Term 3 has already developed to be another rewarding term with much activity taking place within the school, both at an academic and co-curricular level. The preparation for the student courses in 2018 has commenced and it was fantastic to see so many parents at our Year 12 Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) Information Evening and the Year 12 only Parent Teacher interviews. Similarly our careers and pathways expo evening had over three hundred families in attendance. The pathways structure and subject choices for students from Years 9 to 12 can be complex, and I would encourage all students and their families to get fully involved in this process and utilise our pathways staff and information evenings.
As has become our tradition at Dromana College, we commenced this term with a Whole School Assembly, the focus of which was on acknowledging student success and participation; from great academic efforts to fantastic sporting accomplishments, and we were treated to a routine performed our Aerobics Team, who recently finished 2nd at the National Titles held on the Gold Coast on the weekend of 5 August 2017. I would particularly like to acknowledge the highly respectful behaviour and participation of all our students – well done.
Japan Study Tour
Well done to Rachel Lavery for the organisation of this year study tour of Japan. The students were well cared for and had a wonderful time. The students really enjoyed their stay at Katayama Gakuen and took full advantage of all of the activities that were offered to them during this time. The cultural activities were a highlight of their two week tour. Thanks also to Liam O’Donnell and Jason Walsh for supporting this study tour.
Indonesian Study Tour
The Indonesian Language tour was an incredible experience which included visiting ancient temples, the Sultan’s palace, local village experiences, teaching English in a village school, Indonesian language classes, participating in a Hindu ceremony with locals and immersing themselves in the culture, food and language of Indonesia. We are so proud of how the students embraced the experience and this has already had a positive effect on their own language base as well as the experiences they have shared with other students upon returning to the College. Thank you and well done to the staff on the study tour, Tracey Bastin, Stephanie Pearce and Anne Sim for their care and support of our students when away from home.
Central Australia Trip
Welcome back to our Staff and students from the Central Australia trip. By all accounts this was a fantastic experience for all although the nights were freezing cold. Well done to Adrian Moore and the Year 10 team and thank you to the Year 10 students for the wonderful photo story they put together for our Whole School Assembly on Tuesday 18 July 2017.
Changes to the Working with Children Act 2005 (Act) commenced on 1 August 2017
The changes to the Act are designed to strengthen the protection of Victorian children by implementing key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The changes do not affect the requirement for individuals who engage in ‘child-related work’ to have a Working with Children Check (WWC Check). ‘Child-related work' is any work that involves ‘direct contact’ with a child that is part of the person’s work. It does not include occasional direct contact with a child that is incidental to the work the person is performing at the school (whether or not that work is paid).
Key Changes for Schools
There are two key changes to the Act:
- The definition of ‘direct contact’ with children has been expanded to include oral, written or electronic communication as well as face-to-face and physical contact; and
- A WWC Check is now required for anyone engaging in ‘child-related work’ regardless of whether contact with a child is supervised by another person or not. This means that a volunteer or visitor who is supervised by a teacher must have a WWC Check if they engage in ‘child related work’.
What does this mean for schools?
Schools should review the parts of their visitors and volunteers policies that refer to requirements for WWC Checks to:
- update the definition of ‘direct contact’ with children so that it includes oral, written or electronic communication (as well as face-to-face and physical contact);
- clarify that anyone engaging in ‘child-related work’ as part of their role or duties, whether an employee, volunteer, visitor or contractor must have a WWC Check regardless of whether they are being supervised by a teacher or another adult with a WWC Check.
The Department is updating its School Policy and Advisory Guide (SPAG) pages, and developing an exemplar policy template for principals to assist them to develop their volunteers and visitors policies. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.
What does this mean for parents?
The changes to the Act have not altered the provisions relating to parents. A parent, or immediate relative, who volunteers at their child’s school as part of an activity that their child is participating in is not required by law to have a WWC Check.
However, schools are encouraged to develop their own policies to assess and verify the suitability of volunteers and visitors to the school, and may decide to require a parent to have a WWC Check, depending on the activities and nature of the volunteer work being performed.
Parent volunteers are encouraged to contact their child’s school to determine if the school requires them to hold a Working with Children Check card.
Where can I find out more?
For more information about parents in schools, see: Parent Participation at School
The Department of Justice and Regulation has developed fact sheets and advice pages to help Victorian organisations understand their new obligations. For more information, see: Working with Children – Toolkit for Organisations
Where can I direct volunteers or contractors to get a WWC or for more information?
WWC Check applications can be made online at workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au and are free for volunteers.
Australia Post has more than 400 outlets processing WWC Check identity verifications across Victoria, as well as a video explaining what applicants need to do, see: Lodging your application - Working With Children Check
Individuals can also contact the WWC Check Customer Support Line on 1300 652 879 (local call charge) for further information.
Student’s Attitudes to School Survey
Importance of Student Voice: Refreshed Student Attitudes to School SurveyFull Content
The Department is aware that student voice and student engagement are essential components of school improvement and are key initiatives of the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO). In order to ensure that the student engagement and involvement are accurately measured, the Department is refreshing the current Attitudes to School Survey.
The new survey was based on recent research and international evidence; aligning with the aspirations of the Education State and aims to support schools in implementing the FISO using sound results. Important measures from the current Attitudes to School Survey were retained and supplemented with additional measures that are known to influence student outcomes and student engagement.