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    Quality Controlled

    Document No. & Title

    414 Duty of Care
    Version 1.0 Author Deputy Principal Owner Principal
    Approval Date 01/02/2013 Last Review n/a Next Review 02/2014
    VRQA Minimum Standard/s Student Welfare


    Related Files

    Table of Contents



    To explain the nature of the legal duties owed by teachers and school staff towards students.


    This policy applies to all staff and volunteers of the College.


    Policy Statement

    The College Principal and staff shall take all reasonable steps to reduce risk, including:

    • provision of suitable and safe premises

    • provision of an adequate system of supervision

    • implementation of strategies to prevent bullying

    • ensuring that medical assistance is provided to a sick or injured student.

    The duty is non-delegable, meaning that it cannot be assigned to another party.

    Whenever a teacher-student relationship exists, teachers have a special duty of care.  This has been expressed as: “a teacher is to take such measures as are reasonable in the circumstances to protect a student under the teacher’s charge from risks of injury that the teacher should reasonably have foreseen.” (Richards v State of Victoria).

    The nature and extent of the duty will vary according to the circumstances. For example, the standard of care required will be higher when taking a group of preps for swimming lessons than when teaching a group of year 12s in the classroom. 

    Communication of Policy

    This policy is communicated via:

    • the College intranet
    • Staff handbook

    Implementation of Policy

    This policy is implemented through:

    • Staff briefing at meetings, professional development activities
    • Information provided in the staff handbook.


    Term Definition

    Duty of Care

    is an element of the tort of negligence.  In broad terms, the law of negligence provides that if a person suffers injury as the result of the negligence of another, they should be compensated for the loss and damage which arises from the negligent act or omission






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