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
  • 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
  • ensure parents/carers are informed that students may be sent home from an excursion in the event of illness or serious misbehaviour and any costs relating to the student's return will be the parent or carer's responsibility
  • for school council approved excursions, ensure parents/carers are informed 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 template Parent Excursion Consent forms for day excursions and for school council approved excursions, see: Department Resources below.

Consent for local excursions

Excursions may be considered 'local excursions' if the location is within walking distance of the school and do not involve 'Adventure Activities' (see definition at Excursions and Adventure Activities).

If schools intend to take students off school grounds within walking distance to engage in educational activities within the local area, schools may seek consent for these local excursions on an annual basis, e.g. at the beginning of each school year (or upon enrolment if a student enrols during the school year).

Once annual consent is obtained, schools are not required to obtain further consent before the local excursion but parents and carers should be informed about the local excursion closer to the date of the event. For example, parents can be notified by email or other appropriate communication channels the week before (or earlier) if students are leaving the school grounds to visit a location nearby, so that parents have an opportunity to inform staff of any medical or other issues that may be relevant to the local excursion.

For local excursions that occur on a recurring basis, schools may notify parents once only of the frequency and location of the activity, at the commencement of the recurring event. For example, it is sufficient to notify parents at the beginning of the year only that students will be walking to the local oval every week for a recurring sports activity.

A template Local Excursions annual consent form is available under Department resources below.

A template Local Excursion notification is available under 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