1. Purpose

To outline the processes that Princes Hill Secondary College will follow to recruit, screen, supervise and manage volunteers to provide a child safe environment, and to explain the legal rights of volunteers.

2. Policy Statement

This policy applies to the recruitment, screening, supervision and management of all people who volunteer at our school.

3. Implementation

Princes Hill Secondary College is committed to implementing and following practices which protect the safety and wellbeing of children and our staff and volunteers. Princes Hill Secondary College acknowledges the importance of volunteers and recognises the valuable contribution that volunteers provide to our school community and the work that we do.

The procedures set out below are designed to ensure that Princes Hill Secondary College’s volunteers are suitable to work with children and are well-placed to make a positive contribution to our school community.

Becoming a Volunteer

Members of our school community who would like to volunteer are encouraged to register their interest using the school Volunteer Registration Form. This will capture the necessary information and the event that the volunteer is interested in attending. If required for an event, the volunteer will be provided with the Volunteer Induction Handbook, the Child Safety Induction Pack for Volunteers and complete a Volunteer OHS Induction Checklist with a Principal Class Officer or delegate. Other essential information relating to the event will also be provided as per the specific context and requirements of the event.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Our school follows Department of Education and Training policy with respect to the requirements relating to attendance on school sites and COVID-19 vaccinations. For further information, refer to COVID-19 Vaccinations – Visitors and Volunteers on School Sites.

Suitability Checks including Working with Children Clearances

Working with Students

Princes Hill Secondary College values the many volunteers that assist our school community in a variety of activities, including:

  • in our classrooms
  • with sports days and events
  • school camps
  • excursions and incursions
  • school concerts

To ensure that we are meeting our legal obligations under the Worker Screening Act and the Child Safe Standards, Princes Hill Secondary College is required to undertake suitability checks which in most cases will involve asking for evidence of a Working with Children (WWC) Clearance and may also involve undertaking reference, proof of identity, qualification and work history involving children checks.

Considering our legal obligations, and our commitment to ensuring that Princes Hill Secondary College is a child safe environment, we will require volunteers to obtain a WWC Clearance and produce their valid card to our Human Resource Officer for verification in the following circumstances:

  • Volunteers who are not parent/family members of any student at the school if they are engaged in child-related work regardless of whether they are being supervised. 
  • Parent/family volunteers who are assisting with any classroom or school activities involving direct contact with children in circumstances where the volunteer’s child is not participating, or does not ordinarily participate in, the activity. 
  • Parent/family volunteers who assist with excursions (including swimming), camps and similar events, regardless of whether their own child is participating or not.
  • Parent/family volunteers who regularly assist in school activities, regardless of whether their own child is participating or not.
  • Parent/community School Council members sitting on School Council with student School Council members, regardless of whether their own child is a student member or not.

In addition, depending on the nature of the volunteer work, our school may ask the volunteer to provide other suitability checks at its discretion (for example, references, work history involving children and/or qualifications). Proof of identity may also be required in some circumstances.

Non Child-Related Work

On some occasions, parents and other members of the school community may volunteer to do work that is not child-related. For example, volunteering on the weekend for gardening, maintenance, working bees, school council, participating in sub-committees of school council, fundraising groups that meet in the evenings during which children will not be, or would not reasonably be expected to be, present. Volunteers for this type of work are not required to have WWC Clearances or other suitability checks as they are not engaged in child-related work and children are not generally present during these activities. However, Princes Hill Secondary College reserves the right to undertake suitability checks, including requiring proof of identity and WWC Clearance, at its discretion if considered necessary for any particular activities or circumstances.

School Council members and volunteers on any sub-committee of School Council will be asked to provide evidence of a valid WWC Clearance. Whilst we acknowledge that these volunteers will not be engaging in child-related work as part of their role, even when there is a student sitting on the School Council, we believe that it is important that our volunteers who are involved in making important decisions about our school which will have an impact on students do have a valid WWC Clearance.

Training and Induction

Under the Child Safe Standards volunteers must have an appropriate induction and training in child safety and wellbeing.

To support us to maintain a child safe environment, before engaging in any work where children are present or reasonably likely to be present, volunteers must familiarise themselves with the policies, procedures and code of conduct referred to in our Child Safety Induction Pack for Volunteers and ensure the actions and requirements in these documents are followed when volunteering for our school.

Depending on the nature and responsibilities of their role, Princes Hill Secondary College may also require volunteers to complete additional child safety training.

Management and Supervision

Volunteer workers will be expected to comply with any reasonable direction of the principal (or their nominee). This will include the requirement to follow our school’s policies, including, but not limited to our Child Safety Policy, our Child Safety Code of Conduct and our Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy.

Volunteer workers will also be expected to act consistently with Department of Education and Training policies, to the extent that they apply to volunteer workers, including the Department’s policies relating to Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying.  

The principal (or their nominee) will determine the level of school staff supervision required for volunteers, depending on the type of work being performed, and with a focus on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of students.

The principal has the discretion to make a decision about the ongoing suitability of a volunteer worker and may determine at any time whether or not a person is suitable to volunteer at Princes Hill Secondary College.

Privacy and Information-Sharing

Volunteers must ensure that any student information they become aware of because of their volunteer work is managed sensitively and in accordance with the Schools’ Privacy Policy and the Department’s policy on Privacy and Information Sharing.

Under these policies, student information can and should be shared with relevant school staff to:

  • support the student’s education, wellbeing and health;
  • reduce the risk of reasonably foreseeable harm to the student, other students, staff or visitors;
  • make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the student’s disability; or
  • provide a safe and secure workplace.

Volunteers must immediately report any child safety concerns that they become aware of to a member of staff to ensure appropriate action. There are some circumstances where volunteers may also be obliged to disclose information to authorities outside of the school such as to Victoria Police. For further information on child safety responding and reporting obligations refer to our Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations Policy.

Records Management

While it is unlikely volunteers will be responsible for any school records during their volunteer work, any school records that volunteers are responsible for must be provided to a Principal Class member to ensure they are managed in accordance with the Department’s policy: Records Management – Schools.


Personal Injury

Volunteer workers are covered by the Department of Education and Training’s Workers’ Compensation Policy if they suffer personal injury in the course of engaging in school work.

Property Damage

If a volunteer worker suffers damage to their property in the course of carrying out school work, the Minister (or delegate) may authorise such compensation as they consider reasonable in the circumstances. Claims of this nature should be directed to the principal who will direct them to the Department’s Legal Division.

Public Liability Insurance

The Department of Education and Training’s public liability insurance policy applies when a volunteer worker engaged in school work is legally liable for:

  • a claim for bodily injury to a third party
  • damage to or the destruction of a third party’s property

4. Evaluation & Review

This policy will be reviewed every 2 years.

5. Definitions

Child-Connected Work - work authorised by the school governing authority/provider of a school boarding services and performed by an adult in a school or school boarding premises environment while children are present or reasonably expected to be present.

Child-Related Work - As defined by the Worker Screening Act 2020 (Vic), child-related work is work that usually involves direct contact (including in person, over the phone, written and online communication) with a child that is a central part of that person’s duties. It does not include work that involves occasional direct contact with children that is incidental to the work.

Closely Related Family Member - parent, carer, parent/carer’s spouse or domestic partner, stepparent, parent/carer’s mother or father in-law, grandparent, uncle or aunt, brother or sister, including step or half siblings.

Volunteer Worker - A volunteer school worker is a person who voluntarily engages in school work or approved community work without payment or reward.

School Work - School work means:

    • Carrying out the functions of a school council
    • Any activity carried out for the welfare of a school, by the school council, any parents’ club or association or any other body organised to promote the welfare of the school
    • Any activity carried out for the welfare of the school at the request of the principal or school council
    • Providing assistance in the work of any school or kindergarten
    • Attending meetings in relation to government schools convened by any organisation which receives government financial support

This is a broad definition and means that volunteers who participate in school community activities, such as fundraising and assisting with excursions, are legally protected (i.e. indemnified) from action by others in the event of an injury or accident whilst they are performing volunteer school work in good faith.

6. References

Child Safety Code of Conduct

Volunteer Induction Handbook

Volunteer OHS Induction Checklist

7. Related Policies

Child Safety Policy

Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations Policy

Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy

Visitors Policy

Department Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) links:

8. Consultation

This policy has been made with consultation of Princes Hill Secondary College Staff, School Council and Student Council. The policy was shared with the Education Committee on the and underwent School Council review and feedback throughout September 2022.

Policy Controls



AuthorAssistant Principal - Positive Climate for Learning
Internal ApproverPrincipal
Council ApprovalComplete
Approval Date


Review Date