Risk and Responsibility: Liability of School Authorities for Harm to Pupils

  • Sally VarnhamEmail author


This chapter considers the responsibility of school authorities for the physical, mental and emotional harm suffered by their pupils. It examines the potential for school liability for physical injury within the duty of care owed in the tort of negligence and the approach of the courts to what may reasonably be expected of educators particularly in light of civil liability legislation. It then considers the parameters of school liability for psychiatric harm caused by the intentional acts of others, such as bullying, cyberbullying and sexual abuse. It touches on developing initiatives towards practising citizenship and restorative practice aimed at reducing many of the threats to young people by school cultures characterised by respect and responsibility.


School liability Negligence Personal injury Bullying Sexual abuse Restorative practice 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia

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