Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are committed to providing safe environments for students. Whilst we have a legal obligation to protect children, this commitment is central to our Catholic beliefs.
All schools in NSW are required to meet the statutory obligations of legislation relating to child protection and schools in this diocese are required to uphold the policies and guidelines set out by the Catholic Schools Office.
At St Pius X High School, Adamstown, we believe that all students have the right to a safe environment which is free from any form of abuse or harm. We believe that relationships between adults and students are governed by trust and Gospel values. Our “hands-off” rule helps enforce a safe environment for everyone.
The Code of Conduct assists to clarify the parameters of appropriate and inappropriate conduct for Catholic school employees who work in child-related employment. It also assists in providing a safe and supportive school environment for students, employees and the school’s broader community.
On 15 June 2013, The Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 made under The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 came into force. The Regulation applies to any person working in child-related employment, including both paid and volunteer work. After 15 June 2013:
Information relating to the Working with Children Check can be found here.
For people starting paid work at St Pius, the CSO will verify the Working with Children Check (WWCC). Volunteers starting at St Pius, who are not exempt from obtaining a WWCC, must submit a copy of their Working with Children Check to the Principal before commencing work at the school. The Principal or delegate will forward this to The Office of Safeguarding (formerly Zimmerman Services) who will then verify the WWCC number. The potential volunteer will subsequently be informed as to whether they can commence working at the school as a volunteer.
All new staff members, volunteers, contractors (including external tutors/coaches) are inducted into the school in a thorough manner that includes making them aware of our Code of Conduct and Child Protection (Safeguarding) standards. Every staff member undergoes refresher induction at the commencement of each year.
Since 1 January 2017 most volunteers have been required to obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC) before commencing volunteer work at the school. For volunteers, a WWCC is free and can be obtained from the Office of the Children's Guardian here.
To work as a volunteer at St Pius you must read and complete a Volunteers Induction Handbook and submit the relevant documents to the school at the Reception desk in the Main Office. A Volunteers Induction Handbook can be downloaded from the Catholic Schools Office website. Once all documentation has been approved by the Office of Safeguarding, the volunteer's name will be recorded in the Diocesan Child Protection Declarations & WWCCs Register of Active Volunteers. No volunteer is allowed to work at St Pius unless their name appears on that register.
Thank you for taking the time to become a volunteer at St Pius. We rely on volunteer assistance in many ways - canteen, school dances, book hire, sports coaching and so on. We regret that the process to become a volunteer is now more complicated than it used to be. This is a result of legislation designed to keep schools as safe places for students. Please do not let the added complexity discourage you from volunteering. Keeping our students safe is of paramount importance.
Staff who are planning to use volunteers to assist in any aspect of school related activity must ensure that all such volunteers have a valid and current Working With Children Check (WWCC) and appear on the Diocesan Child Protection Declarations & WWCCs Register of Active Volunteers, available at the Main Office. Staff must sight the WWCC clearance to check that it is still valid - check the expiry date. It is not sufficient to simply check the Active Volunteers register.
The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an absolute and abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children. The agency known as Office of Safeguarding provides child protection services for all of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.