Maintaining a safe environment for both students and staff is a top concern of Principals and School Administrators. Having risk management strategies in place focused on preventing, identifying and mitigating risks to children was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse report on Creating Child Safe Institutions.
Managing visitors to your school
One key risk outlined in the NSW Department of Education and Training safety and security directorate on how to be a safer school* was around the management of visitors to school sites, including contractors and volunteers. In the ten steps to protecting schools, it was recommended to develop a visitor management plan. This should include visitors required to sign-in and wear visitor’s badges.
Similarly the Victorian Child Safety Standard on Child safety risk management strategies recommends asking the question “does the school monitor who is on premises? e.g. using visitor and contractor sign-in process, perimeter control” as part of evaluating school risks.
Not only is it important that visitors sign-in and wear badges, the Royal Commission report also calls for all staff and volunteers to receive an appropriate induction. They should be aware of their safety responsibilities. Likewise, it is best practice that any contractors who are onsite are appropriately inducted. This ensures that they understand their obligations whilst at the school.
Equally important is ensuring that any contractors on school grounds are appropriately qualified and licensed to conduct their work. Likewise, they should also have a verified Working With Children Check. Ensuring contractors are validated consequently minimises the risk of something going wrong, along with possible future liability exposure. When you track school visitors in such a way, these checks help to keep your school compliant and safe.
Where to start?
There are simple steps that schools can take to manage risks associated with volunteers and contractors visiting the school premises. As the NSW and Victorian reports suggest, adopting a comprehensive sign-in and sign-out procedure helps to ensure the safety of students and other stakeholders.
Upstream offer a Visitor Sign-in and Contractor Compliance management solution that helps protect your school and students. Track school visitors, validate contractor compliance and WWCC, and provide induction material. Additionally, have visibility of who is onsite and manage time and attendance in a digital easy to use format.
Get in touch to learn how you can implement a digital solution that helps safe proof your school and minimise risk exposure.
* Source: New South Wales Department of Education and Training and New South Wales Police. How to be a safer school: safety and security directorate