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Changes to school screening process

25 January 2016

The Department for Education and Child Development has updated its screening policy to make it easier for parents and guardians to volunteer their time.

The changes are consistent with the recommendations outlined in the Working with Children Checks Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

From Monday 25 January 2016, parents and guardians volunteering in schools and preschools to support their own child’s education will no longer need to undertake relevant history screening.

Parents and guardians who are governing council members will not require a DCSI child-related employment screening unless the governing council is the employing authority for an out of school hours care service.

Screening will continue to apply to:

  • all DECD employees
  • volunteers with Families SA
  • volunteers working closely with children with disabilities
  • people attending overnight camps and school sleep overs
  • hosts of billets or homestay students
  • some contractors and third-party providers
  • sports coaches who are not parents or guardians of a child in the team.

As has always been the case, people attending a single event or activity at a school or preschool, such as a concert, fundraising events, swimming week or sports day do not need to be screened.

To help people understand when a relevant history screening is required, DECD has developed a new online screening guide.

Screening is just one measure used to help keep children safe.

DECD requires everyone who works with children to be responsible for child safety, including knowing how to recognise and report inappropriate behaviour, provide adequate supervision and enforce the codes of conduct.

Organisations are also encouraged to use a variety of screening measures, such as face-to-face interviews and referee checks, as well as relevant history assessments, when assessing whether someone is suitable to work with children.

You can find more information about keeping children safe, including the new online screening guide, on the DECD website.