The Government has confirmed it is investigating a spate of incidents of child abuse in the country’s schools and is seeking to put an end to the problem, as part of a crackdown on child abuse.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham said he was aware of the reports but declined to provide further details.
“We’ve heard from parents about the extent of the problem and I’m aware of some of the allegations that have been made,” he told ABC radio on Friday.
“The Government has been working with local authorities and the state and territory to identify the problem that we have, and we’re taking action to address that.”
“We have to get on with the job.”
He said it was important for parents to be aware of their children’s safety, and that it was essential to have the right resources in place.
“It is a difficult time, but it’s a time of increased pressure and there is a very good need for some sort of intervention,” he said.
“I think the Government has done a lot of work with local governments in terms of providing some of those resources and we are committed to taking the action necessary to get the right measures in place.”
Mr Birmingham said it would take time to identify and address the problem.
“As part of our ongoing work to address this issue, we have taken a number of steps that we hope will put an immediate end to it,” he added.
“However, as the Government works to put in place those measures, we need to get that process going in order to protect our children and families.”
He also said the Government was seeking to hold schools accountable.
“What we are doing is looking at the issue of school safety,” he explained.
“This is about taking action and getting the right answers to the right questions, and I think that’s what we’ve been doing, is looking and asking questions about what’s happening.”
‘I can’t believe this is happening’ ‘It’s been really hard for me’ ‘I couldn’t believe it myself when I was doing my own research on this,’ one parent told the ABC.
“When I was looking at what was happening, it was very distressing, because I couldn’t understand why, in our community, children weren’t being protected.”
One parent who has spoken to the ABC said she had been “stunned” by the reports and the Government’s response.
“For so long, I had been trying to protect my children, to make sure they weren’t in harm’s way,” she said.
The report will be published on Monday.
“I can now put this to rest, and if there is anything else that needs to be done, I can understand that.”
There are many other issues that need to be looked at.
We have a child welfare system, we also have a social work system, which is in a very tough time, and a lot needs to happen.
“But the more I look into this, the more and more I see it’s not only a problem for us, it’s also for other families.”
‘I don’t believe children should be abused’ “I can only speak for myself, but I do believe that there should be safeguards in place in the way children are raised,” another parent said.
A third parent said he had been left “completely shocked” by reports.
‘The Government needs to do more’ “It’s absolutely appalling,” another mother said.
“‘My children are being abused, my children are having a terrible life, my kids are in danger, my child has died, they’re being abused.’
They need to do that.” “
Why can’t the Government do more to protect them?
They need to do that.”
The Government is now in the process of implementing a number proposed changes to the Child Protection Act, including changes to how school buildings are inspected and new laws.
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