Child safe school

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

A primary role of school leaders is to create school environments in which all students are safe. 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has revealed practices in schools that have increased the risk of harm to children. An important aspect of the Royal Commission’s work is also to investigate how schools can minimise the risk of harm to children in their care. 

The Royal Commission is setting new expectations of schools in child protection practices. To support its members, meet or exceed these expectations and deliver best practice in child protection, AHISA has circulated Royal Commission research papers and recommendations to its members. AHISA has also sought to provide a voice for members by engaging with the Royal Commission through submissions and attendance at consultations. 

This section of AHISA’s website serves as a single collection point for materials or links to materials published by the Royal Commission and related documents generated by AHISA.

About the Royal Commission 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established in January 2013 and presented its final report in December 2017. It conducted a rigorous investigative program, including private sessions with victims and survivors of abuse, public hearings of cases of adult-child and child-on-child sexual abuse in institutions, consultations on key issues in child protection and the commissioning of relevant research.

In its research and policy work on schools, the Royal Commission focused on institutional factors that may contribute to the creation of opportunities for the abuse of students and what should change in the future to make schools safe for children. 

National Principles for Child Safe Organisations 

In February 2019, the Australian Government launched the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations as endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments. The principles reflect 10 child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and are the vehicle for giving effect to recommendations relating to the standards. Further information about the principles is available on the website of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

Legal advice to members about the scheme and its relevance to independent schools is available on their website.