Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools

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1 Guideline Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools This document is currently under review. Please direct any queries regarding this document to the policy officer listed in Table 1. Insert file number Summary Table 1 - Document details Publication date December 2007 Review date December 2008 Related legislation/applicable section of legislation Related policies, procedures, guidelines, standards, frameworks Replaces Policy officer (position) Manager Security, Bushfire & Emergency Management Policy officer (phone) (08) Policy sponsor (position) Executive director responsible (position and office) Applies to Key words Status Approved by Assistant Director, Capital Programs Executive Director, Infrastructure All DECD employees Insurance, public liability Approved Director, Capital Programs and Asset Services Approval date December 2007 Version 1 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

2 Table 2 - Revision record Date Version Revision description 2 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

3 Table of Contents Guideline... 1 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools Title Purpose Scope Guideline detail Employees Volunteers Students General Workplace Learning Student Driver Education Transportation of Students in Private Vehicles Buildings Equipment Equipment Owned by the Minister Equipment Borrowed for School Purposes Replacement of Personal Property Used as Teaching Aids Works of Art in Departmental Schools Musical Instruments Teachers Furniture When Being Moved Public Liability Insurance Use of Private Premises Insurance Cover for School Councils Roles and responsibilities Monitoring, evaluation and review Definitions and abbreviations Supporting documents References Appendix Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

4 1. Title Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools 2. Purpose 3. Scope Applies to All DECD employees 4. Guideline detail It is the Government's policy for departments to "self insure" where possible. The department's budget is directly affected by the cost of incidents, therefore it is essential that principals and other managers address issues consistently and in accordance with the following guidelines so that the demands on the education budget can be estimated and preventative action taken where possible. Where doubt exists over the interpretation of specific issues or claim entitlements, the matter will be referred for legal advice as appropriate. These guidelines apply to all Government schools, other departmental school education and care workplaces and governing/school council run Out of School Hours Care programs. Conditions may apply where contractual arrangements require insurance to be taken out, however this will be an exception and should be checked where special situations exist. Principals and governing/school councils are reminded, however, that serious consideration must be given to the management of risks, which could incur costs, which are not accepted by the department and which must be addressed by the school. 4.1 Employees Persons under 65 years of age who are employed or paid either by the department or the governing school council (e.g., canteen supervisor) are covered under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act Injuries sustained in relation to activities related to employment must be reported as soon as possible to the Health and Safety Services, DECS or by internal courier to R11/ Volunteers The department takes direct responsibility for all volunteers, regardless of age, who carry out unpaid work at the direction of the principal or the governing/school council, whether or not the work is undertaken on school premises. The individual performance of schools in managing volunteers can have a direct effect on the department s loss budget each year. Advice on duty of care, liability, insurance and general management matters, including claims for out-ofpocket expenses in the event of personal injury, is available at 4 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

5 4.3 Students General Employees of the department are expected to exercise all proper care in respect of students attending departmental schools or authorised school activities thus minimising the risk of injury and associated costs. In general, responsibility will be accepted for injuries which result from negligence on the part of the Minister for Education and Child Development as owner of school property. Costs are debited against a specially managed allocation in the departmental budget. Even so, parents should be encouraged to insure their children against the possibility of disabling injuries which are not attributable to a breach of duty of care owed by staff on behalf of the Minister by arranging a general accident cover for their children while at school Workplace Learning All work placements must be arranged by the school at which the student is enrolled, and be conducted in accordance with the advice contained in the publication Workplace Learning Guidelines The department will meet personal injury liabilities to students and other liabilities (including those relating to courses arranged to take place during school holidays) appropriate to work placements, provided that:- the requirements above have been met, the student is supervised adequately by the host proprietor, the student receives no remuneration. The host proprietor must have an appropriate public liability insurance policy in place. The availability of suitable insurance must be noted by the school supervisor, and be in force prior to and for the duration of work placement Student Driver Education The department addresses the liability associated with students who participate in driver education courses where the liability arises from accidents caused by negligence of the student driver. Registration and third party insurance, and comprehensive insurance for the vehicle are required to be arranged by the School or governing School Council. (Driver Education Programme guidelines should be followed regarding these matters) Transportation of Students in Private Vehicles Departmental policy on transporting students in private motor vehicles appears in the current Camps and Excursions Guidelines. It is the responsibility of the principal to see that either comprehensive or third party property cover is held by the owner of the vehicle prior to the use of the vehicle for school purposes as no liability is accepted by the department for property damage to private vehicles. The owner of a private vehicle is required to ensure that adequate cover exists in the event of a claim arising from an accident. The vehicle Registration and Third Party Bodily Insurance Policy covers this requirement. 5 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

6 4.4 Buildings All buildings located on school grounds (property owned by the Minister) both solid and prefabricated, and their contents (excluding consumables), are covered by the government's "self insurance" arrangements in the event of loss through fire, storm, flood damage or other catastrophe. 4.5 Equipment Equipment Owned by the Minister Subject to the exceptions set out below, the department will replace or repair items of school equipment destroyed, damaged or lost through fire, vandalism, burglary, or otherwise affected by catastrophic event, irrespective of whether the property/ equipment was purchased by the department, school funds, or from the funds of the governing School Council or an affiliated body, provided that the department is satisfied that that the loss or damage did not result from negligence or lack of due care. The exceptions referred to above are as follows: The department will NOT replace leased equipment not owned by the Minister. Equipment which is being rented or purchased under a hire purchase, extended credit or other similar scheme not subject to the specific approvals listed above. Such equipment should be insured by the vendor. Schools which choose, or are asked to arrange separate insurance for special equipment should check contract documents to clarify the requirements of the equipment owner regarding insurance. (Schools may find that some leased or hired equipment must be insured by the lessee). Equipment or materials stored on school premises by outside bodies, which is not available for school use must be insured by the body concerned. This applies to equipment retained on school property for exclusive use by industrial cleaning contractors. Stocks of books, stationery etc. held in a school for sale to students or the school community should be insured by the school/school council. School equipment borrowed by outside bodies or individuals, even if approved by the principal must be covered by an appropriate insurance (or assurance of replacement) by the borrower. Borrowers must meet the cost of an appropriate insurance/replacement arrangement for the period of the loan. A record must be kept of the borrower, the item borrowed, conditions for hire/insurance and the dates when the item was borrowed and returned. Money held in a school is not covered; (other than in circumstances explained in the School Security Policy). Personal items of staff and students which may be on school premises from time to time are not covered. (refer below regarding teachers personal property used as teaching aids). Property of teachers and students which is taken on school excursions is not covered. School canteen stock and cash takings are not covered. The private property or personal effects kept by an occupant in a Real Estate Management Office residence is not covered. These should be the subject of privately arranged insurance cover. 6 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

7 Where exceptional circumstances exist, a claim giving full particulars should be submitted to the Manager, Legislation and Legal Services Unit for consideration. Replacement of equipment and materials lost or destroyed whilst not on school premises are subject to the following conditions: Those set out above The permission of the principal has been obtained, including appropriate borrowing and return records The materials or equipment are being used for school activities Use of materials and equipment during vacation periods or for extended periods during school term time must be arranged as above Appropriate insurance cover must be arranged by the borrower for the whole of the period during which the equipment or materials are off school premises; [this applies for periods of transit to cover growing number of incidents involving theft from employees' private vehicles] Equipment Borrowed for School Purposes The department will not reimburse loss related to any item which is not the property of the Minister. Where a school borrows property from individuals or organisations outside the school, the onus is upon the principal or the owner of the property to insure the property against damage or loss resulting from a criminal act, negligence or an accident. The Department will not accept responsibility for the reimbursement of costs arising from wear and tear, loss, or damage to such property. 4.6 Replacement of Personal Property Used as Teaching Aids As a matter of standard procedure, teachers and other employees are discouraged from leaving personal items unnecessarily any educational facility. Reimbursement may, however, be provided in respect of any item being the personal property of a staff member of a school or the department) which is used as a teaching aid and is destroyed, damaged or lost due to fire, vandalism, burglary or other catastrophic incident in the course of its use, or short term storage, in a school or departmental premises. All claims (including fire loss) are subject to a number of conditions:- The following reimbursement limits apply: any one item $500 any one teacher $2000 excess $20 The item was authorised for use or to be stored (short term only) by the principal or officer in charge. In the case of loss or damage through criminal action that the matter has been reported to the police. 7 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

8 Loss or damage sustained is not reasonably recoverable under another insurance policy or by legal action. The department is satisfied that the loss or damage did not result from negligence or a lack of due care. A deduction for wear and tear must be allowed for the amount claimed. Reimbursement will be made for the depreciated value only, NOT replacement cost. Reimbursement will only be made for the depreciated value of items and will not be available for loss or damage through wear and tear. Personal effects other than those endorsed for use as teaching aids are not covered. In cases where principals give approval for the use of an individual item of equipment valued at over $500 or a group of items collectively valued at over $2,000, special consideration should be given to ensuring that the item/s are adequately protected by insurance taken out by the owner. Intending claimants should contact the Security Adviser, Asset Policy & Capital Programs, telephone (08) , fax (08) for the appropriate forms to be forwarded. All claims should be forwarded through the school principal to: Security Adviser Asset Policy & Capital Programs Department for Education and Child Development 31 Flinders Street Adelaide Works of Art in Departmental Schools Works of art purchased from school funds, or donated to a school by individuals or organisations become the property of the Minister. The school is the custodian of the works of art on behalf of the Minister and may not dispose of, or arrange for permanent loan of, any work of art without the permission of the Minister. 4.8 Musical Instruments The department will only accept responsibility to repair or replace school owned instruments which have been damaged or stolen or are affected by vandalism or fire in a school. (subject to the criteria described in clause 5.1) Repair and replacement of musical instruments damaged at school during school hours or on loan to students is the responsibility of the school. These costs are to be met by the school. Musical instruments are not covered outside of the school. 4.9 Teachers Furniture When Being Moved The Government has arranged an "in transit" insurance cover for household furniture and effects of teachers who are required to move from one location to another to satisfy departmental requirements. 8 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

9 4.10 Public Liability Insurance Use of Private Premises Where schools/governing/school councils and CSO preschools/management committees are involved in activities on private property, it is possible that the owner may require evidence of adequate public risk insurance cover. As the Department for Education and Child Development is a self-insurer in accordance with Government policy, the principal/director should structure written responses as follows: Paragraphs 1 and 3 can be modified to suit the particular circumstances. Paragraph 2 must be printed without any change. SCHOOL/PRESCHOOL LETTERHEAD Dear... Paragraph 1 Use one of the following : (a) Where students are using facilities/premises eg. running a stall in a neighbourhood "I refer to our recent discussion concerning the use of the... by students and staff of...school/preschool." (b) Where students are on excursions "I refer to the matter of a tour of inspection of your business premises by students and staff from...school/preschool." (c) Where the school council/cso pre-school management committee undertakes an activity. Paragraph 2 Use one of the following : (a) Circumstances (a) or (b) referred to above. "The Department for Education and Child Development does not carry a public risk insurance policy in respect of claims arising from personal injury and property damage. However, if a claim arises and it is attributable to a negligent act or omission on the part of a teacher or departmental employee or in this set of circumstances, an act for which the Minister is liable, compensation will be met from departmental funds." (b) General "The Department for Education and Child Development does not carry a public risk insurance policy in respect of claims arising from personal injury and property damage. However, if a claim arises and it is attributable to an act or omission on the part of a teacher or departmental employee for which the Minister is vicariously liable, compensation will be met from departmental funds." 9 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

10 (c) Circumstance (c) above School councils/cso pre-school management committees do not carry public risk insurance policies in respect of claims arising from personal injury and property damage for which they may be liable. However, if a claim arises during the course of an approved activity which the Minister indemnifies, and it is attributable to an act or omission on the part of a representative or agent of a school council or pre-school management committee, compensation will be met from departmental funds." Paragraph 3 Use one of the following, as appropriate (a) "I trust that this advice, which confirms that conveyed to you by telephone on (day)...(date) , will facilitate use of the premises by...school/preschool." (b) "I trust that this advice will facilitate the inspection of your premises." Yours faithfully, Principal/Director 4.11 Insurance Cover for School Councils Listed below are details of the insurance policies which are not covered under DECS Self Insurance and may be arranged by school councils through the South Australian Association of State School Organisations Inc.(SAASSO) or other insurance providers. Canteen combined cover Musical instruments, for which a school council is responsible (owned, hired, leased\or borrowed). School owned equipment hired or borrowed General property owned/leased by the Governing school council Transit cover (goods or cash whilst in transit). Equipment such as computer equipment, video/electronic equipment e.g. video cameras, office equipment e.g. photocopiers, TransAdelaide multitrip tickets, can be covered under this section. Insurance can also be arranged for special events such as fetes to cover loss of profits as a result of rain. Trailers, motor vehicles or canoes for which the school council may be responsible. Motor vehicle no claim bonus and excess recovery policy Personal accident policy for school councillors and volunteers (special conditions apply) 10 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

11 5. Roles and responsibilities Table 2 - Roles and responsibilities Role Authority/responsibility for 6. Monitoring, evaluation and review 7. Definitions and abbreviations Table 3 - Definitions and abbreviations Term Meaning 8. Supporting documents 9. References Appendix 11 Self Insurance, Insurance and Risk Management for Schools December 2007

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