Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Child's Play

Our school was on the news yesterday after a parent called the TV station to voice their horror at something written in the school newsletter.

In part:
Some school activities and physical education, particularly contact sports, carry inherent risks of injury. Parents are advised the Dept of Education & Training does not have student accident insurance cover for students. If your child is injured at school as a result of an accident or incident, all costs associated with the injury, including medical costs are the responsibility of the parent or caregiver.

Student accident insurance pays some benefits in certain circumstances should your child have an accident.

The "whistle-blowing" parent was seemingly put-out at the thought of paying their own medical costs when little Mary falls off the monkey bars, and didn't like being told to take out insurance. Even though, at no point, was it deemed compulsory.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the way things have always been? At least in Government schools. It definitely was when I, in year 7, broke my ankle doing gymnastics in PE. The school is held responsible in situations where an accident has occurred due to negligence on their part, of course, but otherwise, deal with it the same way parents always have.

For some, insurance might be the way to go, that's a personal choice. Given the responses of some parents I actually think the school has done a good thing reminding families of the way things work. The news story actually pointed out that some private schools include student insurance as part of their annual fees, but is it really necessary?

Have you heard of student accident insurance? Does your school offer it? Has the world gone mad?


  1. I obviously can't comment on your school system, but here school systems are fully insured against student, faculty or staff injuries on school property or while on school trips or business.

  2. a few parents have recently been horrified that injuries sustained at School were not covered by School in some way. we looked into it through our school parents organisation — there would still be an excess, and the cover offered was quite limited — and would love to hear from others in NSW if they have found anything worthwhile? xt ps. Medicare does a pretty good job of covering the cost of injuries, no?

  3. When my son broke his thumb while in music class in Grade 1 (not at his current school), the school didn't even phone me! And their first aid was to put a bag of ice on it. This was two weeks into Grade 1. It took them two weeks for them to tell me how it happened ... they had to do an official report to find out. Anyway, Medicare and my private health paid for the cost, I did think of suiing the school as he was traumatised (a bully slammed a door on his finger while in class!) and the bullying continued after this. But really, I was more focussed on my child and who does that?. When I couldn't get the school to show any real duty of care, I found a small independent school, which is the one he now goes to; his sister too. The current school is Catholic, but the fees are quite low and when you take into account they cover all excursions, and that there is a part time school psychologist available for teachers, parents and kids; learning support workers, help to get funding for children who need it; I can talk to the principal at any time without making an appointment (within reason); and every teacher there knows my kids, it's worth every cent. And not much more than the state school. They don't ram the religion into them, it's more about being good people and citizens. I feel very lucky to have found them. Having said that, any incident is pretty much the responsibility of the parent (to pay for I mean). You get the call, you go to school and pick them up and take them to the doctor. If they aren't stretchered off by ambulance, which is what happened to my son two years ago at sports day. All ended well, and yes, was covered by the government.