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).
|Level of compliance||Main audience||Other|
All education providers must meet the requirements set out in the Children’s Act 2014.
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 Children's Act 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 three years.
- Available on school websites or on request.
All children’s workers need to be safety checked every three 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.
Volunteers don't need to be police vetted under the Children Act 2014 or the Education and Training Act 2020.
A school or kura Māori can choose whether to safety check (including whether to vet) volunteers that support their school (this may be guided by their own child protection policies and any health and safety policy or procedures).
If a school or kura Māori chooses to police vet a volunteer, the vet request should be submitted to Police as a non-Children Act 2014 vet (that is, one that isn’t required by the Children Act 2014 legislation).
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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