LawSense School Sports Law 2024

Navigating Legal Exposure in a Changing Environment & Implementing Best Practice

Date15 May 2024
Time12.00pm-4.00pm AEST (Sydney time)
VenueLive Online with recording available (recording expires 15 June 2024)
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CPDAddresses 7.2 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
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12.00    LawSense Welcome

12.05    Chairperson’s Introduction

Sean Allcock, Director of Sport, Haileybury

12.10    Case Studies: Examining the Extent Your Duties in Different Circumstances – Student Training, Hosting Versus Attending Events, Concussion Update

Key Liability and Compliance Laws and How Duty of Care Changes

  • Understanding legal frameworks applicable in dealing with sport programs, training, camps and trips

Obligations to Properly Train and Prepare Students

  • Understanding your obligations to ensure adequate training programs and preparation for games and the extent to which you need to tailor programs for particular students
  • Examining WHS obligations in reporting student injuries and how WHS regulators can respond to repeated incidents

Changes in Duty of Care – Hosting versus Attending Events

  • Examining how duty of care changes depending on whether a school:
    • hosts the game or sporting event
    • attends at another school
    • attends an event organised by a third party such as an association
    • provides students to representatives matches

Risk Assessment and Due Diligence

  • Exploring the extent of the risk assessment you should be conducting for sports events depending on the type of sport and event
  • Exploring the level of due diligence, inspection and investigation required in different circumstances to ensure you have an accurate risk assessment
  • Examining optimum due diligence when dealing with other schools, associations, third party providers or venues

Interstate or Overseas Trips and Working with Third Party Providers

  • Examining special considerations with interstate and overseas trips, including billeting
  • Implementing learnings and guidance from recent coronial decisions about working with third party providers

Transport Risks

  • Exploring particular considerations in assessing transport risk, including parents and student’s own transport

Concussion Update and Implications of New Guidelines

  • Examining the implications of the recently updated Australian Concussion Guidelines for Youth and Community Sport
  • Exploring best practice in students returning to school learning or assessments after concussion

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

1.30      Break

1.40      Staffing School Sport in 2024: Examining Best Practice Staff Arrangements, Risk Management, Supervision and Child Safety

Using Casuals, Contractors. External Providers and Volunteers

  • Outlining current liability risks, insurance issues and legal obligations in using casuals, contractors, external providers and volunteers, including recent law changes

Best Practice Induction

  • Examining the extent of your potential legal exposure to legal claims if you do not provide adequate induction, including negligence, child safety or discrimination claims
  • Examining best practice in staff induction:
    • who should be inducted?
    • examining what should be covered and when/how often induction should take place. To what extent should student wellbeing such as mental health and bullying issues be covered
    • what testing should you implement to check knowledge?

Child Safety – Staff and External Contractors/Providers

  • Examining the extent of your obligations and best practice in managing child safety issues with external contractor and providers
  • Navigating coaches and professional boundaries, including communications with students

Supervision Requirements of Contractors, External Providers, Casuals and Volunteers

  • Understanding the extent to which casuals, contractors and third-party providers should be supervised by permanent school staff. How much does this depend on the experience of the casual, contractor or third-party provider?

Staff Performance Management

  • Determining “poor performance” of sports staff
  • Understanding staff performance management options with different staff contract arrangements
  • Avoiding staff claims against you for performance management action

Erin McCarthy, Partner, Piper Alderman

2.40      Break

2.50      Best Practice Documentation to Address Legal Exposure: Implementing Effective Permission Notes, Waivers, Indemnities, Contractor and Venue Arrangements, Risk Assessments, Reporting and Note-Taking

Identifying Key Documentation to Address Legal Exposure

  • Identifying and managing key documentation, including:
    • risk assessment records
    • permission notes, waivers, indemnities
    • contracts with external contractors/providers and venues
    • staff contracts, arrangements, induction material
    • incident reports and notes

Effective Permission Notes/Consent Forms

  • Evaluating blanket permission notes versus event-specific permission
  • Managing potential pitfalls in electronic or online permission systems and implementing best practice in electronic/online consent
  • Understanding the minimum information permission notes/consent forms should include to afford legal protection
  • Examining examples of optimal permission notes dealing with current issues in schools
  • Learning from cases where permission notes have been adequate or inadequate to protect from legal liability

Photos, Video, Social Media – What Should be Included in Documentation

  • Understanding privacy restrictions potentially applying to photos and video in school sport. How should this be dealt with in enrolment, permission or consent forms?

Waivers, Disclaimers, Indemnities and Risk Warnings

  • Understanding the limits to risks management provided by school waivers, disclaimers and indemnities
  • Reviewing what your waiver, disclaimer or indemnity should contain to optimise the school’s position

Contracts with External Contractors/Providers

  • Examining key issues and best practice to deal with in arrangements with contractors and venues
  • Evaluating and responding to waivers, disclaimers, risk warnings and limitations of liability by external providers or venues
  • Evaluating options where external providers or venues will not vary their contractual terms

Documenting Risk Assessments and Due Diligence

  • Examining best practice in documenting risk assessments and steps taken in due diligence

Incident Reporting and Note-Taking

  • Implementing effective incident reporting to mitigate risk and manage legal exposure
  • Identifying what incidents should be recorded, including near misses
  • Reporting structures and details – what should you record and how? Exploring electronic reporting options
  • Determining who should have access to incident reports
  • Recording concussion incidents – what to record and in what format
  • Who should be notified of a concussion incident?

Leighton Hawkes Principal, McCabes Lawyers

3.55      Chairperson’s Conclusion

4.00      Event Close

Presenters / panelists include:

Sean Allcock is an educator with 25 plus years’ experience. During his journey he has been fortunate to have taught at all levels of the school. Throughout his career he has undertaken of variety roles which included Curriculum Development, Administration and Pastoral Care, Staff Performance Management and is currently the Director of Sport at Haileybury College
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.
Erin McCarthy has over fifteen years’ experience in providing advice to employers and employer associations on all aspects of occupational health and safety, employment and industrial relations law as well as delivering essential information seminars and training workshops on key employment issues.
Leighton Hawkes commenced his career in claims management and other technical roles with a major Australian insurance. Leighton has acted for the NSW Department of Education for a large 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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