Given a recent serious incident sustained by a sibling of a student at another school, it is time to remind parents and the wider school community, about the issue of Duty of Care.
• It is well established law that schools and teachers have a duty of care to pupils whenever the school is exercising control of the pupils' actions. Courts in Australia have made it clear that once the school asserts authority over pupils, such as setting supervision times, then the duty of care arises.
• While pupils are on school premises, school authorities and teachers owe pupils a duty of care of general supervision concerning their physical safety. The duty of care owed by school authorities and staff is normally confined to school hours. Outside school hours when there is no supervision then there is unlikely to be a duty of care.
• A parent/guardian/carer is responsible for the supervision of their child outside school hours. The collection of students at the end of the school day by parents/guardians/carers will result in those parents/guardians/carers assuming responsibility for supervising those students while on the school premises or while using the playground equipment.
• At our school, we do not provide official supervision before or after school. However we do provide a playground presence, generally before school, and have supported the collection of students from the Green Zone after school. Please be aware that this is not a formal supervision process and does not reflect our regular pattern of timetabled playground supervision undertaken during school hours.
• As a result we do discourage students from attending school prior to the commencement of the school day or to play after school or on weekends. Parents are responsible for the safety students at these times unless they are attending an advertised school activity. Given that we recognise for some families there is a need to deliver children from approximately 8.15am, we generally provide a playground presence that may include a teacher aide and a school administrator. However please be aware that this is not a guaranteed period of supervision. It simply provides a presence for students if they require some assistance. There is also a possibility that an administrator may be required elsewhere and the teacher aide absent due to illness or other responsibility.
If care of your child is required, we recommend that you investigate the school’s Before School Care Program to meet your family needs. Information on this program is available on email@example.com or you may contact Arlene Norfolk or Terry Rees - (07) 3279 2902 or 0421 787 789.