The duty of care for student’s policy document gives clear guidelines that all schools and teachers must follow with regards to circumstances concerning the safety and welfare of students. By setting guidelines for schools and teachers to ensure that situations are dealt with in a fair and the utmost professional manner. The guidelines deal with things such as the departure and arrival time of students, student’s behaviour in out of school, the protection of students from child abuse, Discussion
The apparent rationale for writing the duty of care policy in WA is to ensure that teachers are responsible, take control of situations and supervise students to ensure their safety inside and outside school premises. This document is to ensure all western Australian students’ safety and wellbeing, which enables students to focus on learning. Teachers also owe duty of care towards other teacher’s, non-teaching staff, parents and visitors (The Government of Western Australia, Department of Education, 26 June 2007). The policy duty of care for students covers a wide range of issues from: •
Alcohol on school premises – alcohol should not be used on school premises when students are around, however if there was an event where alcohol was present around the students it is the school responsibility to ensure that students have been supervised at all time ( Effective, 2004). •
Child protection – teachers are responsible to report any suspicions of a child being abused physically, psychological and emotionally (Effective, 2009). •
Duty of care for students – teaching staff take reasonable care for the safety of students not only for protecting them from hazards, but to also protect them from harm that could foreseeably arise. Non-teaching staff and volunteers owe a Duty of Care when they take part in a school activity. It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that staff or volunteers are appropriately skilled to carry out any responsibilities which involve the safety of students (Effective, 2007). •
Excursions off school site activities – Schools and teachers owe a Duty of Care to students for the duration of the excursion out of school site activities. Excursions and out of school site activities need to be assessed to ensure they are justified in terms of risk, of harm, and the value of the activity. It is important to thoroughly plan all aspects of the excursions and off school site activities and to keep records of procedures followed (Effective, 2003) •
Outdoor education and recreation activities – Teachers must also ensure that they are providing a learning environment to students that are in line with the practices in its policy (Effective, 2008). •
Students online – This policy was developed to assist teachers in putting in place school-based processes and procedures that will both protect and inform West Australian students and parents in their use of the Departments online services. All activities conducted using the Department's online services may be logged and accessed for administrative, legal or security purposes (Effective, 2010).
Working with children checks – before teachers can teach they all need to apply for working with children check which entails a check of all convictions for any offence that has ever been committed any spent convictions you have. A spent conviction is one that does not need to be ordinarily declared, any pending charges and any non-conviction charge (Effective, 2009).
The Duty of care policy is important for school’s to protect their students from reasonably foreseeable injuries by having adequate supervision of students, protecting students from dangerous situations and maintaining safe premises and equipment. Teachers are expected to act with caution, sensible leadership, and wise guidance (Newnham, Helen;, 2000) to protect children from hazards and/or from harm. The subject of the policy requirements is for teachers, non-teachers, volunteers,...
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