Some things you should know about safety in schools
By the end of the workshop, participants should be aware of :
The Accountable and Ethical Decision-Making Toolkit as a means of making considered decisions about behaviour.
The meaning and legal implications of Duty of Care.
The Duty of Care policy of the WA Department of Education.
Legislation and policies relating to Duty of Care.
Guidelines for physical contact with students including School Regulation 38.
How to apply the Guidelines in a school and classroom context.
Staff conduct which could be misinterpreted.
Case studies which illustrate various decisions and behaviours placing staff at risk.
Safeguards to minimise risks to staff in their interactions with students.
The collegiate responsibility within schools to keep everyone safe.
Increasingly in recent years, the safety of children in institutions such as hospitals, schools, and other community facilities has become one of the highest priorities in our society. The exposure of unacceptable practices in our institutions which endanger children has led to an emphasis on child protection. This is evidenced by the creation of Departments of Child Protection across Australia. In schools, quite rightly, the priority focus has been on the safety of children. However, keeping staff safe, in environments where there is increased public scrutiny of the behaviour of those who are entrusted with the welfare of children, is also important.
This one-day workshop uses the Accountable and Ethical Decision-Making framework developed by the WA Public Service Commission for public sector staff. By means of case studies and group discussions, staff are encouraged to explore issues relating to their safety in schools given the above context and to consider ways to avoid behaviours in their day-to day work which could be misinterpreted.
- Hopkins, D., Teachers and other school-based staff, students & the law 2nd Edition, (Melbourne, Victoria Law Foundation, 2005)