Supervision of Students on School Sites Policy

  1. What is this policy about?
    1. This policy establishes the arrangements for proper supervision of students while they are on school sites.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. The Education and Training Directorate (the Directorate) recognises the legal duty of care required for students while attending school and school-related activities.
    2. Principals will assess and make appropriate arrangements to meet duty of care requirements for supervision of students on and immediately adjacent to school sites. This includes assessing and addressing known hazards and foreseeable hazards against which preventative measures can be taken.
    3. A legal duty of care arises wherever a student/teacher relationship exists. However, duty of care responsibilities rest with all school staff depending on their roles and responsibilities.
    4. The Directorate supports, through related Directorate policies, an environment in ACT public schools where students can feel safe and can learn effectively.
    5. Arrangements

    6. The arrangements for supervision will vary according to the circumstances in each school and will include:
      • proper and adequate oversight of playgrounds and buildings during the period immediately preceding the first formal lesson (usually between 20 to 30 minutes), during the movement of students between lessons and during daily recess and lunch periods
      • after school supervision in some circumstances such as where there are school sponsored activities or where there are pedestrian crossings in busy streets or students departing by bus
      • arrangements in accordance with specific school conditions. This may include teacher presence in the playground and/or building areas or teacher observation of students from a point in the school which provides ready access to those students
      • teacher presence in the playground and/or other student assembly points where there are younger students and students with disabilities and wherever circumstances exist that pose foreseeable risks for students
      • arrangements for preschool children to be given directly into the care of preschool staff and collected at the conclusion of the preschool session by a parent or properly authorised person
      • arrangements may differ in colleges given the age and maturity of students and the different structure of the college day.
    7. In deciding on the extent and nature of supervision required, principals will give regard to the following factors that will affect student safety:
      • age, level of maturity, ability, number, nature and characteristics of students
      • physical condition of buildings, playground area, playground equipment and special hazards such as building works or motor vehicle traffic including parents collecting children from school
      • nature of activities undertaken by students including sporting and recreational activities
      • student assembly points where conditions necessitate protection from the weather
      • timing and arrangements for arrival and departure of buses and student bus assembly points
      • school car parks
      • students who
        • are enrolled in another school, attend for special lessons or activities
        • are billeted
        • have additional needs, including particular medical conditions.
    8. Informing students and parents

    9. Parents will be regularly informed of supervision arrangements through normal school communication channels.
    10. Principals should ensure that students understand the supervisory arrangements in place throughout the school day, including location of teachers on duty and where to obtain first aid assistance.
    11. Students will be instructed on what constitutes unsafe activities.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applies to principals, all staff and parents in ACT public schools
  4. Context
    1. Students are required to attend school under compulsory attendance requirements if not otherwise exempt from school attendance. In addition, younger children may attend preschool and older students may continue secondary schooling beyond compulsory attendance.
    2. Schools have a duty to take reasonable measures to protect students against risks of injury which could have been reasonably foreseen.
    3. A school’s duty of care is not to ensure there is no injury but to take reasonable care to prevent injury which could reasonably have been foreseen.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. The principal: is responsible for:
      • assessing and making appropriate arrangements for adequate supervision on and immediately adjacent to the school site
      • regularly informing parents through normal school communication channels of supervision arrangements
      • ensuring that students understand the supervisory arrangements in place throughout the school day, including location of supervisory teachers on duty and where to obtain first aid assistance
      • instructing students on what constitutes unsafe activities.
    2. Teachers are responsible for carrying out their assigned supervisory duties in such a way that students are, as far as can reasonably be expected, protected from harm.
    3. Parents
      • are expected to be responsible for the care and supervision of students travelling to and from school, outside the times of school supervision before and after school and before and directly after the commencement and conclusion of a preschool session.
      • will deliver preschool children directly to a staff member at the time lessons commence and collect preschool children directly from a staff member when the preschool session concludes.
      • will provide written authorisation where preschool children are to be delivered or collected by another person
      • will provide written permission for students to leave school during the school day.
    4. Policy Owner: The Director, Governance and Assurance, is responsible for this policy.
  6. Monitoring and Review
    1. The Policy Owner monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of operation and review. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  7. Contact
    1. For support contact Governance and Assurance Branch on (02) 6205 9151 or email det.legal.liaison@act.gov.au.
  8. Complaints
    1. Any concerns about the application of this procedure or the procedure itself, should be raised with:
  9. References
    1. Definitions
      • Duty of care: is a duty to take reasonable measures to protect students against risk of injury which could reasonably have been foreseen. The duty is not to ensure there is no injury but to take reasonable care to prevent injury which could reasonably have been foreseen.
      • A parent: is a person having parental responsibility for the child under the Children and Young People Act 2008 including a carer appointed under that Act.
      • A school site: is inclusive of school buildings, school grounds identified as belonging to the school and adjacent lands when used for school activities.
    2. Legislation
      • The Education Act 2004 provides for compulsory enrolment and attendance at school for children aged six years until the child is 17 years old or completes year 12 of secondary schooling. To support the principle that every child has a right to a high-quality education a number of general principles are set out including that all students should be encouraged to complete their secondary education. These principles also include that the partnership between the home, community and educational providers should be recognised and that school communities should be given information about the operation of their schools.
      • Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011 and Regulations set standards that include preschools. Requirements include minimum ratios of children to educators to provide adequate supervision and arrangements for children being delivered to, leaving and being collected from preschool.
      • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 provides a framework to secure the health and safety of workers and other persons in the workplace.
    3. Implementation Documents
      • Supervision of Students on School Sites - Guidelines for Staff
    4. Related Policies and Information
      • Bullying, Harassment and Violence, Countering in ACT Public Schools
      • Health and Safety Policy - First Aid
      • Sexual Harassment, Countering, in ACT public Schools

Supervision of Students on School Sites Policy: SOSS201508 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at http://www.education.act.gov.au/publications_and_policies/school_and_corporate_policies/A-Z.

Policy Identifier: SOSS201508

Published: January 2016

Related Policies and Information:

  • Bullying, Harassment and Violence, Countering in ACT Public Schools
  • Health and Safety Policy - First Aid
  • Sexual Harassment, Countering, in ACT public Schools