Children’s Act 2014 – requirements for schools and kura
Schools, kura and their contracted providers must safety check all their children's workers and must have a child protection policy. These are requirements of the Children’s Act (CA).
Renaming of the Act
As of December 2018, the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 was renamed the Children’s Act 2014. All guidance and resources on this page should be read as Children’s Act still and provides current information.
Vulnerable Children's Act Guide
The Vulnerable Children's Act Guide ('the Guide') helps you navigate the requirements of the Act. It brings together information and resources already published and complements the advice and guidelines produced by the Children’s Action Plan.
- Quick download: Resources within the VCA Guide
- Child protection policies
- Safety checking
- Safety checking people in your service or school
- Safety checking steps
- Volunteers don't need to be safety checked
- Further information
From 1 July 2016 all schools and kura need to have a child protection policy in place.
Child protection policies encourage early identification and referral of suspected child abuse or neglect. They also help build a strong culture of child protection in your school or kura.
Key requirements of a child protection policy
- It needs to be written down and in use.
- Say how suspected neglect and abuse will be identified and reported.
- Be reviewed every 3 years.
- Available on school websites or on request.
All children’s workers need to be safety checked every 3 years. This includes both staff employed and staff engaged in your school or kura, whose work involves regular or overnight contact with children. They're classified as either core workers or non core workers.
Core workers are either in sole charge or have primary responsibility or authority over the child or children in their care. Schools and kura are now unable to employ a core worker who has a specified criminal conviction unless they hold a Core Worker Exemption (CWE).
|From 1 July 2015||Safety checking of all new core workers (even if they are not new to the employer but are newly appointed to a children’s worker role) must be safety checked before they start in the role.|
|By 1 July 2018||Safety checking of all existing core workers|
Visit the Oranga Tamariki website for more information about the:
- Workforce Restriction, and
- Core Worker Exemption.
Non-core workers have regular but limited child contact and are never alone with children.
|From 1 July 2016||Safety checking of all new non-core workers before they are appointed to the role|
|By 1 July 2019||Safety checking of all existing non- core workers|
Your school and kura can choose whether to safety check their volunteers (or complete components of a safety check). This may be guided by your own child protection and/or health and safety policies.
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