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Duty of Care for Students


3 Procedures

3.1 Reasonable care

Guidelines

The duty owed to students is not a duty to ensure that no harm will ever occur, but rather a duty to take reasonable care to avoid harm being suffered.

A person suffering harm will be entitled to damages (compensation) if he or she can establish that a member of the teaching staff, non-teaching staff, volunteer or external provider was negligent – that is, failed to take reasonable care – and the negligence was the cause of the person's harm (see Appendix B).

What constitutes reasonable care will vary according to the circumstances, but the following factors, although not necessarily exhaustive, must be taken into consideration in assessing the 'reasonableness' of the level of care required for a particular student:

  • The student's age, experience and capabilities;

The level of care will be high where young students are concerned but may be less in the case of mature post-compulsory students.

  • Physical and intellectual impairment;

A student with a disability is generally exposed to a higher level of risk of injury than a student without a disability. This may be because the student with a disability suffers from an impairment of motor skills or physical coordination, a lack of inhibition or control, or it may be because the student has a limited appreciation of the possibility of danger. Where the physical or intellectual disability is such as to enlarge the risk inherent in undertaking a school activity, then appropriate precautions must be taken.

  • Medical condition;

Guidelines

Where students are afflicted by particular medical conditions, for example, haemophilia, asthma, a heart condition, brittle bones or epilepsy, special care must be taken to protect such students if their condition is known or ought to be known and exposes them to a special risk of injury.

  • Behavioural characteristics;

Guidelines

The level of care is increased in the case of students who are known to behave in a manner that increases the risk of injury.

  • The nature of the school activity;

Guidelines

Increased care is required in relation toschool activities with an inherently high level of risk of injury.

  • The nature of the environment in which a school activity is to be undertaken;

Guidelines

Increased care is required when students are placed in hazardous environments in which the potential risks of injury-related incidents are high.

  • Any conflicting responsibilities that the school or staff member may have; and
  • Normal practices within the school and departmental policies and procedures.

 


Duty of Care for Students
http://det.wa.edu.au/policies/detcms/policy-planning-and-accountability/policies-framework/policies/duty-of-care-for-students.en?bbp.9.policyID=14127980&bbp.s=10&bbp.e=select&bbp.10.pane=0&bbp.v=3&bbp.i=d0.n.1.7.1&g11n.enc=UTF-8

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