Many members are finding themselves with extra duties at the beginning and end of the school day. We look at the legal issues around pick-up and drop-off.
Schools owe a duty to provide adequate supervision at bus stops used by students, even those not immediately adjacent to school premises. Similarly, schools owe a duty to supervise the safe arrival at and departure from school grounds for students.
With the COVID-19 social distancing requirements, many schools have stipulated that parents must remain offsite, and that drop-offs and pick-ups be choreographed to minimise parental contact with other students, staff and parents. In practice, the burden of managing this, particularly in primary schools, falls to teachers and support staff, resulting in further workload increases through additional duties.
The requirement to identify and put in place arrangements to protect students and others from foreseeable risks lies with the school. However, the duty of care in the provision of supervision is a shared responsibility of both the employee and employer.
The IEU is often asked what the practical consequences are for a teacher or member of support staff if a student suffers serious injury while under their supervision. The issue of providing reasonable supervision overlaps with several common law duties owed by employees to employers, the most notable being the duty to obey reasonable and lawful directions, and the duty to exercise reasonable care in carrying out their employment.