Victoria’s education regulator will investigate whether St Kevin’s College in Toorak breached state standards for managing risks around child abuse.
Education Minister James Merlino confirmed the Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority (VRQA) had advised St Kevin’s College and the school’s owner, Edmund Rice Education Australia, of its decision to review the school’s management of child abuse risks.
The decision was made following reports a long-time volunteer athletics coach was convicted of grooming a then 15-year-old student at the elite all-boys school in 2015.
The school’s headmaster and dean of sport have both been subject to intense public scrutiny for providing Peter Kehoe with references during his trial.
The VRQA’s announcement followed an ABC Four Corner’s investigation into the matter and the culture at St Kevin’s College which aired on Monday night.
Mr Merlino said he understood why parents would be concerned with the oversight and handling of the matter.
“I can confirm the VRQA have advised St Kevin’s College’s board of management, Edmund Rice Education Australia in Victoria, and the Catholic Education of Commission of Victoria that it will open a specific review into the school’s compliance with Ministerial Order 870 – Child Safe Standards – Managing the Risk of Child Abuse in Schools, as is entirely appropriate,” he said.
“These reports are very concerning and if I was a parent of a student at the school, I would be demanding answers.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of children. That’s why we have introduced Child Safe Standards and mandatory reporting.”
SBS News has contacted St Kevin’s College for comment.
More to come.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Anyone seeking information or support relating to sexual abuse can contact Bravehearts on 1800 272 831 or Blue Knot on 1300 657 380.