Head: Analysis of Policy of Duty of Care for Students
Analysis of Policy of Duty of Care for Students
Analysis of Policy of Duty of Care for Students
It cannot be denied that the duty of care for students whether in primary or secondary schools has significant importance in Western Australian schooling system. The duty of care policy for students is considered to be a document, which provides guidelines for teachers to take positive and cautionary steps to maintain the welfare and safety of the students. The aim of this paper is to analyze the significance of duty of care for students in West Australia primary school settings.
Duty of Care for Students in Primary School Settings
The question arises that why this duty is so important in primary school settings? According to the Western Australian Duty of Care for Students Policy, it is mandatory to protect and maintain the welfare and safety of the child against negative behaviour, negligence and carelessness of others and against an action that can hurt him or her when he or she is not under the protection of his or her parent, guardian or school authority (The Department of Education Website, 2011). The document clearly asserts that the individuals, who have been recruited by the school, must be aware of duty of care for students. Furthermore, it asserts that the duty of care includes providing protection to students from known risks and hazards as well as hazards that are foreseeable. It asserts that teachers need to show and demonstrate professional analysis in order to maintain the safety of the students in order to ensure that they are not exposed to an unexpected risk and furthermore, they have the duty to ensure that the teachers increase learning opportunities of the students. In terms of non-teaching staff, the duty of care revolves around to take care of primary school students in the case if the teacher is absent and to protect them from known and foreseeable risks.
Main Elements of the Duty of Care for Students
Duty of Care
It should be noted that each and every individual is part of system and structure where they work collaboratively and thus, for this purpose, all of them owe duty of care to one another in order to prevent injury. Similarly, in schools and other educational institutions, it is essential that the safety and welfare of students are maintained. At the same time, it is also necessary that teachers and other workers working in the school are aware of duty of care for students in order to ensure that they do not endanger the students because of their careless and negligent behaviour (The Department of Education Website, 2011). A relationship exists between school authorities and students and thus, it is essential that school authorities follow and implement the policies related to duty of care for students.
The concept of duty of care has legal status and it is commonly found in the Australian law. Since the concept has legal definition, it is primarily part of majority of the policies and guidelines defined by schools and educational institutions. In simple terms, the duty of care is considered to be the concept that concentrates on teaching teachers, school authorities and other schooling staff to demonstrate the duty of care towards students and to protect and maintain their safety and security. The existence of duty of care with in the primary school cannot be questioned as the actions of school administrators, teachers and non-teaching staff can affect the children (The Department of Education Website, 2011). Therefore, in legal context, the primary school has the obligation of taking care of the students in order to maintain their safety and to provide them protection. The duty of care does not mean that the child will not be harmed but comprises of the duty that seeks to provide reasonable care to the child in order to avert harm and injury. This indicates that the primary school must provide sufficient care to the students. The factors that determine this sufficient and reasonable care include the realism and practicality of the event, the requirement of the individuals providing duty of care, legal requirements, etc.
In terms of duty of care policy, caring is considered to be an important concept. In terms of duty of care for students, caring indicates protecting the students from physical harm (The Department of Education Website, 2011). Furthermore, it means that the teacher, school authority or the volunteer in charge must take the essential steps to protect the students from known dangers as well as probable risks
Foreseeable of Risk
Another important aspect of the duty of care of students in WA policy is the foreseeable risk. It is essential that teachers, school authorities and volunteers along with other professionals working in the school protect and maintain the welfare of students from both known and foreseeable risks.
It should be noted that some of the injuries and damages that occur are accidental. In this case, the circumstances that gave rise to the accident cannot be predicted. On the other hand, negligent action can cause damage or harm, which may not be deliberate but the risks is foreseeable (The Department of Education Website, 2011). In other words, the damage caused by negligent behaviour can be predicted. Negligence indicates that the individual has violated the duty of care owed and thus, this has led to an injury and damage. The damage may have a negative impact on the child and may reduce the quality of life. Negligence indicates an action, which has failed to provide appropriate care to the student.
Rationale and Background for Writing the Policy
This section of the paper concentrates on discussing the rationale of composing the duty of care for students. As mentioned earlier, the duty of care has legal definition and it is found in the common law and thus, it is part of majority of the school policies and procedures. The rationale for composing this policy is to define the concept of duty of care, to ensure that teachers, school administrators and non-teaching staffs are aware of the duty of care towards students and to protect them for known and foreseeable risks (The Department of Education Website, 2011). For workers dealing with students with disabilities, the policy framework assists in making them understand how duty of care is applied on them and what needs to be done in order to fulfil responsibilities. In terms of dealing with students with disabilities, the policy can assist workers and staff to understand the condition of the student individually, the possibility of occurrence of the risk, the degree or magnitude of the hazard or risk, etc.
The duty of care for student's policy concentrates on providing duty of care to the students in wide ranging circumstances. In terms WA policy, the relevant policies in terms of duty of care with which the staff needs to be aware of include Departmental Insurance Covers, Child Protection, Outdoor Education and Recreational Activities, Management of Risks, Excursions and Field Trips, etc. The WA duty of care for students allows the staff and workers to be aware of School Education Act of 1999, School Education Regulations of 2000, Western Australian College of Teaching Act of 2004, etc. (The Department of Education Website, 2011).
Duty of Care Outside School Hours
Before and After School
As mentioned earlier, the duty of care is considered to be an important aspect of primary school setting and it may even arise before the school hours. In the case if children coming before school hours and they have been given the permission to play at the school playground as permitted by the school authority, then it is also essential that the school authority maintains the safety and security of the children. In this case, assume the example of a student engaged in playing softball with fellow students. Since the school authorities were unable to discourage the students from coming early, the opening of school grounds in early hours appeared to be a better alternative instead of playing on the streets. However, the student is accidentally struck on the head with bat and the incident occurred fifteen minutes before the school started. The school authority had instructed the students not to play games. They explicitly asserted that they should either talk, study or read together instead of playing games. In this regard, the student policy of duty of care demonstrates that a relationship exists between the students and the school authority. A factual circumstance had been created by the school authority and that they were responsible for providing sufficient supervision to the students before school hours.
Travelling of Students to and from School
The WA policy of duty of care ensures that school maintains duty of care when primary school students travel to and from school. (The Department of Education Website, 2011) In the case of girl who fell from…