POLICY IS BINDING:
This policy binds Providence Christian College, staff, students and affiliates.
STATEMENT OF INTENT:
Providence Christian College, in seeking to meet its “duty of care” obligation to students, has developed the following policy to ensure that all stakeholders are familiar with the College’s policies, procedures and practices as they relate to Duty of Care. The duty of care principle not only underpins, but to a large extent drives, most College policies and practices.
According to law, students are owed a duty of care whenever and wherever the teacher/ student relationship exists.
SCOPE and APPLICATION:
The responsibility of duty of care is shared by Teachers and the College community. This policy applies to all employees, visitors, volunteers, clients and external providers.
Student: Includes all students enrolled at the College.
Participants: Includes students, staff, parents, volunteers, contractors and others directly involved in a curricular activity..
Parents: Includes parents or guardians or carers.
Duty of Care: A legal concept that has its origins in common law. It refers to the duty to identify reasonable, foreseeable risks of harm in the context of College activities. The teacher’s duty of care responsibility is automatic, arising from the establishment of the teacher/student relationship.
Non-teaching staff – employees of the College who work on the College premises and are not part of the teaching staff. E.g. Librarians, Laboratory Assistants, Exam Supervisors, Grounds & Maintenance Staff.
Volunteers – an adult or organisation who/that offers services for College activities, but receives no remuneration from the College for the services provided, e.g. parents/guardians and other relatives, community members, employers who accept students on work experience, student teachers.
External Providers – a business/individual paid by the College to provide a venue, service and/or expertise appropriate to a particular College activity, e.g. private dance teachers, coaches, Perth Zoo, AQUA, Scitech.
Note: Non-teaching staff, volunteers (e.g. parents) and/or external providers are not generally personally responsible for students and do not have the same duty of care to students as do teachers. See Duty of Care – Appendix 2 AISWA Guidelines
As with all College activity both on and off-campus teaching staff owe a duty of care for the safety and welfare of students. This will be whilst staff and students are engaged in College activities or are present for the purposes of College activities.
The duty is to take such measures that are reasonable in all circumstances to protect students from harm that reasonably ought to be foreseen. This requires not only an awareness and protection from known hazards but also protection from harm that could be reasonably foreseeable.
The duty of care exists when the teacher/student relationship is established.
When preparing activities for students a teacher needs to use their professional judgement to balance the risk of harm involved in the activity with what the students will learn from undertaking the activity. Often a teacher’s professional judgement will be guided by College policies, procedures and guidelines; and the College’s risk assessment procedure.
See Duty of Care – Appendix 2 AISWA Guidelines
When volunteers and external providers are engaged to perform tasks that require them, personally, to care for students they will be expected to also take such measures as are reasonable in all circumstances to protect students from risks of harm that reasonably ought to have been foreseen.
See Duty of Care – Appendix 3 Non Teaching Staff, Volunteers and External Providers
REFERENCES and ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS
Providence Christian College Associated Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
Acts and Regulations
- The College Education Act 1999 and the College Regulations 2000
- Children and Community Services Act 2004
- Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
- Western Australian College of Teaching Act 2004
- The Disability Discrimination Act 1992; the Disability Standards for Education 2005
- Equal Opportunity Act 1984
- Volunteers (Protection for Liability) Act 2002 (WA)
Policy Development and Guidelines Documents
- Policy Development Guidelines; Policies and Procedures Guidelines for Colleges; Association of Independent Colleges of Western Australia. (AISWA) October 2014.
- Guidelines for the Development of College Policies and Procedures: Duty of Care. Association of Independent Colleges of Western Australia (AISWA) July 2015.
- Duty of Care for Students; Department of Education of Western Australia.