Duty of Care & Excursions Presentation 2006

Excursions …….
after the Coroner’s Findings
is based on 3 key principles:
Excursions are valuable aspects of learning
and are to be supported.
Students and teachers need to be protected.
Principals and teachers must be supported in
their exercise of professional judgement.
To support and enable schools to make informed
decisions in relation to the management and conduct of
school activities
Our Policies
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• duty of care, excursions
Regulatory Framework
& Courts
School Education Act
School Education
Regulations 2000
Department of
Education & Training
“Duty of Care” means a duty imposed by law to take care to
minimise the risk of harm to others.
Teaching staff owe a duty to take reasonable care for
the safety and welfare of students whilst students are
involved in school activities or are present for the
purposes of a school activity.
The duty owed to students is not to ensure that no harm
will ever occur, but rather a duty to take reasonable care
to avoid harm being suffered.
Duty of Care for Students
Doing the best for the safety and
welfare of students
The policy allows for persons who are not teachers to
perform a supervisory role in relation to students subject to
a number of provisos.
Teaching staff may breach their duty of care if reasonable
care is not exercised in choosing an appropriate person to
care for students.
Teaching staff must consider factors such as the:
• Number of students involved.
• Age, experience, capabilities and behaviour of the students.
• Nature of the environment, premises and of the activity to
be undertaken.
• Age, ability, experience and general suitability of the
proposed carer.
Teaching staff must ask most
non-teaching staff, external providers and volunteers and, if
they agree, provide them with clear instructions as to the
level of care required.
If non teaching staff, volunteers and external providers
agree to personally care for students, they must take such
measures as are reasonable in all the circumstances to
protect students from risks of harm that reasonably
ought to be foreseen.
•Injured persons may sue the State of Western Australia.
•Department is vicariously liable for acts of negligence
during the course of employment.
•Injured persons may sue the employee but this is
•Legally possible for the State to bring a claim for
contribution if the employee is deemed negligent.
Duty of Care for Students
Underpins and drives most school policies and practices
• Articulates how to meet duty of care
requirements when off the school site
• Establishes a common risk
management process
Education &
& others
Any student-learning activity conducted off the site of the school,
at which the student is enrolled, that:
• is organised or managed by a member of teaching staff employed
under s235 of the School Education Act 1999; and
• has gained the appropriate approval(s).
Outdoor Education and Recreation Activities
• Available on the Department website under Regulatory Framework
• Replaces Organisational Guidelines for Physical Education and
Outdoor Education
• Reviewed to align with all Departmental policies
• Common process for risk assessment and management
• Water-based Activities - Section 19
Relevant to:
• Work Experience
• Structured Workplace Learning
• School Based Traineeships
The principal must authorise a teacher to be in charge of
an excursion and give written approval for the
management plan for the excursion
The teacher-in-charge must prepare an Excursion
Management Plan for the proposed excursion
The teacher-in-charge must complete the checklist and
submit it to the principal for endorsement
Management Plan
Assessment of the the risks
Supervision strategies
Identification of excursion participants
Information and consent
Communication strategies
Emergency response planning
Briefing of students and supervisors
Records to be retained
Appropriate approvals
Assessing the Risk
Assessment of the:
Transport arrangements
Students’ capacity
Skills of the supervisory team
Involvement of external providers
Working with Children legislation
•Introduces compulsory criminal record checking for certain people
working with children
•Examples include coaches, volunteers, umpires, clergy and laity
•Will be phased in over 5 years from 2006
Involvement of External Providers
External providers are not generally responsible for personally caring for students
and may refuse a request to do so.
• Competency of provider
• Current national police clearance
• Working with Children Check - phase in from 2006
• Information about respective responsibilities
• Appropriate level of public liability insurance
• Indemnities, disclaimers
Level of Supervision
Age of students
Experience and ability of students
Student medical conditions or disabilities
Supervisor(s) competence and experience
Type of activity to be undertaken
Nature of environment
Location of activity
Supervision Strategies
On a water- based activity, students are to be continually in clear view of
• positioning
• scanning
• safety checks
• buddy and check in systems
• water checks
• safety stops
• supervision roster and plan
Why do drownings occur in supervised areas?
Failure to recognise a student in difficulty
Intrusion of non-supervisory duties
Distraction from surveillance duties
Conscious non-swimmer
Conscious weak swimmer
Conscious injured swimmer/non-swimmer
Unconscious person
Students and supervisors must be clearly and
easily identifiable.
Systems include:
– school T-shirts
– swimming caps
– vests
– bibs
– sashes
– neoprene armbands
– other
Informed Parental Consent
Information must include:
Purpose of excursion
Activities to be undertaken
Duration of activity(s)
Location of activity(s)
Student contact arrangements
Transport arrangements
Supervision to be provided
Staff action in case of an accident or illness
Liability for loss or damage, medical costs
Special clothing or other items
Communication Strategy
• Enables communication with group
• Emergency signal
• Contact with on and off site support services
• Alternative modes of communication
Emergency Response Planning
• Develop a plan
• Emergency procedures (e.g. evacuation) and location of emergency
equipment (e.g. rescue tube)
• Procedures understood by all participants
• Ready access to:
 a list of participating students and parent contact details
 Student Health Forms of students known to have particular health
 relevant health information of supervisors
• Copy of planning documents remain at school
Emergency Response Planning continued
• For overnight stays, a copy of planning documents including all Student
Health Forms is to be taken on the excursion
• For excursions undertaken during school holidays, students’ names,
addresses, contact telephone numbers and itinerary to be provided to
District Office
Emergency Protocol for an Aquatic Centre
Emergency situation
Supervisor to signal by continuous, short whistle blasts
Supervisors to remove students from water & group together
Supervisors to account for all students
Qualified supervisor to effect rescue
Qualified supervisor to commence first aid if required
Do not leave the injured
Aquatic manager will attend & control emergency situation
Student and supervisor briefings
• Information and responsibilities are clearly communicated to all, including:
– emergency procedures and signals
– methods of communication
– appropriate use of any equipment
– roles of supervisors
– identification systems
– demarcation of areas
– acceptable behaviour
Retain record of Excursion
School to retain:
• Signed management plan
Names of planning and authorising staff
Names of participants
Brief description of the excursion
Gain Approvals
•Approved Excursions:
Written approval by principal
Interstate travel - approval by relevant Executive Director
International travel - approval by the Minister for Education
and Training
•Private Arranged Activities
Not approved
Department of Education and Training nor the school accepts
any responsibility for teachers or students
A useful rule of thumb…..
1. How will this excursion contribute to the students’
2. Have I done all I can to ensure that the students will be
3. Have I done all I can to protect myself and other
4. Do parents understand and endorse this excursion?

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