School Compliance with Victoria’s Child Safe Standards

Tabled: 20 June 2019

Appendix D. Survey of school principals

During this audit, we conducted a survey of all Victorian school principals on their understanding of the child safe standards and the ministerial order requirements, and of their schools' compliance obligations.

In the survey, we asked school principals about their perception and understanding of the available guidance and support, their self-assessing of compliance, and demonstration of compliance through the school review process, as shown in Figure D1.

Figure D1
Survey questions for school principals

Profile questions

  • What type of school do you represent?
  • Approximately how long have you been in your current school role as Principal?
  • Approximately how long have you worked as a school principal in general?
  • What type of education do you provide?

Questions on guidance and support

  • Respondents' answers to question 'Our school has accessed documented guidance material on the Victorian Child Safe Standards from …'
  • To what extent do you agree with this statement: 'The available documented guidance material clearly explains what schools must do to comply with the Victorian Child Safe Standards and each of the Ministerial Order 870 requirements.'
  • Has your school received training on how to comply with the Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order 870 requirements? If so, where from?
  • How effective has the available training been at showing your school how to comply with Victoria's Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order 870?
  • Outside of the documented guidance material and available training, what else has informed your knowledge of how to comply with the Victorian Child Safe Standards and the Ministerial Order 870 requirements?

Questions on self-assessing compliance

  • Which of the following regulator's tools do your school use to self-assess its compliance with the Child Safe Standards?
  • To what extent do you agree with this statement—My school complies with the Victorian Child Safe Standards and requirements of the Ministerial Order 870.

Questions about demonstrating compliance through the school review process

  • To what extent do you agree with this statement: I am clear on what evidence is required for my school to demonstrate compliance with the Victorian Child Safe Standards and the Ministerial Order 870 requirements.
  • Has your school's compliance with the Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order 870 been assessed to date? (Note: this excludes any self-assessments performed by your school)
  • Has your school been identified as non-compliant in any of the Ministerial Order 870 requirements since they came into effect on 1 January 2016?
  • Following your school's assessment, was it clear to you what needed to be put in place to become compliant?
  • How effective has the school review process been at assessing your school's compliance with Victoria's Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order 870?

Source: VAGO.

Approximately 30 per cent of Victorian school principals (678) responded to our survey conducted between 26 February and 13 March 2019.

The proportion of responses from each sector—government, Catholic and independent—was proportional to the number of registered schools per sector as shown in Figure D2.

Figure D2
Proportion of respondents per sector

Sector

Number of survey respondents per sector

Percentage of survey respondents per sector

Number of registered schools per sector

Percentage of registered schools per sector

Government

451

67%

1 549

68%

Catholic

135

20%

494

22%

Independent

91

13%

219

10%

Unidentified*

1

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total

678

100%

2 262

100%

Note: * One respondent did not identify their school's sector.
Source: VAGO survey of school principals regarding the child safe standards.

As shown in Figure D3, 62 per cent of respondents were primary school principals, followed by secondary (18 per cent), combined (15 per cent), and special school principals (5 per cent).

Figure D3
School type represented by respondent

School type represented by respondent

Source: VAGO survey of school principals regarding the child safe standards.

As shown in Figure D4, respondents varied in the length of time they had been principals.

Figure D4
Length of time as principal

Length of time as principal

Source: VAGO survey of school principals regarding the child safe standards.

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