The paper "Analysis of Policy Document on Education" is a great example of a case study on education. The policy document reviewed in this essay sets out guidelines for school principals and teachers in terms of their responsibilities towards ‘ student safety and risk management’ (document title, p. 1). As stated in the opening line, ‘ A teacher owes students a duty to take reasonable steps to protect them from any injury that the teacher should have reasonably foreseen’ (4.4.1; p. 1). One aim is to increase teachers’ awareness of potential dangers to students, and another is to help teachers to plan educational events, including excursions away from the school, safely and in compliance with legal requirements.
The underlying aim is to enhance students’ safety whether at school or away from it, and to facilitate risk management in all settings where students are present. The document also guides staff in dealing with an accident (e. g. the event must be documented in detail) and informs parents and teachers about issues of legal liability. The document gives school staff a broad overview of their responsibilities towards students, parents, and other professionals.
It also gives specific details about what should or should not be done, in a way that limits the chance of misinterpretation or ambiguity in the text. Because of these precise descriptions, plus references to other policy documents or websites, the policy document provides a comprehensive manual for school staff. It would serve as a reference document for parents, lawyers, and any other professionals who have to deal with the aftermath of an accident involving a student. In this way, it is like a contract or legal agreement between parents, school staff, and the national education authorities.
It is always important to spell out, in writing, these types of agreements, so that people know where they stand and can check up on the exact terms of the agreement. Issues covered by the policy The responsibilities of teachers when taking students on an excursion is one of the main issues covered by the policy. Adventure activities are a particular concern because they ‘ involve greater than normal risk’ (4.4.3; p. 17). However, events and activities taking place on the school grounds are also covered (4.4.6).
Essentially, any possible situation or setting in which a student may be injured, while under the care of a teacher, is covered. Precautions must be taken by teachers to ensure that no accidents or injuries happen. If something does go wrong, teachers must be able to show that they did take precautions and carried out good risk management. The teacher also has to know how to deal with an emergency, the management of which is summarised as ‘ preparedness, prevention, response and recovery’ (184.108.40.206; p.
5). The policy document, therefore, deals with a wide range of scenarios that may put the student at risk and it describes each one in turn. It discusses requirements such as the ratio of staff to pupils in various situations. This ratio differs according to the ages of the students and the type of activity. High-risk activities like caving or abseiling, which are ‘ listed on the Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors website’ (4.4.3; p. 17) require more teachers relative to the number of students than normal classroom activities do.
The issue of staff/student ratio comes up repeatedly (220.127.116.11; 18.104.22.168; 22.214.171.124; 126.96.36.199; 188.8.131.52; 184.108.40.206; 220.127.116.11.1) and the reader is referred to other policy documents which discuss the matter further. Separate policy documents are also cited for issues such as science materials (18.104.22.168), technology risk (22.214.171.124), traffic safety (126.96.36.199), poisons (188.8.131.52), food safety and hygiene (184.108.40.206).