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Student safety a top priority

Student safety a top priority


The Ministry of Education says work is ongoing with schools to make sure everything is being done to keep students safe and minimise any risks to them.

The Ministry’s head of Sector Enablement and Support, Katrina Casey, says student safety is a top priority for the Ministry and that concern is shared by schools, their boards of trustees and the New Zealand School Trustees Association.

“We are looking closely at this week’s report by the Education Review Office into student safety, and are taking some additional action in light of it.

“Now that ERO has released the report, we are writing to all schools clarifying guidance on their procedures for recruiting and managing staff and offering any additional support required.”

“Budget 2013 included additional funding of $14.5 million over four years to enhance the human resource advice and professional development available to school boards and principals. This will allow the New Zealand School Trustees, which advises schools on industrial and employment matters relating to student safety, to significantly expand its support for schools.

Ms Casey says a lot of work has been underway since ERO carried out the survey a year ago and there has also been action on all the recommendations contained in the ‘Person A’ Inquiry Report in 2012.
“The powers of the body that registers and undertakes vetting procedures have been strengthened, and there is a new code of conduct for the education profession and automatic referral of serious misconduct to its disciplinary tribunal.

“Teachers receive advice on what makes a child vulnerable and how they can be helped, as part of their initial training.

“A bill before Parliament also creates a consistent approach to vetting and screening across the children’s workforce by supporting organisations working with children to actively consider risks and ensure those working with them do not present and unacceptable risk.”

ENDS

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