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APC STATEMENT ON CITIPOINTE CHRISTIAN COLLEGE

The Australian Parents Council (APC) is deeply troubled about the new enrolment contract being thrust upon parents and their children by Citipointe Christian College.

The wellbeing of students is the primary concern for parents as it should also be for schools. This policy does not place student wellbeing at the centre of school policy. Discrimination of any kind has no place in schools, not in relation to students, their families, teachers or leadership. Schools must always be striving to be safe places for all people who walk within the gates.

Schools must make every effort to be safe places for everyone who works and learns within them. Schools have made much progress since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and a critical component of this has been the adoption of the National Principles of Child Safe Organisations by all states and territories. Principle 3 directs that "Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing."

This is to be actioned in the following ways:

3.1 Families participate in decisions affecting their child.

3.2 The organisation engages and openly communicates with families and the community about its child safe approach and relevant information is accessible.

3.3 Families and communities have a say in the development and review of the organisation’s policies and practices.

3.4 Parents, caregivers and the community are informed about the organisation’s operations and governance.

APC advocates for all schools to undertake authentic parent engagement when amending school policy. We encourage schools to engage in robust meaningful discussion that considers the entire school body, especially the dis-empowered or minority voices. This process ensures the protection of children as well as ensuring their wellbeing and agency.

APC is experiencing an increasing number of parents approaching us about procedural fairness in enrolment contract changes. APC recognises and calls out the inherent bias of schools protecting their own interests via enrolment contracts. We urgently call for Citiponte Christian College to familiarise itself with the processes required to uphold the Australian Human Rights Commission's National Principles of Child Safe Organisations and to immediately begin practising these principles in all facets of the college operations.

 

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