Duty of care and mental health for students

In the Guidelines to the Minimum Standards and Requirements for School Registration, written by the VRQA, the Care, safety and welfare dimension requires schools to develop policies, procedures, measures and practices in accordance with a Ministerial Order for managing the risk of child abuse including the implementation of minimum standards for a child safe environment.

A recent news article reported that over 1,000 suicidal children have called a hotline for help in the past six months.

What can you do to help affected children?

Providing a child safe environment requires consideration of an online learning environment. The duty of care owed to students remains during remote learning. Being flexible and proactive with assessments and online activities may help some students feel less pressure during online learning. It’s not only adults that suffer from Zoom fatigue. Imagine having a normal 8 hour school day online and then having to start homework after that. Considering the workload other teachers are providing may require discussions between staff, or at the coordinator level.

All schools must make reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities. Anxiety and depression and considered disabilities under relevant legislation.

Are your staff aware of the red flags to be aware of in students? If not, it might be time for an updated training session to assist them and ensure the children at your school are thriving, rather than just surviving, during this pandemic. Regular wellbeing checks and other activities suitable in an online environment can help reduce anxiety and depression.

Return to School and Safety Management Plans

If your school is impacted by an attempted suicide, we can assist with the creation of relevant policies and procedures to reduce the impact on the students and school community as a whole.

How we can help

Keep an eye out for our upcoming education seminar on duty of care and mental health for students in late October.

If your school would like to discuss training or new policies, please contact us for further information. We’re also able to point you in the direction of leading industry resources.