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Visitors and Intruders on Public School Premises


4 Procedures

4.5 Additional information concerning principals' powers

4.5.1 Directions

4.5.1.1 Issuing directions

When a principal makes directions that apply to visitors generally, it must be in writing and publicly displayed.

Guidelines
Under Regulation 69 of the Regulations, the principal may give a direction, either generally or in a specific case, concerning the procedures to be observed by persons on the school premises. A direction can only be given for one or more of the following purposes:
  • to manage and control the school and persons on the school premises;
  • to maintain good order on the school premises;
  • to ensure the safety and welfare of persons on the school premises; or
  • to prevent or minimise damage to property that comprises or is located at the school premises.
A direction that applies to persons generally is of no effect unless it is in writing and posted for public display at the school's premises for the duration of the period in which the direction is to apply. A sign with words to the effect of “All visitors are to report to Reception” should be erected at or near the main school entrance, and at other likely points of entry.

Where a principal makes a direction to a specific person, it may be made either orally or in writing.

4.5.1.2 Failure to comply with directions

The principal must keep a written record of any failure to comply with a direction.

The record must include:

  • whether the non-compliance is related to a general or specific direction; and
  • the circumstances surrounding the incident, together with details of participants and witnesses to the incident.
Guidelines
A report submitted through the
Online Incident Notification System may constitute this record.

If the matter is referred to the local police, the principal must provide the police with copies of all notes, witness reports and correspondence relating to all incidents involving that person not complying with directions.

Guidelines
See Appendix G for a sample letter concerning failure to comply with a direction.

The Regional Executive Director may review any direction or order given by a principal when requested by the person subject to the direction or order.

Where possible, the principal should write to a person who has not complied with a direction, confirming details of all incidents in which that person has not complied with directions. However it is acknowledged that it may not always be possible or practical to write such a letter.

The principal exercises discretion in deciding whether to refer a matter of non-compliance with a principal's direction to the local police. The principal should inform the Regional Executive Director if the matter is referred to the police.

4.5.2 Order to leave the school premises

Under Regulation 75 of the Regulations, the principal or other authorised person must order a person to leave the school premises if the principal or other authorised person reasonably suspects that the person:

  • has committed or is about to commit an offence at the school premises;
  • has used or is about to use threatening, abusive or insulting language, or threatening or violent behaviour towards any person on the school premises;
  • has otherwise disrupted or is about to disrupt good order on the school premises;
  • does not have good reason to be on the premises or a particular part of premises at the particular time; or
  • has brought onto school premises an item that has been the subject of an order made under regulation 70 (1) of the Regulations and that is likely to:
    • disrupt good order on the school premises;
    • adversely affect the safety or welfare of persons on the school premises; or
    • cause damage to property that comprises or is located at the school premises.

The principal must keep a written record of the verbal order and the failure to comply. The record must include the circumstances surrounding the incident, together with details of participants and witnesses to the incident.

Guidelines
A report submitted through the Online Incident Notification System may constitute this record.
The principal exercises discretion in deciding whether to refer the matter to the local police for their attention. If a referral is made, the principal should provide the police with copies of all notes, witness reports and correspondence relating to all incidents in which that person has not complied with directions. The principal should inform the Regional Executive Director if the matter is referred to the police.
See Appendix E for a sample confirmation of order to leave school premises letter.
The Regional Executive Director may review any order given by a principal when requested by the person subject to the order.
Regulation 75 of the Regulations states that the principal or other authorised person may order a person who is not a student of the school:
  • who is on the school's premises to leave the school's premises and remain away from the school's premises for up to 24 hours following the time of the order; or
  • who is on a particular part of the school's premises to leave that part of the school's premises and go to a part of the premises where the person has a good reason to be.

An order to leave school premises is only effective for up to 24 hours. Where possible, the principal should communicate in writing to a person who has not complied with an order to leave school premises, confirming details of all incidents in which that person has not complied with directions.

4.5.3 Power of detention and other powers

A principal's decision to detain a person must only be made where strictly necessary.

Guidelines
This power is to be used only in exceptional circumstances. Detention of a person might be considered when, for example, the safety and welfare of students and staff is being threatened. The principal or other authorised person should assess the risk before making any attempt to detain a person.
Section 119 of the Act and associated Regulations confer general powers that provide for the maintenance of good order on school premises and the conduct of persons on school premises.
Section 120(3) of the Act provides additional powers for dealing with persons disrupting school premises. The powers under Section 120 are limited to dealing with a person who the principal or other authorised person reasonably suspects:
  • has substantially disrupted, or is likely to substantially disrupt, the discipline of students or the good order of the school; or
  • has used threatening, abusive or insulting language towards a teacher acting in an official capacity.
The powers available under Section 120 are:
  • require the person to state his/her name and address;
  • make an order to leave the school premises, and remain away from those premises for the following 24 hours;
  • detain a person who has failed to provide his/her name and address or failed to leave when so ordered until the person can be delivered to a police officer; and
  • use the help of other persons as is necessary for that purpose.
The penalties for non-compliance under Section 120 are more substantial than those under Section 119.

4.5.4 Prohibition order

If a prohibition order is issued, the principal must keep a written record of:

  • the circumstances surrounding the incident;
  • the reasons why making a prohibition order is the most appropriate way of dealing with the matter; and
  • details of participants, and witness statements relating to the incident.

Guidelines
See Appendix G for a sample format for a prohibition order letter. The principal should inform the Regional Executive Director when a prohibition order is issued.

Note that a prohibition order can be made against a person who, although not physically on the school premises, has used other means to threaten or cause fear to staff. Examples are making threatening phone calls or sending threatening letters or emails.


 


Visitors and Intruders on Public School Premises
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