Parent or Carer Consent

Purpose of this policy

To ensure that schools obtain informed consent from parents or carers, for their child to participate in an excursion.

Prerequisite policy

Policy

Schools must obtain written or electronic consent from parents or carers for school excursions, for the school to:

  • take the student out of the school environment for a day excursion
  • have the student in its care after normal school hours on an overnight excursion
  • obtain parent or carer authorisation:
    • for the financial costs of the excursion
    • for any adventure activities that may be undertaken during the excursion
    • for students to be sent home from an excursion in the event of serious misbehaviour and for the costs of the student’s return to be the parent or carer’s responsibility
    • that if needed the school can consent to emergency medical treatment
  • enable the parent or carer to alert the school to any medical conditions or allergies.

Requirements for informed consent

Schools must:

  • obtain written or electronic signatures
  • give parents or carers, who are to provide consent, sufficient information about the excursion to enable them to make an informed decision
  • tell the parent or carer the:
    • nature of the proposed activity
    • degree of supervision
    • risks involved
  • keep records of the consent documentation at the school
  • ensure that the teacher in charge of the excursion has a hard or electronic copy of the consent documentation for each student on the excursion, for excursions requiring school council approval
  • for school council approved excursions:
    • ensure parents are aware that the principal may need to cancel or alter excursions arrangements at short notice, which may lead to inconvenience or financial losses to parents. This would be required to ensure the safety of students and/or due to circumstances beyond the control of the school.

For the Parent Excursion Consent form for school council approved excursions, see: Department Resources below.

Electronic consent requirements

An electronic signature can include:

  • the use of a username and password to verify the acceptance of terms or consent
  • a digitally encrypted image of a person’s hand written signature (i.e. a pin or password would be required before the signature can be inserted into a document)
  • email correspondence
  • online scripts and pop-ups requiring ‘tick the box’ and ‘accept’; or
  • SMS.

Important: For an electronic signature to be valid, schools must have a process to ensure that:

  • it is the parent or carer providing the signature (e.g. requiring identification such as a password); and
  • the parent or carer intends to provide their consent.

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
  • Crimes (Family Violence) Act 1987
  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • Family Law Act 1975
  • Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (Victoria)

Department resources