Document Analysis of the Western Australian Duty of Care for Students Policy
“Duty of care relates in common law to the responsibility of teachers to protect students from reasonably foreseeable injuries” (Whitton, et al. 2010).
The Duty of care for student’s policy plays an important role in all Western Australian Education Department Schools today as it explains thoroughly:
• What Duty of Care Means
• How teaching staff may discharge their duty of care to students and
• Which circumstances non-teaching staff, external providers and volunteers may owe a duty of care to students
A local primary school has provided three case scenarios in which we will analyse in this report using the Department of Education’s Western Australia Duty of Care for Students Policy (WADET, 2007).
The first scenario that will be discussed is when a number of students arrive early to school and the duty of care the school will owe to these students. The second scenario that will be addressed is when a staff member privately recruits students after school for the purpose of sport. The last scenario to be discussed will be when a teacher wishes to discharge their duty of care to a student teacher with minimal experience.
The policy (WADET, 2007) aims to provide teaching staff, non-teaching staff, volunteers and external providers with the information that will assist them in providing a duty of care to students; not to ensure that no harm will ever occur, but rather a duty to take reasonable care to avoid harm being suffered.
The policy (WADET, 2007) explains that teaching staff will owe a duty of care whenever a student is involved in a school activity or present for the purposes of a school activity. In discharging their duty of care responsibilities teaching staff must use their professional judgment to ensure that the person taking over the students care is suitable for the task. The teacher must also provide the non-teaching...