Dilworth School commences its first full year with Child Wise accreditation

Date: 28 Apr 2023

Following four years of significant change and review across all areas of child safeguarding practices, Dilworth School has become the first school in Aotearoa, New Zealand, to become Child Wise accredited.

Dilworth achieved Child Wise accreditation in September 2022.  It is an independent programme available to help institutions develop their child safety processes and culture by embedding Child Wise Safeguarding Standards.

Headmaster Dan Reddiex says new and existing students to Dilworth for the 2023 schooling year will benefit from changes, including new policies and processes for safeguarding, recruitment, staff training, student education and the School's response to any reports of abuse.

“Dilworth’s journey to becoming Child Wise accredited has put child safety and protection at the heart of our School's culture, so we can support our young men to achieve their personal best.

“A key change is the increased importance and value of the student voice in everything that we do. We know students who are well taken care of, who feel respected and listened to, are more likely to obtain their own personal excellence. Hearing their voices is important to our school and will guide our continual improvement.”

Mr Reddiex notes that while Dilworth has achieved the accreditation, it is just one step of an ongoing plan to develop the school into a leader on child safety.

“We are on a mission to become the safest possible school.  That means we are committed to a process of continual improvement,” he says.

This mission, driven by Mr Reddiex and his team, included engaging with Child Wise in 2020 to review the School's child safety and protection policies, education systems and wellbeing programmes to ensure they were up to a high standard. This resulted in an Improvement Plan for Dilworth that addressed the ten Australian National Child Safe Principles.

“Over the past four years we have undergone significant transformation,” Mr Reddiex says.

“It is wonderful that Dilworth has been recognised by becoming the first New Zealand school to achieve  Child Wise accreditation. The ten Australian National Child Safe Principles and will continue to guide our school as we uphold an environment where student safety and well-being are intrinsic to our culture and remain at the centre of our thinking, values and actions.

“I would like to acknowledge the tremendous dedication and commitment from staff, students, the Dilworth Trust Board, and the wider school community, without whom this would not have been possible.”

For more information on the Child Wise accreditation and our journey to becoming accredited, visit our Child Safety and Wellbeing website page.