DUTY OF CARE & EXCURSIONS Excursions ……. after the Coroner’s Findings RESPONSE 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. AIM To support and enable schools to make informed decisions in relation to the management and conduct of school activities Our Policies Web address: http://policies.det.wa.edu.au/ Search using key words such as: • duty of care, excursions Regulatory Framework Parliament & Courts School Education Act 1999 School Education Regulations 2000 Procedures Other Acts Common Law Mandatory Other Regulations Policy Department of Education & Training Guidelines CEO’s Instructions Optional “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. Liability •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 unlikely. •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 Excursions • Articulates how to meet duty of care requirements when off the school site • Establishes a common risk management process Workplace Learning Outdoor Education & Recreation Activities Community Service Programs & others Excursion 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 WORKPLACE LEARNING PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES 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: • • • • • Environment 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 •www.checkwwc.wa.gov.au 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 Weather Supervision Strategies On a water- based activity, students are to be continually in clear view of supervisors. Consider: • 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 1. 2. 3. 4. Conscious non-swimmer Conscious weak swimmer Conscious injured swimmer/non-swimmer Unconscious person Identification 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 Date(s) Activities to be undertaken Duration of activity(s) Location of activity(s) Student contact arrangements Transport arrangements Cost 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 requirements 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’ learning? 2. Have I done all I can to ensure that the students will be safe? 3. Have I done all I can to protect myself and other supervisors? 4. Do parents understand and endorse this excursion?