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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Excursions

including camps and adventure activities

Liability, waivers and indemnities

Duty of care

School staff owe students a duty of care to take reasonable steps to minimise the risk of reasonably foreseeable harm. Planning of and conduct during an excursion may be scrutinised later if there is a legal claim resulting from an injury or damage to property. The information in these mandatory excursion guidelines has been developed to support staff to take reasonable and appropriate steps to prevent and reduce risks to students, in accordance with their duty of care obligations.

For more general information on duty of care in schools, refer to Duty of Care.

Waivers of liability

Providers will frequently seek a ‘waiver and indemnity of liability’ as a condition of hire of a venue or participation in a planned activity. 

  • Schools must not agree to give a ‘waiver and indemnity’ where the provider seeks to absolve itself and its personnel from liability for negligence. 
  • Schools cannot, and must not, sign a ‘waiver and indemnity’ on behalf of a student nor permit a student to sign a ‘waiver and indemnity’. 
  • Schools must not ask parents and carers to sign a ‘waiver and indemnity’ on behalf of a student if the waiver and indemnity seeks to absolve the provider and its personnel from liability for negligence.

Schools must contact Legal Division for advice on any waivers and indemnities requested by providers:

Chapter in the Excursion Guidelines explaining duty of care and outlining requirements relating to liability, waivers and indemnities

Reviewed 09 December 2021

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