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Child-related studies

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​​​​​Guideline review date: 28 October 2021​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

This guideline is provided to support schools in implementing the managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure.

The CARA planner must be used for the specific school context in conjunction with this guideline considering additional risks, hazards and controls and including environmental, facility, equipment and student considerations.​

For activities beyond the scope of this guideline, complete a CARA record using the CARA generic template.

Activity scope

This guideline relates to student participation in child-related studies as an activity to support curriculum delivery. Child-related studies refers to any curriculum activity that requires students to observe and interact with young children for curriculum purposes.

'Students' refers to those secondary students who the teacher has engaged in the activity, and 'children' refers to those who are involved in the activity due to their attendance at an early childhood education setting.

Depending on the scope of this activity, other risk assessments may be required when planning. Curriculum activities encompassing more than one CARA guideline must comply with the requirements of all CARA guidelines appropriate to the activity.

For activities conducted at a non-Department of Education venue, and/or when engaging external expertise, request written risk assessment advice and attach it to this CARA record.

For activities conducted off-site, schools must comply with the school excursions procedure procedure.

​Risk level

Low risk 
Student observation of children with minimal interaction.

Medium risk
Student interaction with children aged 0-5 years, including the organisation of practical skills associated with the implementation of the Early Childhood studies applied senior syllabus or Vocational education and training (VET).​​​

Activity requirements

If any requirement cannot be met, the activity must not occur.

If any other safety recommendation cannot be met, modify the activity (or elements of it) and/or identify and use the hierarchy of controls to implement alternative control measures to meet or exceed the minimum safety standard.

All risk levels:

  • This activity must be conducted at a facility that is approved and follows the appropriate Codes of Practice.
  • Participants must adhere to all rules communicated by the centre's management.
  • School-based playgroups must be run in conjunction with guidelines for playgroups In Queensland State Schools for insurance purposes.

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Supervision

Principals make final supervision decisions for the activity. Sufficient adult supervision must be provided to manage the activity safely (including emergency situations).

For activities with students with a medical condition or disability that may impact on safety during the activity, consultation with parents is required prior to allocating supervision to determine the impact of students' disability on safety during the activity.

The number of adult supervisors required to fulfil emergency and supervision roles must consider the nature of the activity, students' ages, abilities and specialised learning, access and/or health needs.

Before the activity, all adult supervisors:

  • must be familiar with the contents of the CARA record
  • must inspect the intended location in order to identify variable risks, hazards and potential dangers.

During the activity, all adult supdeakin ervisors:

  • must be readily identifiable
  • must closely monitor students with health support needs
  • must comply with control measures from the CARA record and adapt as hazards arise
  • must suspend the activity if the conditions become unfavourable.

Supervisor qualifications

Principals make final decisions in determining supervisor capability (competence, relevance and currency) and are responsible for encouraging and enabling school-based activity supervisors to raise their qualifications to improve safety standards.

All adult supervisors must comply with the working with children authority—Blue Cards procedure and be able to identify, and respond to, risks or hazards that may emerge during the activity.

A registered teacher must be appointed to maintain overall responsibility for the activity.

At least one adult supervisor is required to be:

  • a registered teacher with demonstrated knowledge of procedures that develop skills in observation and competence in supervising and facilitating positive interaction with and between children and educators and the potential hazards, or 

  • an early childhood teacher, or a director or nominated supervisor of an approved early childhood education and care service, with qualifications in child-related studies and experience in a supervisory role.

Facilities and equipment

The qualified adult supervisor of the activity, in consultation with the principal, determines the requirements for facilities and equipment appropriate to the local context.

Location must be suitable for the activity being undertaken, including sufficient space, adequate lighting and ventilation to ensure safe participation and that safety rules and procedures can be followed.  Undertake a reconnaissance of new or infrequently used locations to ascertain suitability.

Participants must wear personal protective equipment appropriate to the activity (e.g. enclosed footwear).

Common hazards and controls

Further to those listed, include any additional hazards and control measures considering the local context of the activity.

Environmental hazards Control measures

Biological hazards
Body fluids (e.g. blood, saliva, sweat)

Manage bodily substances (e.g. blood) and open wounds before, during and after the activity. Consult infection control guidelines and Queensland Health's exclusion periods for infectious conditions poster (PDF, 1.5MB) for hygienic practices and first aid, and Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services.

Environmental conditions
Weather

Follow the centre or the school's sun safety strategy if participating outside.

Follow the managing excessive heat in schools guidelines when participating in very hot or extreme heat conditions.

Ensure drink breaks occur regularly. Make water available for individual participants between drink breaks.

Facilities and equipment hazards Control measures

Faulty or dangerous equipment

Clean and store all equipment safely and securely when not in use.

Student considerations Control measures

Injury

Students aware of the location of emergency and first-aid equipment.

Manual handling
Lifting equipment, manipulating/ moving students

Use correct manual handling processes when lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying.

Student issues
High risk behaviours, medical conditions

Ensure the students have been prepared for the observation of children.

Monitor student observation and develop students’ skills in evaluation in respect to safety issues and procedures.

Ensure that student behaviour is non-threatening to the children and that any accusations of inappropriate behaviour are dealt with in an expedient and appropriate manner.

Medium risk level activities:

Ensure students are aware of a greater risk of transmission of infection when working with young children.

Ensure students have been prepared for the interaction with children, including:

  • actively supervising children
  • choosing age-appropriate materials
  • identifying age-appropriate learning experiences.

Ensure the students have had opportunities to develop skills that ensure their own and others’ wellbeing.

Continually reinforce safety considerations throughout the activity.

 Disclaimer

This information is developed and distributed on this website by the State of Queensland for use by Queensland state schools only.

Use or adaptation of, or reliance on, this information by persons or organisations other than the State of Queensland is at their sole risk. All users who use, adapt or rely on this information are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency and appropriateness to their particular circumstances. The State of Queensland makes no representations, either express or implied, as to the suitability of this information to a user's particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law, the State of Queensland disclaims all responsibility and liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs arising from the use or adaptation of, or reliance on, this information.

Links to external websites are for convenience only and the State of Queensland has not independently verified the information on the linked websites. It is the responsibility of users to make their own decisions about the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of the information at these external websites.

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Last updated 28 September 2023