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Duty of Care

Employers have a duty of care to employees, educational institutions have a duty of care to students, staff and any others who use them. These range from Occupational Health & Safety concerns to roles in respect of child abuse, neglect and general supervision. All employing bodies and people in supervisory roles take these seriously. This is especially so in schools.

This page looks at duty of care in relation to staff and students in all states & territories. It ranges from codes of conduct to child protection, Occupational Health & Safety to supervision, in and out of school activities, more. Policies and guidelines from several sources are provided.

States & Territories

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

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Northern Territory

Queensland

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South Australia

Student Work Experience

Tasmania

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Victoria

  • Code of Conduct for Teachers [VIT]
    Code of Conduct, FAQs, Workshop. Download a copy here.
  • Education Sector
    Worksafe Victoria. Information, Guidance Notes, Education Materials, tools, more.
  • Employee Health Unit Publications
    ‘Information to assists schools and other workplaces to achieve a safe and healthy environment which supports the wellbeing of all employees, students, contractors and visitors. The majority of these materials are accessible for download’.
  • Health & Safety
    O H & S information from the Education Department.
  • Human Resources Workforce Management
    ‘Workforce management is a planning and accountability framework for principals and managers that ensures the Department’s strategic priorities and objectives are delivered in an efficient and cost effective way, whilst providing for fairness in human resource management practices. Select the appropriate link for further information’.
  • Negligence
    Information from VIT.
  • OHS Risk Management
    ‘Identifies, assesses, controls and monitors Occupational Health and Safety [OHS] risks throughout the organisation’.
  • Primary Welfare Officer Initiative
    ‘To enhance the capacity of schools and primary welfare officers to support students who are at risk of disengagement from school and who are not reaching their educational potential’
  • Professional Issues in Education
    Covers many areas.
  • Risk Management
    ‘Details the minimum requirements for risk management in schools’. Policy.
  • Safety, Emergency and Risk Management
    Document covering all areas of student safety and procedures.
  • Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors
    ‘Support the planning and approval of : overnight excursions; camps; interstate and overseas visits; excursions requiring sea or air travel; excursions involving weekends or vacations; and adventure activities’.
  • School Focused Youth Service
    ‘Designed to support effective links between the primary prevention work done by school-based support services within the education sector and the early intervention provided by the community sector’.
  • The Legal Obligations of a Teacher
    Download this document from VIT.

Western Australia

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Other Information

Documents

  • Court Agonises over Schools’ Duty of Care
    Sydney Morning Herald.
  • The Duty of Care Owed by Teachers to Students
    Article about litigation & cases.
  • Duty of Care in Youth Work
    Fact sheet
  • Management Issues : Topics
    Duty of care relating to staff issues. Multiple topics covered.
  • Staff and Student Safety
    ‘The most valuable assets in any school are the students and members of staff. Given the nature of educational institutions, staff and student safety is not always guaranteed. In the event of a health or security issue in the school, what does your school have in place ? School administrators and boards also have a duty of care to employees, educational institutions have a duty of care to students, staff and any others who use them. These range from Occupational Health & Safety concerns to roles in respect of child abuse, neglect and general supervision’. List both general, and state specific, links for these areas.
  • Teacher’s Duty of Care - Ireland
    Comparative information.
  • Schools as Safe Places
    Policy statement from the Australian Secondary Principals’ Association. Download in Word format.

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