Children on Campus

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Definitions

'Child(ren)' means people under the age of 15.

'Employee' means a person by whom work is done for the University under a contract of employment on a full time, part time, sessional or casual basis.

'Field Trip' means any work, studies or research approved by the Head of School or nominated deputy on behalf of James Cook University (JCU) and conducted by staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students at various field sites which may be on-campus, or at off-campus urban, rural (terrestrial), freshwater or marine locations.

'Laboratory' is a place of specialised work such as research, clinical or diagnostic evaluation teaching and/or learning, and all areas using hazardous substances (chemicals).

'Premises' covers all the University's campuses, field and research stations, buildings, grounds, vehicles, commercial operations and other locations under the University's control.

'Studio' means an area involving broadcast, dancing, music recording, and or visual art activities.

'Workplace' means a place where University employees work or are likely to work in the course of their employment eg. a campus, research vessel, a field worksite, a vehicle.

'Workshop' means areas involving the use and maintenance of electrical, electronic, and mechanical machinery and tools.

Policy and Procedures

Introduction

A substantial number of the staff and students of James Cook University are responsible for the care of children. The University recognises that family responsibilities are not confined to the private sphere, but impact on work and study performance and other aspects of an individual's life. Notwithstanding any provision of the following Guidelines, however, officers of the University retain the responsibility of requiring that children who are causing a disturbance or who are not abiding by regulations be removed.

Factors to Consider

Factors which should be taken into account in reaching a decision to bring or permit a child on to campus, or to any University-sponsored facility or activity, include:

  • length of time involved

  • frequency of attendance

  • age of child

  • subject matter of class attended - some topics may be upsetting or unsuitable for children

  • available space - eg, is the classroom already crowded?

  • environmental, health and safety issues, including the degree of interference with others.

Children in Class

Under exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary for children to attend class with a parent or carer. In such cases, students must first obtain permission from the person conducting the class, at whose discretion such permission is granted. Staff are urged to treat occasional requests sympathetically. Supervising adults are directly responsible for the behaviour of children under their care and must ensure that no disturbance is caused. Children may be asked to leave should they disturb the class. Other students in the class can assist by attending to their work and not focusing on the child.

Students will not be permitted to take children into examinations.

Children in Non-Teaching Areas

Occasionally, and subject to any regulations that may apply in particular areas, it may be necessary for children to accompany an adult in non-teaching areas such as the library or the Student Association premises. Supervising adults are directly responsible for the behaviour of children.

Areas Prohibited to Children

There are some areas of the University which are intrinsically hazardous and to which, for Workplace Health and Safety reasons, children cannot be admitted except when under supervision for approved University activities such as School visits, Open Day and Summer Schools. Prohibited areas include but are not limited to:

  • laboratories and laboratory preparation areas

  • computer laboratories

  • maintenance, scientific and technical workshop areas

  • photographic laboratories

  • printer/copier rooms

  • art rooms

  • recording, broadcast and music studios

  • kitchens and other food preparation areas

  • fitness centres.

Other areas may be identified as unsuitable for children following risk assessment. Areas generally prohibited to children will be signposted as such.

Children Accompanying Staff Members to Work

It may be necessary occasionally for staff members to bring children to work. Staff should seek approval from their head of school or supervisor to bring children to work, and such occasional requests should be treated sympathetically. It is the duty of the parent or carer to ensure that the child does not disrupt the working environment or cause inconvenience to others. Colleagues can assist by not focusing on the child.

During visits to the campus, supervising adults may not request colleagues and support staff to take temporary charge of children.

Supervision

A child under the age of fifteen years may not be on campus except while in the charge of an adult.

Field Trips

Children may accompany supervising adults on research and teaching field trips only with prior approval, which must be:

  • sought on a case by case basis in relation to each field trip

  • in writing provided by the Head of School or appropriate immediate supervisor.

The presence of children must be risk assessed for identified hazards and control measures to protect the child, and the control measures must be implemented. Where appropriate, children must be included in the safety induction for the field trip, or specifically instructed in field trip safety requirements by the supervising adult.

Children as Passengers

Children of University staff and students, and members of the public, must not be carried in University vehicles, equipment and boats except with prior approval of the Director, Facilities Management Office / Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor / Divisional Head or nominated delegate.

Sick Children

Sick children, particularly children with known infectious diseases, must not be brought into the workplace or on to campus. The University has various forms of leave to assist employees who need to absent themselves to care for sick children.

General Duty of Care

James Cook University takes seriously its duty of care with regard to students, staff and visitors on campus. Adherence to the above guidelines will assist in maintaining an optimal work and study environment at the University. Your co-operation is appreciated.

Disclaimer

While James Cook University takes all reasonable measures and has numerous systems and procedures in place to ensure the safety of its students, staff and visitors, the very nature of the activities at the University makes it impossible for James Cook University to assume any liability whatsoever in respect of any loss, death, injury or illness which arises by reason of any activity or action by James Cook University or its staff, for children visiting any of the University's campuses and /or facilities or being involved in any University sponsored field trip. At all times during the visit, a visiting child is the sole responsibility and liability of the supervising adult.

An indemnity/release form for use when minors accompany parents or legal guardians on field work is available from Student Equity.

Further Information

Further information, and assistance with these University Guidelines are available from the Director, Equity, Counselling & Careers (Phone 1181), and from the Workplace Health and Safety Co-ordinator (Phone 5418).

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Children and Young People at Workplaces. Department of Employment, Training and Industrial Relations. May 2000.

Approval Details

Policy sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor – Services and Resources

Approval authority:

Human Resources Committee

Approval date:

24/06/2015

Version no:

15-1

Date for next review:

31/12/2009

Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

15-1

19/05/2015

19/06/2015

Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework.

00-1

11/2000

11/2000

There are no related procedures.

There are no other related documents.