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Children on Campus Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure has been developed to inform staff, students and visitors of their responsibilities and Charles Sturt University's expectations when children are brought onto Charles Sturt University (the University) premises.

(2) This Procedure should be implemented in the spirit of the Children on Campus Policy, which seeks to support the needs of parents/carers while taking into account the health, safety and welfare issues associated with children being on campus and the rights of others to an environment conducive to work and study.

Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to all staff, students and visitors of the University. It is not intended to restrict children's access to areas of the University that are open to the public or to activities such as Open Days, vacation care or after school care activities, regular childcare or school programmes, work experience, school visits or other approved activities.

(4) Where the University shares premises owned by other organisations, and regulations pertaining to the management of children co-exist, the University will adhere to the more stringent standard of the two.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(5) For the purpose of this Procedure, a "child" is defined as a person up to the age of 15 years.

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Section 3 - Policy

(6) Refer to the Children on Campus Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Procedure Applying to Access

Areas Open to Public Access

(7) Parents/carers may bring children into the public areas of the University and non-teaching areas open to the public such as libraries, student dining rooms and student association facilities, subject to any particular regulations that may apply to the specific area.

(8) Parents/carers must be responsible for the behaviour of any child in their care and must ensure that other users of these facilities are not unreasonably inconvenienced by the child's presence.

Work or Teaching Areas

(9) Where possible, staff or students who, due to extenuating circumstances, need to bring a child into work or to attend a teaching activity should seek permission from an appropriate University officer:

  1. A request for a child to remain with a staff member in the workplace should be made to the staff member's immediate supervisor.
  2. A request for a child to accompany a student to class should be made to the lecturer or other relevant person in charge of the teaching activity at the time.

(10) The University recognises that there will be occasions outside the control of the parent/carer when it is not possible to obtain the prior consent of the supervisor or lecturer. There may also be differences between workplaces in terms of expectations about when a supervisor's consent should be sought.

(11) In making a decision about the presence of a child in the work or teaching area, the supervisor/lecturer will make an assessment of any potential risk associated with the request and take into consideration both the needs of the parent and those of co-workers or other students.

(12) It is expected that such an arrangement will be of a temporary nature that does not replace regular childcare.

(13) Staff or students who bring a child into a work or teaching area are expected to be responsible for the direct supervision of the child at all times and should not make requests of others in the area to take care of the child.

(14) Unless part of a specific program, children brought onto campus are not to use University equipment, such as computers, photocopiers and telephones.

The CSU Library

(15) All users of the University Library are required to respect and comply with the conditions necessary to an appropriate atmosphere for study and research.

(16) Young persons of 13 years and over may work in the public areas of the Library without supervision, provided their conduct is appropriate.

(17) Children under 13 years should be under parental/carer supervision in the Library at all times.

Restricted Areas

(18) Areas in which children are not permitted under any circumstances include:

  1. construction sites or areas with minor works;
  2. plant rooms;
  3. areas where chemicals and dangerous goods are stored; or
  4. other areas identified as potentially hazardous to children.

(19) Areas in which children are not normally permitted include:

  1. laboratories and laboratory preparation areas;
  2. scientific, technical and maintenance workshops;
  3. areas with maintenance taking place;
  4. kitchens and other food preparation areas;
  5. storage facilities/store rooms;
  6. Art and Design or Performing studios;
  7. fitness centres; or
  8. other areas identified as potentially hazardous to children under certain circumstances.

(20) Before children may enter areas where access is not normally permitted, the manager must complete a risk assessment to determine any potential hazards that could arise and what additional risk controls would be required (refer to the University's Risk Management Policy). Only when all reasonably foreseeable risks have been controlled should children be permitted to enter the area.

(21) Staff, students or visitors should refer to the regulations pertaining to the specific area with regard to access restrictions.

(22) Children will not be permitted to attend a formal examination. However, arrangements can be made to accommodate students who need to breastfeed (see Assessment Policy).

Programmes Involving Children

(23) Staff arranging programmes that entail the presence of children on University premises must seek the permission of the appropriate manager prior to running the programme.

(24) The manager is responsible for ensuring that health, safety and welfare issues are adequately addressed and for consulting with the Division of Finance to obtain appropriate public liability insurance coverage.

Part B - Responsibilities

Responsibilities of People Bringing a Child into the University

(25) Parents/carers are expected to:

  1. seek approval from the appropriate supervisor/lecturer, if possible before bringing a child into a work or teaching area;
  2. abide by the regulations pertaining to access, which may apply to different University facilities;
  3. take reasonable steps to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of any child in their care while on campus;
  4. be responsible for the behaviour of the child and ensure that other users of the University's facilities are not unreasonably inconvenienced or put at risk by the child's presence; and
  5. reimburse the University for any damage sustained to University property due to the actions of the child.

(26) A child suffering from an infectious illness that may put others at risk should not be brought onto campus. Various forms of leave are available to staff to assist in such circumstances.

Responsibilities of Supervisors and Lecturers

(27) Supervisors and lecturers will give appropriate consideration to requests for children to attend work and/or teaching activities.

(28) In making a decision about such a request or the presence of a child in a work or teaching area, supervisors and lecturers will take into account such factors as:

  1. the particular circumstances that have led to the request;
  2. the age of the child;
  3. the length of time involved;
  4. the frequency of attendance;
  5. the content of any lecture or discussion to which the child may be exposed (certain subject matter may have the potential to distress a child);
  6. work health, safety and welfare issues and risks; and
  7. the likely impact on others in the immediate vicinity.

(29) Supervisors and lecturers may direct the removal of a child where:

  1. the child's health, safety or welfare is at risk;
  2. the child is presenting a health or safety risk to others;
  3. the child's behaviour is causing undue disruption to the work of staff or students; or
  4. the presence of a child is inappropriate.

Unsupervised Children

(30) A staff member who observes an unsupervised child on campus whom they believe may be at risk or who is engaging in disruptive or inappropriate behaviour should report the matter to Security staff.

(31) Security staff will take action to identify the child's parent/carer and ensure that the situation is resolved appropriately.

Part C - Resolution of Problems or Disputes

(32) Staff members who are of the view that their immediate supervisor's decision to refuse permission to bring a child into the workplace is unreasonable should refer the matter to the Manager at the next supervisory level. In reviewing the decision, the Manager may seek the advice of Division of Human Resources staff responsible for the University's work and family policies.

(33) Students who are of the view that permission to bring a child into a teaching area has been refused unreasonably should refer the matter to their Head of School. In reviewing the decision, the Head of School may seek the advice of the Director, Student Services.

(34) Upon making a determination on the matter, the Manager/Head of School will provide reasons for the final decision to the person requesting the review.

(35) Other staff members or students who believe that their ability to work or study effectively has been compromised, due to a decision to allow a child into a work or teaching area, should raise the issue with the person responsible for the area.

Part D - Facilities for Children on Campus

(36) Child care centres are located on the Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga campuses.

(37) Refer to the Parenting Rooms listing for Information on the availability of parenting rooms providing facilities for feeding and changing infants.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(38) Nil.