these activities.
However, North Melbourne Primary School reserves the right to undertake suitability checks, including
proof of identity, WWC Clearance, at its discretion if considered necessary for any particular activities or
School council members and volunteers on any sub-committee of School Council will be asked to provide evidence of a valid WWC Clearance. Whilst we acknowledge that these volunteers will not be engaging in child-related work as part of their role, even when there is a student sitting on the School Council, we believe that it is important that our volunteers who are involved in making important decisions about our school which will have an impact on students do have a valid WWC Clearance.
Training and Induction
Under the Child Safe Standards volunteers must have an appropriate induction and training in child
safety and wellbeing.
To support us to maintain a child safe environment, before engaging in any work where children are
present or reasonable likely to be present, volunteers must familiarise themselves with the Child Safety
policies, procedures and code of conduct and ensure the actions and requirements in these documents
are followed when volunteering for our school.
Depending on the nature and responsibilities of their role, North Melbourne Primary School may also
require volunteers to complete additional child safety training.
Management and supervision
Volunteer workers will be expected to comply with any reasonable direction of the principal (or their
nominee). This will include the requirement to follow our school’s policies, including, but not limited to
our Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy, our Child Safety Code of Conduct and any other relevant school
policies such as Statement of Values and School Philosophy.
Volunteer workers will also be expected to act consistently with Department of Education and Training
policies, to the extent that they apply to volunteer workers, including the Department’s policies relating
to Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying.
The principal (or their nominee) will determine the level of school staff supervision required for
volunteers, depending on the type of work being performed, and with a focus on ensuring the safety and
wellbeing of students.
The principal has the discretion to make a decision about the ongoing suitability of a volunteer worker
and may determine at any time whether or not a person is suitable to volunteer at North Melbourne
Privacy and information-sharing
Volunteers must ensure that any student information they become aware of because of their volunteer
policy on Privacy and Information Sharing.
Under these policies, student information can and should be shared with relevant school staff to:
• support the student’s education, wellbeing and health;
• reduce the risk of reasonably foreseeable harm to the student, other students, staff or visitors;
• make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the student’s disability; or
• provide a safe and secure workplace.
Volunteers must immediately report any child safety concerns that they become aware of to a member
of staff to ensure appropriate action. There are some circumstances where volunteers may also be
obliged to disclose information to authorities outside of the school such as to Victoria Police. For further
information on child safety responding and reporting obligations refer to: Child Safety Responding and
Reporting Obligations Policy and Procedures.
While it is unlikely volunteers will be responsible for any school records during their volunteer work,
any school records that volunteers are responsible for must be provided to the Principal to ensure they
are managed in accordance with the Department’s policy: Records Management – Schools. Compensation
Volunteer workers are covered by the Department of Education and Training’s Workers’ Compensation
Policy if they suffer personal injury in the course of engaging in school work.
If a volunteer worker suffers damage to their property in the course of carrying out school work, the
Minister (or delegate) may authorise such compensation as they consider reasonable in the
circumstances. Claims of this nature should be directed to the principal who will direct them to the
Department’s Legal Division. Public liability insurance
The Department of Education and Training’s public liability insurance policy applies when a volunteer
worker engaged in school work is legally liable for:
• a claim for bodily injury to a third party
• damage to or the destruction of a third party’s property.
This policy will be communicated to our school community in the following ways:
• Available publicly on our school’s website
• Included in induction processes for relevant staff
• Included in our staff handbook/manual
• Made available in hard copy from school administration upon request
RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES
North Melbourne Primary School policies and resources relevant to this policy include:
• Related policies:
o Child Safety Code of Conduct
o Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy
o Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations Policy and Procedures
o Child Safe Standards Risk Register
o Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy
o Visitors Policy
o Inclusion and Diversity Policy
o Statement of Values and School Philosophy
o Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination
o Child Safe Standards
o Privacy and Information Sharing
o Records Management – School Records
o Sexual Harassment
o Volunteers in Schools
o Volunteer OHS Management
o Working with Children and Other Suitability Checks for School Volunteers and Visitors
o Workplace Bullying
POLICY REVIEW AND APPROVAL
Policy last reviewed July 2022
Consultation Consultation with School Council on 21st
Approved by Principal
Next scheduled review date May 2024