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Message from Archbishop Stephen Brislin for Grade 7 pupils (Valedictory/Prizegiving)
Umalusi Council sets and monitors standards for general and further education and training in South Africa in accordance with the National Qualifications Framework Act No 67 of 2008 and the General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Act No 58 of 2001
The Council is tasked with the development and management of a sub-framework of qualifications for general and further education and training and for the attendant quality assurance.
The Parliamentary Liaison Office of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) is the official vehicle for contact and dialogue between the Catholic Church in South Africa on the one hand, and the country’s Parliament and government on the other. It provides an avenue for the Church – as part of civil society – to contribute to debates on issues of public policy, to exert an influence for the common good in areas of political, economic and social concern, and to help shape legislative and policy developments.
The Governing Body Foundation is a service organisation founded in 1997 to propagate the best interests of sound governance in South African public schools. At present the GBF represents some 700 public schools in all nine South African provinces, with its Head Office in Cape Town and regional offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The organisation offers advice, guidance, information, training and general support on all aspects of school governance. The GBF has established the necessary resources and infrastructure, and possesses the legal and general expertise, knowledge and experience, to service its members’ needs efficiently. Our facilities can be of value to all public schools which find themselves faced with similar governance challenges.
CaSPA is committed to keeping children safe, and aims to protect them in the school environment as much as it can. Therefore we present this Child Safeguarding Policy for use in all our schools. All schools and all staff-members must know the policy of their school about protecting children, and they should work to the standards set out in their policy. CaSPA is committed to making sure that the welfare and rights of children are promoted and protected, and that children are not harmed, exploited or abused.
This policy shows our schools what they must do to keep their children safe. The whole school community should adopt and implement this policy document.
The policy reflects the Gospel values of freedom, justice and respect for all children and young people. It promotes our underlying belief that:
The rights of all children must be promoted and protected; All children must be treated equally, with love and respect, and Their dignity as a person must never be diminished.
Children are among the most vulnerable people in any society. They can be easy targets, and can quickly become victimized, be exploited and even abused. The safety and protection of children will always be our highest priority. In doing this we align ourselves with international bodies that have made child protection their priority, i.e. the United Nations’ Convention of the rights of Children and The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
In 1989, the United Nations (the UN) agreed to The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC - United Nations, 1989). This Convention is the foundation of the rights of all children. This convention has been agreed to (ratified) by virtually every country in the world, including South Africa, and so has world-wide recognition and support. We confirm our commitment to upholding these rights for all children.
States Parties [and other organizations responsible for the care, development and wellbeing of children] shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
Article 19 – United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
In a document which is even more closely focused on the South African situation, The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1999) further underpins the importance of the safety and security of a child.
States Parties to the present Charter shall take specific legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and especially physical or mental injury or abuse, neglect or maltreatment including sexual abuse.
Protective measures under this Article shall include effective procedures for the establishment of special monitoring units to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting referral investigation, treatment, and follow-up of instances of child abuse and neglect.
Article 16 - The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
Both these documents apply to all schools, whatever their foundation or religious character. All Catholic schools must follow them, as well as the principles which are at the heart of the Catholic ethos.
There are five Underlying Principles that guide this Catholic school policy on keeping children safe. They follow the Gospel, the mission of the Catholic Church, and the professional commitment of all staff-members at schools.
Create Safe Environments: Catholic Schools must first create safe environments for children and young people, and through doing this they can best protect them from any form of harm or abuse.
The Duty of Care: Every person has a duty to support the care and protection of children.
Written Policy: Each Catholic school must have a written policy on the safeguarding of children.
Education of Staff: Keeping children safe, and stopping them being abused, depends on all the school staff being educated about these issues.
All Children are Equal: All children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation. No matter what cultural differences there are, no matter any other reason, Catholic schools must intervene on behalf of any child whom they think might be being abused.
Standards are used in many different areas of life. Standards mark the lowest level for something to be working so that it does its job. In this case, standards define what needs to be in place in Catholic schools to keep children safe. Standards also list criteria – indicators that will help people in charge of the school to decide whether the school has reached this standard. The criteria show what steps the school must take to meet the standard in each area.