Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is shown below, or click HERE to view, print or download the Code of Conduct in PDF format.

Child Safety – Our Code of Conduct

Ghilgai is a Child Safe School

Our Child Safe Policies and procedures are available under 7 headings.

1. Foundations

2. Our Code of Conduct

3. Harassment/Discrimination/Violence

4. Bullying

5. Cyber Bullying

6. Polluting the imagination via explicit imagery

7. Protection from Child Abuse

These documents are supported by

  • Mandatory Reporting – procedures for teachers – each teacher has a copy Available to parents on request. Via reception
  • Procedures for Teachers/College members/Directors – these are found in the respective Handbooks and supply further details re. our Child Safety Procedures
  • Foundations
  • Our commitment to student wellbeing
  • Sustaining a culture of respect and care.
  • Uplifting behavior that nourishes the community.
  • Unacceptable behavior – community wide
  • Basic School rules – adults/students
  • Parent agreement to support wellbeing.
  • Our Code of Conduct
  • The web of relationships
  • Teacher to student 1a Breaches
  • Student to teacher
  • Student to student
  • Student to adult

    Breaches of our Code/Students

  • Adult to Student Breaches 5a Breaches
  • Teacher to parent 6a Breaches
  • Parent to Teacher 7a Breaches
  • Adult to adult 8a Breaches
  • Harassment
  • What is it?
  • Aspects of Harassment
  • Response – see Bullying
  • Bullying
  • What is Bullying?
  • Tactics Bullies use.
  • How to report Bullying
  • How to help your child/Recipient
  • The school response/Recipient
  • The school response/Perpetrator
  • Towards renewal – supporting the Perpetrator
  • Cyber Bullying
  • What is Cyber Bullying?
  • Cyber Bullying has many forms
  • Fostering Cyber Safety
  • Our response to Cyber Bullying
  • Community resources for parents
  • Polluting the imagination via explicit imagery
  • What is it / effects
  • Our response
  • Protection from Child Abuse
  • What is Child abuse?
  • Ghilgai is a safe supportive environment
  • Empowering students
  • Protecting our students
  • Reporting Child abuse/pathways for parents.
  1. Foundations

Ghilgai is a Child Safe School

  • Our children are supported by caring and informed adults who work as a team to maintain Ghilgai as a sanctuary for childhood.
  • Together we strive to provide a safe environment that fosters the wellbeing of each child and so maximizes his/her potential.
  • We have an embedded organizational culture of child safety that is
  • Supported by clear strong well publicized policies and a proactive approach
  • Underpinned by the vigilance of our school leaders – Directors, College of Teachers, and whole school staff
  • We practice inclusion – we embrace disability, giftedness and difference.  We are sensitive to the needs to the First Peoples of this land.
  • We practice zero tolerance of child abuse.
  • We practice zero tolerance of harassment/bullying/cyber bullying.
  • We review all incidents at College level and review our Child Safe Code of Conduct – every 3 years.
  • Protection from Child Abuse / Section 7 / Reviewed annually.
  • Sustaining a culture of respect & care
  • Steiner education addresses the whole child, it nourishes self-esteem, confidence and independence and fosters understanding and tolerance of the other.
  • Our rich Literacy curriculum uses World Literature as a framework for the teaching of skills.  This literature also nourishes the inner child and fosters emotional literacy.
  • It provides many occasions that act as a catalyst for class conversations around values, rights and responsibilities.
  • At our weekly whole school sharing the teachers speak about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and illuminating anecdotes that inspire positive actions.
  • The Creative Arts – Artistic work/Craft/Drawing/Music develop the sensitivity of the individual and in diverse ways foster respect/tolerance/co-working and empathy within the group.
  • The production of the Class Play fosters class cohesion and cooperation and each student has a place to shine.
  • Our wellbeing program supports positive behaviour and fosters resilience.
  • The Class 6 curriculum includes a unit of Civics which explores the responsibilities of citizens – in Greece/Rome/Today.
  • Younger children are supported by buddies in an upper class.
  • Our Student Wellbeing Officer is available to students/teachers/parents for helping conversations.
  • Our visiting psychologist provides a program for children with social emotional difficulties and is available for consultation by teachers/parents/students in need.
  • The school subsidizes Art Therapy for students in need.
  • Parents receive, via our newsletter, short articles on parenting by Michael Grose.  They are able to join online courses.
  • The school hosts Education Evenings to nourish parents and foster parenting skills.
  • Teachers are enabled to attend PD on behavioural/self-esteem/wellbeing issues.
  • Behaviour issues are discussed regularly at staff meetings
  • Regular child studies at staff meetings.
  • Uplifting Behaviours that nourish community
  • Respect for all
  • Courtesy
  • Cooperation
  • Inclusion
  • Kindness
  • Helpfulness
  • Care of others/property
  • Truthfulness
  • Courage – to be a voice for another
  • Supportive affirmations/I like that/Well done
  • Gratitude
  • Unacceptable Behaviours
  • Disfigurement or destruction of property
  • Disrespectful behaviours, intimidation – verbal or physical
  • Disruptive behaviour that impacts on the wellbeing of others
  • Uncooperative behaviour
  • Teasing/taunts/insults
  • Stealing
  • Bribery
  • Threatening behaviour – physical/gesture/verbal
  • Swearing/foul language
  • Spitting
  • Harassment
  • Dangerous behaviours
  • Interfering with the property of others
  • Passing on sexual images – verbal/actual
  • Bullying
  • Basic School Rules adults/students

Basic rules for adults

  • Respectful cooperative behavior – personal contact/emails/phone
  • Adherence to traffic rules within school environments
  • No dogs – w/o prior special arrangement
  • Respect for school property
  • Support for our food policy (Induction pack)
  • Support for our student dress policy (Handbook)

Basic rules for students

  • Respectful cooperative behaviour
  • Respect for the property of others
  • Respect for school property
  • No littering or graffiti
  • Adherence to school boundaries
  • Adherence to our food code
  • Adherence to our dress code
  • Adherence to safety rules
  • Punctuality
  • No mobile phones/electronic games/iPads etc.

Safety rules

  • No running in designated areas
  • No throwing of objects not designed for that purpose e.g. Sticks/stones
  • No skateboards, Frisbees, roller blades, knives, glass containers, hard balls, toy guns/sticks
  • No rough games/fighting games
  • No tackling/manhandling

Agreement to Support School Community Well-Being

I agree to support Ghilgai’s striving for the well-being of all students as outlined in the Child Safety Code of Conduct, Protection from Child Abuse policies.

  • Available under Policy on our website.

I undertake to inform the School via a note of incidents of demeaning behaviour within the school environment as soon as I am aware of them.

I will work cooperatively with the School to resolve any unacceptable behaviour that my child displays. I understand that sometimes food additives and sugar, TV, videos, computer games, etc, may influence behaviour and will evaluate these potentially negative influences on my child’s behaviour.

I understand that my child may be expected on occasions to spend ‘time out’ in another class, if he/she behaves in a disruptive or intimidatory way repeatedly. On other occasions he/she may have to stay at home for a “consideration day” in order to give the class respite time and to allow the child time to find his/her calm centre point again, away from the class.

In the event of extreme circumstances I will come immediately to pick up my child if requested to do so.

If I am told that my child often intimidates others through words or deeds or is involved in antisocial behaviour I will work with the Class Teacher and College of Teachers to assist him/her to overcome his/her difficulty.

Parent 1: ……………………………………………..             Date: ………………….

Parent 2: …………………………………………….               .              Date: …………………..

  • Our Code of Conduct

The web of relationships.

  1. Teacher → student
  2. Student → teacher
  3. Student → student
  4. Student → adult
  5. Adult → student
  6. Teacher → parent
  7. Parent → teacher
  8. Adult → adult
  • All references to “adult” includes teachers/non-teaching staff/parents/visitors.
  • The word “his” embraces all genders for ease of reading.
  • The word “parents” embraces guardians.
  • Child Safe Officer – CSO

1. Teacher to Student

May there reign here spirit-strength in love;

May there work here spirit-lights in goodness;

Born from certainty of heart,

And from steadfastness of soul,

So that we may bring to young human beings

Bodily strength for work, inwardness of soul and clarity of spirit.

May this place be consecrated to such a task;

may young minds and hearts here find

servers of the light, endowed with strength,

who will guard and cherish them.

                  -Rudolf Steiner/at the founding of the Waldorf School, Stuttgart 1919

  • Ghilgai teachers strive to sustain this vision of a school.
  • Ghilgai teachers strive to live by the ethics set down by the Victorian Institute of Teaching.


  • Acting in the students’ best interests
  • Maintaining a professional relationship with students, parents, colleagues, and the community.


  • Acting with care and compassion.
  • Treating students fairly and impartially.
  • Acknowledging parents as partners in the education of their children.


  • Providing quality teaching
  • Maintaining and developing our professional practice
  • Working cooperatively with colleagues in the best interests of our students.

Our Ghilgai Handbook for Teachers has further details for teachers.

1a. Breach of our Code/Teachers

  • The College of Teachers will investigate all allegations.
  • Mentoring and counselling may be required.
  • Very serious breaches may be reported to VIT and/or VRQA
  • A very serious breach may lead to dismissal.
  • The Directors will be informed right away and be part of investigations/resolution procedures, as appropriate.

2. Student to teacher

Behaviour Expectations

  • Respect
  • Courtesy
  • Co-operation

2a. Breach of our Code/Students

  • Page 10

3. Student to student

All students have the right to a safe school.

The right to:

  • A productive learning environment – indoor/outside
  • Be respected and treated with courtesy and kindness
  • To be an individual and express individuality
  • Equality of opportunity – regardless of age/gender/race/clothes/disability.

All students need to be responsible members of the school community (age appropriate). 

This entails:

  • Courtesy
  • Self-control
  • Respect for property
  • Respect for others
  • The practice of inclusion
  • Tolerance/understanding for those who are different
  • Co-operation
  • Honesty

4. Student to adult

All adults are entitled to:

  • a safe school environment
  • be treated with respect

Students are expected to:

  • speak and act in a polite helpful way

4a. Breach of our code/students

School response/Options

  • Parents will be informed within 24 hours
  • and immediately where violence or sexual actions are involved.

School Response/Options

  • After a serious breach parents may be required to pick up the student immediately.
  • Time out in another class.
  • The transgressor may
  • be given different recess breaks
  • be restricted to a designated area at recess breaks
  • be required to spend a morning/whole day at home.  This is a Consideration Day.
  • A Consideration Day – gives the class a respite and gives the transgressor and family an opportunity to consider together “better behaviour”.  When the child returns from a Consideration Day, he must:
  • bring an affirmation of good intent signed by his parent/guardian
  • give it to the class teacher before school
  • make amends when this is appropriate
  • bring a note/drawing or “peace offering” for an aggrieved child.
  • Parents and teachers will support the child and work towards behaviour change.  A support group may be formed.
  • Counselling/art therapy may be helpful.
  • Assessment may be necessary – family consult school psychologist.
  • Further time out may be necessary – Suspension.
  • A student may be suspended for several days, maximum 10 days, whilst the school strives to resolve the matter.
  • Expulsion.
  • If the child or the family fail to cooperate with the school on pathways of resolution, if there is a breakdown of relationship – school/home, child/teacher then the child may be expelled.
  • We do not wish to arrive at this place and if parents are supportive right from the start of inappropriate behaviour then it should not be necessary.
  • Matters of Suspension and Expulsion come before the whole College of Teachers.
  • The preceding options are not exhaustive.  Different situations require different responses.
  • Disruptive Classroom behaviour/Students
  • Our criteria re. disruptive behaviour.
  • Is this behaviour reducing participation time for the class as a whole?
  • Is it lessening the value of the lesson/the scope of the offering for the class as a whole?
  • Is it corroding the teacher’s creative potential to teach?
  • Disruption in home classroom.
  • Formal warning given to child privately by class teacher. Eg. ‘This is unacceptable.  If you do it again your parents will need to be told and we will take further action.’
  • If pattern is repeated, parents will be contacted by end of day of the disruption.
  • Meetings between teachers and parents may be set up and an ongoing monitoring and support process put in place.
  • Disruption in specialist lessons – Music/PE/Craft/German/Eurythmy
  • First warning:  sit outside of class group
  • Second warning: return to own classroom
  • Third disruption/sequential event, across days/weeks
  • Miss one specialist lesson – this could be the child’s preferred activity e.g. PE
  • Write an apology to specialist and an affirmation of commitment to the lessons – co-signed by class teacher and parent.
  • Return to all specialist lessons.
  • If another disruption occurs in any specific lesson, then:

-leave the room

-return to classroom

  • Class teacher or specialist sets community service.

Or the child may miss a week or two of all specialist lessons – go to another class/or be picked up at lunchtime.

  • A standard form may be used to alert parents to disruptive behaviour in older classes.
  • Parents will be expected to meet class teacher and perhaps specialist in order to support the child to gain acceptable behaviour.

Unacceptable Classroom Behaviour

Dear ………………………………………….

Today …………………………………….. was …………………………………………………………..

⃝ I have spoken to him/her about this behaviour several times.

Tomorrow he/she needs to bring a note to ………………………………………………..

This should contain an affirmation of his/her striving towards helpful social behaviour from now on.

You should also sign this note.  It needs to be given to me before school begins, without my having to ask for it.

⃝ I need to talk with you this week.  Please meet with me at …………………….on


If this behaviour were to continue the school can follow these steps:

  1. A day at home for his/her consideration of the behaviour and for the class to have respite from this disruption.
  2. Depending on the severity of the behaviour you may be phoned and required to pick up your child immediately.
  3. Failure to attend to the behaviour concerned could result in Suspension.
  4. Ultimately you could be required to discuss with the school what other options there are, including the possibility of other schools that might better meet your child’s needs.  This is Expulsion.

Please discuss these steps with your child and make sure he/she understands the situation.

Thank you for your support.

Signed …………………………………………..           Date…………………………………….

Unacceptable Behaviour/Specialist lessons

Dear ………………………………………….

The time available for specialist lessons is precious.  All children have the right to a productive learning environment.  Repeated disruption by one child removes this opportunity from the class and reduces the potential education available to them.

Today …………………………………….. was …………………………………………………………..

⃝ I have spoken to him/her about this behaviour several times.

Tomorrow he/she needs to bring a note to ………………………………………………..

This should contain an affirmation of his/her striving towards helpful social behaviour from now on.

You should also sign this note.  It needs to be given to me before school begins, without my having to ask for it.

We have in place a series of steps to address these disruptions:

  1. The child will be required to leave the classroom to return to his/her own classroom.  Apology note subsequently required.
  2. Miss a specialist lesson – any subject (class teacher’s choice)
  3. Interview arranged with class teacher and/or specialist teacher.
  4. Failure to change behaviour could lead to non-participation in specialist lessons.  The child may go to another classroom or you may be asked to pick up at lunchtime.

Thank you for your support.

Class Teacher ………………………………………………………Date……………………………………    

5. Adult to student

Students have the right to learn and play in a safe environment so:

  • Adults must be respectful towards students
  • Adults must not remonstrate with the child unless it is a safety issue needing immediate action in words or deeds.

5a. Breach of our Code

The College of Teachers investigate and respond to a breach.

This may entail:

  • A letter of apology and good intent to the School.
  • Restrictions placed upon parking.
  • Areas of the school made “out of bounds” for a while.
  • Exclusion from school property for a given time (teachers meet the children involved at the entrance).
  • Failure to co-operate may lead to the school expelling the family.

6.Teacher to parent

For it is upon the parents’ understanding that we must build.  We cannot work, as do other schools, protected by the state or by any other authority.  We can only work supported by a community of parents who have this understanding of the educational work.

We love our children; our teaching is inspired by knowledge of humanity and love of children.

And another love is being built up around us, the love of the parents for the true essence of the school.  Only within such a community can we work towards a future of mankind able to prosper and withstand.”

                                                                                          -Rudolf Steiner, January 1921

 Ghilgai honours the parent community

  • Parents will be treated with dignity, courtesy, respect, and compassion at all times.
  • Teachers will strive to co-work with parents in the education of the child and provide conversation opportunities to inform parents of their child’s development.
  • Behavior issues will be dealt with in a courteous and sensitive way.

6a. Breach of our Code

  • Parent and teacher may resolve difficulties together
  • A College member may attend these meetings to facilitate
  • Parents can write to College of Teachers if they need further advice/support
  • Mediation may be an option

The preceding options are not exclusive.

7. Parent to teacher

The teachers at Ghilgai offer parents a high degree of accessibility and openness, both to their person and to the classroom.  The essential level of trust implicit in this gesture is supported by parents observing and being sensitive towards the following behavior expectations.

  • Parents must be respectful and allow teachers to work in a safe environment
  • Parents visiting the classroom to look at their children’s work must respect the requirements of the Privacy Act.  Unless displayed, other children’s work is private, and any materials or documentation that is the property of the teacher is confidential
  • Parents must respect the teachers need for undisturbed preparation time before school.

If you have urgent information/concerns please hand a note to the teacher.

If you have any non urgent information/concerns please put a note in the communication basket at the door.

  • Parents must respond to teachers’ phone calls in a courteous cooperative way.
  • Parents should refrain from disturbing classes during class time.
  • Parents must comply with directives given by teachers within the school day.  Eg. traffic flow, safety matters, emergency procedures.

7a. Breach of our Code

  • Teacher and Parent may resolve this together
  • If this is not possible then College of Teachers will be informed of this and will investigate the incident and take appropriate action.
  • See also Page 14

8. Adult to adult

  • Ghilgai values the integrity and strength of its parent community.
  • An harmonious community ethos nourishes the children and models acceptable behavior to them.

Ghilgai expects that all adults to

  • Treat one another with respect and courtesy
  • Show tolerance and understanding for difference and disability.

8a. Breach of our Code

  • Adults may resolve conflicts together
  • If this is not possible then College must be informed
  • College will then investigate and take appropriate action
  • See also Page 14
  • Harassment/Discrimination/Violence


Harassment is discrimination that targets an individual or group due to their race, culture or ethnic origin; religion; physical appearance; gender; sexual orientation; marital parenting or economic status; age and/or ability or disability, and that offends, humiliates, intimidates or creates a hostile environment. Harassment may be an ongoing pattern of behavior, or it may be a single act.

  • Aspects of harassment
  • Inappropriate patting/touching
  • Violation of the child’s personal space
  • Brushing against another
  • Offensive gesturing
  • Subtle verbal needling
  • Discriminating put-down remarks


Discrimination occurs when people are treated less favorably than others because of race, culture or ethnic origin; religion; physical appearance; gender; sexual orientation; marital parenting or economic status; age and/or ability or disability.

Discrimination is often ongoing and commonly involves exclusion or rejection. Intervening early can often prevent harassment, discrimination and more serious negative behaviours from becoming part of a bullying pattern.


Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against another person/s that results in psychological harm, injury or in some cases death. Violence may involve provoked or unprovoked acts and can be a single incident, a random act or can occur over time.

  • Breaches – see page 10.
  • Bullying
  • Duty of Care

Schools have a duty of care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students. In discharging this duty, principal, teachers and other staff are held to a high standard of care in relation to students. The duty requires principals and teachers to take all responsible steps to reduce the risk of harm to students, including the implementation of strategies to prevent bullying. The duty is non-delegable, meaning that it cannot be assigned to another party.

  • Bullying – What is it?

Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.

Bullying can happen in person or online, via various digital platforms and devices and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Bullying behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time (for example, through sharing of digital records)

Bullying of any form or for any reason can have immediate, medium and long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.

Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.

  • Our national definition of bullying for Australian schools  
  • In short, bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships involving harmful physical, verbal or social behaviour.
  • The definition of bullying has three critical aspects: misuse of power within relationships, it is repeated and ongoing, and it involves behaviours which can cause harm. All three aspects need to be present in order for a behaviour to be called bullying.
  • Misuse of Power

In a situation where there is a power imbalance, one person or group has a significant advantage over another, and if this power is misused, this enables them to coerce or mistreat another for their own ends. In a bullying situation this power imbalance may arise from the context (e.g. having others to back you up), from assets (e.g. access to a weapon) or from personal characteristics (e.g. being stronger, more articulate or more able to socially manipulate others).

  • Bullying occurs in a social setting

The critical aspect that distinguishes violence, harassment and discrimination from bullying is that bullying happens within social relationships, featuring repeated and harmful behaviours that stem from a misuse of power. Violence, harassment and discrimination can occur as part of bullying, but also can occur in one-off conflicts or between strangers


  • Bullying can be overt or covert

Covert bullying is a subtle type of non-physical bullying which usually isn’t easily seen by others and is conducted out of sight of, and often unacknowledged by adults. Covert bullying behaviours mostly inflict harm by damaging another’s social reputation, peer relationships and selfesteem. Covert bullying can be carried out in a range of ways (e.g. spreading rumours, conducting a malicious social exclusion campaign and/or through the use of internet or mobile phone technologies).

Covert bullying includes social exclusion and intimidation. The term ‘covert’ highlights the fact that not all bullying is physical or obvious to others. Covert bullying can have the same harmful impacts as more obvious bullying, as it can be more isolating, can go on for longer before other people become aware of it, and can be more easily denied by the other person. 

  • Bullying roles are changeable

Bullying is highly dynamic. Students’ roles can change in different contexts. Individuals can occupy various roles in bullying, including the individual being bullied, those bullying others, and bystanders who may be assistants, reinforcers, outsiders, or defenders. One individual can play one role in one context while taking a different role in another.

  • The bully often has reinforcers
  • Engaging directly in bullying behaviour or assisting and actively joining in.
  • Encouraging the bullying behaviour by giving, for example, silent approval, by smiling, by laughing or by making comments.
  • Standing by silently and passively, doing nothing when knowing or seeing bullying behaviour.
  • Excerpts from Bullying No Way!

Bullying Behaviour

Bullying behavior seeks to harm, humiliate, dominate, intimidate, ostracize or isolate.

Tactics bullies use

  • Hitting, punching, shoving, elbowing etc
  • Ridicule by word or gesture
  • Making threats intimidation, invasion of space.
  • Blackmail
  • Teasing
  • Deliberate exclusion/strategies in games
  • Refusal to work with a fellow student allocated by teacher – display of distain via facial or other gestures
  • Subtle strategies to mar or destroy the students work
  • Grabbing/hiding clothing or property or damaging clothing or property
  • Tripping
  • Name calling
  • Nonverbal expressions of contempt
  • Spreading rumours
  • Spitting
  • Pulling the chair away
  • Accidental “throws” designed to hurt the victim
  • Gang up and lies about the student
  • Unfair game rules designed to exclude
  • Threats to others who talk/play with their victim

This list is not exhaustive, it is a framework for observation.

  • How to report bullying

Ghilgai strives for a culture of responsibility and openness towards demeaning incidents.

  • All students need to tell a teacher/parent/trusted adult about an incident that has demeaned them.  Ghilgai encourages students to honour their own person.
  • Student bystanders need to assist the victim if they can then tell the teacher or if need be discreetly inform a teacher via a note.
  • All staff need to report incidents immediately to the Child Safe Officer via a note or incident report.
  • All parents/visiting adults who witness demeaning incidents must report to a teacher immediately and follow up with a note to CSO.  This is an integral part of your responsibility to the school community.
  • Any parent who hears demeaning actions should report it to CSO via a note.
  • How to help your child/recipient
  • After you’ve heard their story assure your child that they were not at fault/did not deserve it.
  • Encourage your child to tell the class teacher in a quiet space OR

Assist him to write a simple note and put it on the teacher’s desk or in main letter box.

If this is not possible, please write the note yourself.

If the matter is urgent, please hand the note to your class teacher or a College person.

  • Reassure your child that parents and teachers will work together to resolve the difficulty.
  • Offer a few basic strategies:
  • Tell the perpetrator to stop.
  • Avoid places where you could be alone with him.
  • Walk away as soon as you can.
  • Tell the teacher ASAP/a friend may accompany you
  • The School response/Recipient
  • The family of the recipient notified at the end of the day
  • The recipient is given a safe place away from the perpetrator immediately
  • The family of the recipient is assured that their child will be protected
  • Teacher/Parent assist the child to understand that it was to the child’s fault – ‘he did not ask for it’
  • Classroom seating is evaluated.  The perpetrator is seated away from the recipient – out of his line of sight (threatening looks)
  • Vigilance re ‘pay back’ from perpetrator and friends
  • All staff informed of recipient’s needs via a circulating memo asap
  • Ongoing communication with Parents – for privacy reasons you may not be given details of consequences for the aggressor.
  • Consideration of art therapy/counselling
  • A support group may be formed to consider ways of rebuilding the child’s self-esteem.
  • School response/Perpetrator
  • The bully is told to stop and the unfairness of his actions reflected back to him.
  • His parents are contacted that same day and told of the situation.
  • As an action of last resort, intended to ensure the safety of all parties, the school may require the parent to come and pick up the student immediately.
  • The student may be asked to stay home for a “Consideration Day” – an opportunity for the class/recipient to have a rest, an opportunity for the perpetrator to have time out/reflection time.
  • Memo sent to all teachers asap – whole school vigilance.

Further actions

  • See Breach of our Code/Students/page 10
  • Family counseling may be recommended.  An assessment may be necessary – family consults school psychologist.
  • Towards renewal – supporting the aggressor

Healing work – the teacher’s path

  • Try to understand
  • The child’s family situation
  • Recent losses
  • Trauma
  • Consider support
  • Student Welfare Officer
  • Art therapy
  • Daily check-in with Education Coordinator
  • Counseling
  • Assessment
  • Find places/situations in the course of the day where the child can truly be praised for work done/deeds of care.
  • Give opportunity for meaningful work, opportunity to help and re-enter the social web positively

Eg. occasions for meaningful work – eg. sweep stairs, short tasks with Grounds person.

With close supervision/aide, this person may be able to help a younger class/simple task/short visit.

  • Seek a way through to the undamaged inner child – this may be a slow process.

5.  Cyber bullying

What is it?

  • Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, harm, humiliate, ostracise, isolate or target another person
  • Like bullying it is based on a power inbalance
  • Cyber bullying is far reaching and has an invasive quality.
  • Availability – It can occur anywhere and at anytime.
  • Anonymity – The impression of anonymity in the ‘online world’ leads people to feel less accountable for their actions and provides a false bravado to would-be-bullies.
  • Geography – Rather than being limited to the schoolyard, cyber bullying can operate wherever person uses the internet or mobile phone.
  • Impact – The internet provides the means for ‘bullying’ comments to be available to a wider audience, via social networking sites.  The impact caused by these statements is increased many times over.
  • Twisting – A private message or joke that is forwarded on may be twisted to appear offensive or harassing even though that was not the intention of the original sender.
  • Permanence – Verbal comments are fleeting.  Online content is tracked and stored and can potentially resurface at any time.
  • Recipients – Anyone can be a victim – students, teachers, parents.
  • Cyber Bullying has many forms
  • Embarrassing/threatening text messages.
  • Embarrassing/threatening video clips passed on to others.
  • Insulting comments put up for others to read.
  • Threatening emails – perhaps with a pseudonym.
  • Bullying/embarrassment, via chat rooms & instant messaging.
  • Pranking – anonymous mocking/threatening phone calls/repeated hang ups
  • Sexting
  • Spreading rumours online
  • Publishing private information online.
  • Identity theft – taking the identity of another and sending false messages.
  • Exclusion campaigns
  • Fostering cyber safety
  • Parent education via regular tip sheets in newsletters and via school occasions.
  • Student education via sessions with trained facilitator
  • Personal cyber safe practices
  • The nature of cyber bullying
  • The consequences of cyber bullying
  • Dissemination of info sheets to students re.
  • Safe practices
  • Where to get help – at school/online.
  • No screens to be brought to school unless the class teacher is notified.  Electronic items are given to class teacher upon arrival at school and are returned to student at school closure.
  • Regular staff training updates re. cyber dangers
  • Whole staff discussion and review of incidents.
  • Small groups formed to deal with and monitor incidents – regular College updates
  • Directors notified by Child Safe Officer if issue concerns a parent or staff member.
  • Safe practices on our website/Facebook page
  • Parent’s permission needed to post a child’s photo
  • Children are only referred to by their first names.
  • Any images of children will not be labelled with their name.
  • Our response to Cyber Bullying
  • Ghilgai practices zero tolerance of bullying/harassment both in real and virtual environments.
  • Our Code of Conduct covers all school related activities which include but are not limited to excursions, camps, or school community events.
    • We deem that cyber bullying is a school related activity – because the aggressor is targeting a contact made at school and is thus breaching the trust and respect due to fellow students.  Cyber bullying impacts on the student’s wellbeing at school.
  • Ghilgai has the same response to virtual harassment/virtual bullying as it does to harassment/bullying in the school environment.
  • The College will respond to each incident as it deems appropriate.  See Breach of our Code/Student. Page 10 This list is not exhaustive.
  • Because of its capacity to escalate teachers must inform the Child Safe Officer immediately of any incidents of cyber bullying.

The e-safety Commissioner provides:

  1. Online safety educationfor Australian children and young people
  •  A complaints service for young Australians who experience Serious cyberbullying

  •  Illegal content scheme – addresses illegal online content

  • iParent
    • The ever changing nature of the internet can pose challenges for parents. iParent provides online safety resources targeted to the specific needs of parents and carers.
    • (/education-resources/iparent)
  • Removal of offensive material
    • We will work to get cyber bullying material removed from any communications service.
    • (/complaints-and-reporting/cyberbullying-complaints/i-want-to-report-cyberbullying)
  • Report offensive or illegal content
    • Reports can be made anonymously
    • (/complaints-and-reporting/offensive-and-illegal-content-complaints/report-offensive-or-illegal-content)
  • Kids Helpline
    • Kids Helpline (Age 5-25) provides free and confidential online and phone counselling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 55 1800

6.Polluting the imagination via explicit imagery

What is Polluting the imagination via explicit imagery?

  • Every child has the right to enjoy the innocence and purity of childhood.
  • Any student or person who passes on to others – verbally or visually – unrequested sexual imagery derived from adult literature, age restricted movies/video clips, video games, magazines, or the like, is in breach of this school standard.
  • Pedalling sexual imagery can be a subtle form of intimidation …… “If you tell I won’t be your friend”……
  • It is an act of mental and emotional violation.


  • Such images and their associated language and behaviours can have a polluting, festering and lingering presence in what Steiner Schools deem a sacred realm of childhood – imagination.  This is the capacity we use for healthy relationships and future vision.
  • These images may disturb sleep, cause anxiety, and undermine wellbeing.

Our response

  • The perpetrator will be told to stop.
  • He/she could be withdrawn from peers.
  • Parents will be contacted the same day.
  • A ‘Consideration Day’ may be given.
  • Further options see Breach of Code/Students/Page 10
  • The school may notify Child Protection.
  • The parents of the recipient will be informed the same day and receive ongoing communication from the school.  For privacy reasons, we may not be able to give details of consequences given to perpetrator.

7. Protection from Child abuse

What is Child Abuse?

. Physical violence

                                                . Sexual offenses

                                                . Serious emotional & psychological abuse

                                                . Serious neglect

  • Physical violence

Physical violence occurs when a child suffers or is likely to suffer significant harm from a non-accidental injury or injuries inflicted by another person.  Physical violence can be inflicted in may ways, including beating, shaking, burning or use of weapons (such as belts and paddles).

Possible physical indicators:

  • Unexplained bruises
  • Burns and/or fractured bones

Possible behavioural indicators:

  • Wariness or distrust of adults
  • Wearing long sleeved clothes on hot days (to hide bruising or other injury)
  • Fear of specific people
  • Unexplained absences
  • Academic problems
  • Sexual offences

Sexual offences occur when a person involves the child in sexual activity, or deliberately puts the child in the presence of sexual behaviours that are exploitive or inappropriate to his/her age and development.  Child sexual abuse can involve a range of sexual activity including fondling, masturbation, penetration, voyeurism and exhibitionism.  It can also include exposure to or exploitation through pornography or prostitution, as well as grooming behavior.

Possible physical indicators:

  • Presence of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Vaginal or anal bleeding or discharge

Possible behavioural indicators:

  • Displaying sexual behavior or knowledge that is unusual for the child’s age
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Being withdrawn
  • Complaining of headaches or stomach pains
  • Fear of specific people
  • Wariness or distrust of adults
  • Displaying aggressive behavior
  • Serious emotional or psychological abuse

Serious emotional or psychological abuse occurs when harm is inflicted on a child through repeated rejection, isolation, or by threats or violence.  It can include derogatory name-calling and put-downs, or persistent and deliberate coldness from a person, to the extent where the behavior of the child is disturbed or their emotional development is at serious risk of being impaired.  Serious emotional or psychological abuse could also result from conduct that exploits a child without necessarily being criminal, such as encouraging a child to engage in inappropriate or risky behaviours.

Possible physical indicators:

  • Delays in emotional, mental, or even physical development
  • Physical signs of self-harming
  • Aggression/depression
  • Serious neglect

Serious neglect is the continued failure to provide a child with the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, medical attention or adequate supervision, to the extent that the child’s health, safety and/or development is, or is likely to be, jeopardized.  Serious neglect can also occur if an adult fails to adequately ensure the safety of a child where the child is exposed to extremely dangerous or life threatening situations.

Possible physical indicators:

  • Frequent hunger
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor hygiene
  • Inappropriate clothing

Possible behavioural indicators:

  • Stealing food
  • Staying at school outside of school hours
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Misusing alcohol or drugs
  • Academic issues
  • Ghilgai provides a safe and supportive environment

Ghilgai practices zero tolerance of child abuse and has structures in place to uphold this standard.

At Ghilgai

  • Friendship is valued and nourished in many ways.
  • Buddies support and companion younger children and support their wellbeing
  • The child is empowered in daily school life.  Growth in independence, confidence, creativity – fostered across many layers of curriculum
  • Resiliency programs strengthen the children
  • The children understand their right to a safe school environment and feel comfortable about reporting unacceptable behavior to teachers
  • The Student Wellbeing Officer is available informally/formally, to students
  • Students are encouraged to have a selection of ‘trusted adults’ in their life
  • In times of crisis support/counselling is available via our school psychologist.  Art therapy may be helpful.
  • Empowering our Students

Ghilgai empowers students by providing education about:

  • Healthy & respectful relationships – including sexuality.
  • Rights & responsibilities child to child/adult to adult.
  • The right of students to be treated with respect.
  • Aspects of disrespect eg. unwanted touch/personal space.
  • Bullying – perpetrator/recipient/bystander roles.
  • Harassment – roles as above.
  • Behavior standards at Ghilgai.
  • Cyber safety – danger in the online world.
  • Forms of child abuse/age appropriate.
  • The Kids Helpline.
  • Protecting our Students

Ghilgai protects students by:

  • Identifying risks – whole school vigilance.
  • Regular review of risk in staff meetings.
  • Culture of risk awareness in parent body – we encourage risk reporting.
  • Developing and implementing risk management strategies.
  • Monitoring and evaluating their efficiency.
  • Review after incidents/and annually review of Child Abuse procedures.
  • Providing regular staff and governance training.
  • Appointment of Child Safe Officer – by College/approved by Directors.
  • Recording and evaluating “near miss” incidents in staff meetings.
  • Recognizing and addressing risks for children with disability eg. communication barriers when telling an adult they feel unsafe.

Our procedures mitigate risk

  • Camp risk management plans considered by College 4 weeks prior to camp.
  • Excursion plans approved by College 2 weeks prior to attendance.
  • Windows into all rooms where children work with adults – easy line of sight.
  • Codes for physical contact in professional work eg. personal care/first aid/sports coaching.
  • Careful staff selection using standardized procedures.
  • Staff induction programs.
  • Staff training & professional development.
  • Staff supervision arrangements.
  • Safety procedures for Relief Teachers/Volunteers.
  • Procedures for Teachers/College members/Directors – these are found in the respective handbooks and supply further detail.
  • Ghilgai expects all parents to be vigilant with us regarding any aspect of risk so that together we can provide safety for the children at our school.
  • If you have concerns re child abuse you should report to Child First 1300 369 146

-Confidentiality assured. They will refer on to Child Protection if needed.

Reporting Child Sexual Abuse

Child Protection                 9843 6000

                                              131 278 (24hrs)

  • All adults must report allegations/disclosures of child abuse to Child Protection. Confidentiality provided.
  • You may consult a Teacher/College member – or write a note and hand it in at reception addressed to Child Safe Officer if you have concerns.
  • Sexual Abuse adult to child (under 16 years) must be reported to Police 000
  • Grooming Offense
  • Crimes Amendment July 2014

This offence targets predatory conduct designed to facilitate later sexual activity with a child by an adult (18 years and over)

  • Failure to disclose is an offence
  • Under Crimes Amendment (Protection of Children) Act October 2014

The offence requires that any adult (aged 18 or over) who holds a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria by an adult against a child (aged under 16) must disclose that information to the police.

  • Failure to Protect

If a person in authority knows that someone within their organization poses a risk of committing a sexual offence against a child and they fail to remove that person who poses a risk, they themselves will be guilty of a criminal offence. As soon as a person in authority becomes aware of a risk of child sexual abuse, they will be under a duty to take steps to remove or reduce that risk.