LawSense School Excursions, Camps & Trips

Navigating rights, obligations & risk management

Date27 May 2024
Time12.00pm-3.50pm AEST (Syd time)
VenueLive Online with recording (recording access expires 27 June 2024)
Prices includes gst.
SectorNon-State Schools
CPDAddresses 7.2 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.


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12.00    LawSense Welcome

12.05    Chairperson’s Introduction

Michael Knight, Assistant Director – Governance, Assurance and Risk (GAR), Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong

12.10    Risk Management Update: Examining Implications of Recent Coronial Cases on Risk Assessment, Managing External Providers, Student Medical Conditions, Student Disability, Staffing and Training

  • Outlining laws applying to risk assessment and management for camps, including outdoor education, and trips
  • Understanding potential liability of the school board/council or directors
  • Understanding the scope and extent of risk assessment required to meet changing standards and expectations

Learnings from Recent Findings and Recommendations of the Coroner and Other Cases

  • Examining recent findings and recommendations of the coroner
  • Understanding the implications in practice for schools of the recent Coronial findings and cases, including:
    • External providers:
      • extent of duty of care where external providers are involved
      • supervision and working with external providers. To what extent should schools assess the staff of external providers, monitor activities of external providers and inspect venues
      • managing information exchange with the external provider
    • Medical conditions
      • assessment and management of medical conditions
      • approach to addressing medical issues and illnesses arising at the camp, excursion or trip, including dealing with parent requests regarding what action to take
      • considerations regarding self-management of a condition by the student
    • Best practice staff mix, training and induction
      • Understanding your obligations in assessing what skills mix is required and assessing the relevant skills, experience of school staff, contractors, staff of external providers and volunteers
      • Assessing the extent of medical training required for different activities:
        • is first aid training enough or should further qualified staff be used?
        • training for particular student medical conditions or disabilities – what is the extent of training required? What training should you require staff from external providers to have and how should this be assessed?
      • Examining your rights and obligations when parents or other volunteers are involved, including in managing student medical conditions
    • Exploring optimum staff ratios

Managing Student Disability in Light of Recent Cases

  • Examining reasonable adjustments:
    • interpreting and applying obligations to make reasonable adjustments with school excursions, camps and trips. When can you say a student cannot attend an, excursion, camp or trip?
    • how should you approach determining the limits of reasonable adjustments required in each circumstance? What are the learnings from recent cases?
    • understanding your options where a parent is not providing adequate or complete information
    • managing experts: responding to experts, briefing, and dealing with school experts
    • exploring special considerations where overseas trips are involved

Best Practice Risk Assessments, Documentation and Record Keeping

  • Risk assessment case studies – what are examples of good versus not-so-good risk assessments?
  • Exploring best practice in documenting and recording ongoing assessments, management and incidents in 2024

Ben Tallboys, Principal, Russell Kennedy Lawyers; In House Counsel to Association of Heads of Independent Schools Australia (AHISA)

1.25      Break

1.35      Implementing Effective Risk Warnings, Waivers and Consent Forms for Different Activities, Including Outdoor Education, Overseas Trips and Exchanges

  • Outlining the legal effect and protection offered by risk warnings and waivers in consent forms. What sort of wording is most effective?
  • Collecting information to assist in risk management and the development of appropriate risk warnings and consent forms
  • Examining particular requirements involving camps, outdoor education, trips, including overseas trips and exhanges
  • Risk warnings or consent forms from external suppliers and venues – understanding how these should be considered and incorporated into what the school provides to students and families. What are particular considerations in dealing with overseas suppliers or venues?
  • Learning from examples – examining the extent of information that needs to be provided for different sports and circumstances

Leighton Hawkes Principal, McCabes Lawyers

2.35      Break

2.45      Case Studies –

Student Exchanges and Billeting: Implementing Best Practice Risk Management and Compliance

  • Examining key laws applying to student exchanges. What is the scope and extent of your duty of care?
  • Exploring best practice due diligence and risk assessment with exchanges
  • Billeting and accommodation:
    • assessing liability, risks, and options
    • ensuring adequate checks are made
    • implementing best practice policies and agreements with host schools
  • Ongoing supervision and the role of school parents versus the school
  • Learning from case studies, scenarios and challenges faced by schools, including parties, social events and alcohol whilst on exchange

Outdoor Education: Optimising Risk Assessment and Management, Learnings from Cases and Implementing Best Practice Policies

  • Exploring key aspects to consider and address in a risk assessment involving outdoor education and activities
  • Examining learnings for schools from key cases involving students in outdoor activities
  • Managing liability exposure from the use of external/ third party providers
  • Implementing effective and practical policies, including consideration of outdoor education guidelines from government and other examples

Alishia Prpich, Special Counsel, MinterEllison

Caitlin Ible, Special Counsel, MinterEllison

3.45      Chairperson’s Conclusion

3.50      Event Close

Presenters / panelists include:

Ben Tallboys provides sector-specific, practical legal solutions to schools across Australia. Ben is a passionate and effective advocate for principals dealing with complex matters relating to parents, staff and students, as well as their own employment.
Leighton Hawkes commenced his career in claims management and other technical roles with a major Australian insurance, working on claims for the NSW Treasury Managed Fund (TMF). Leighton has acted for the NSW Department of Education for a significant number of years. Presently he acts in a diverse range of matters, including claims arising from public liability, property damage to NSW schools, historical sexual abuse, discrimination (employee and disability), and Coronial enquiries.

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