1. Purpose of policy
The following policy outlines the conditions under which children are permitted to be on USC premises.
2. Policy scope and application
This policy applies to all USC staff, students and visitors.
This policy is not intended to limit the full participation in study or employment by young people who are USC students or who are engaged in employment that requires them to be on University premises.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness:
Children means persons under the age of 18 years
Parent/carer means the person (employee, student or community visitor) who brings the child on to the premises.
Workplace means a place on University premises where employees work or are likely to work in the course of their employment.
4. Children of USC Staff and Students
4.1 The University recognises that there will be occasions when it may be necessary for children to accompany their parent/carer on campus. However, the University must also conduct its operations in an efficient and effective manner and the provisions for children on campus must take proper account of the University’s operational requirements.
4.2 Permission to allow a child to accompany a parent/carer on campus will be sought from a staff member or student’s supervisor or lecturer/tutor, and permission will remain at the discretion of the supervisor or lecturer/tutor. All requests will be considered sensitively and reasonably with regard to all factors relevant to the circumstances.
Factors to consider when making a decision to permit a child on campus include:
- Safety of the child in the relevant environment
- Level of interference with other staff, students or visitors
- Sickness and level of contagion of the child
- Frequency and duration of attendance
- Content of lecture, discussion or activity (e.g. sensitive or explicit subject matter may be inappropriate)
- Size of venue and availability of seating
- Other staff and students not being interrupted, inconvenienced or disrupted
- Continued behaviour of the child
- Notification to the supervisor or lecturer/tutor.
4.3 The University recognises that occasionally, it may be necessary for a student to bring their child onto campus for a defined period of time. In these circumstances, students are not required to seek permission providing: the child remains in the care of the parent, there is no disruption to other staff or students on campus, and the child will not be attending classes or occupying teaching or research spaces. Students bringing a child onto campus in these circumstances are obliged to ensure that the University’s expectations of students set out in the Student Charter are adhered to at all times. For staff, permission to bring a child onto campus is required from their supervisor as per 4.2.
4.4 The parent/carer is directly responsible for the behaviour of the child under their care and the parent/carer may be asked to remove the child from a class/workplace should the child’s behaviour prove disruptive.
4.5 While a child is on the premises, the parent/carer must not request that other students, colleagues or staff members to take temporary charge of the child.
5. Accompanied children on campus
5.1 Children regularly visit the University in school and other groups, which are authorised in advance as appropriate. Such groups are a welcome part of campus life. While on the premises, children in authorised groups are the responsibility of the teacher, parent(s) and/or nominated guardian(s) or caregiver(s) accompanying them. In addition, USC requires employees, volunteers and students to comply with the Working with Vulnerable People – Managerial Policy.
6. Unaccompanied children on campus
6.1 Like other community members, children may access those areas of the University’s campuses that are accessible to the public, including (where applicable) public transport facilities. The University assumes no responsibility for the supervision of unaccompanied children on campus. Unaccompanied children who create a disturbance or pose a risk, may be directed from the premises. In such instances, the Chief Operating Officer, will act in accordance with appropriate Acts, policies and procedures. In public areas such as the Library, any member of staff on duty has the authority to direct that children be removed from the area.
6.2 Many children use the University grounds as a thoroughfare at various times. Children are not permitted to ride their bicycles on the central premises, travel through any buildings, loiter in any University buildings or make undue noise while on the premises. Staff or students who notice any such disruptive behaviour should report the incident to Security immediately. Where appropriate, the relevant school/s, if known, will be notified of any disruptive behaviour of their students on University premises.
7. Workplace Health and Safety
7.1 The University recognises its statutory and common law responsibilities for protecting non-employees, including children, from exposure to risks to their health and safety arising from University activities. Accordingly, children (excluding USC students where appropriate) will not normally be allowed in areas that have identifiable hazards including, for example:
- Science laboratories
- Trade workshops
- Construction sites or areas undergoing minor works/maintenance
- Machinery areas and areas where grounds equipment is in use
- Art studios, computer laboratories, and areas displaying inappropriate or graphic material
- Chemical and dangerous goods storage areas
- Clinical areas
- Storage facilities
In special circumstances children may be granted permission to enter hazardous areas, for example during Open Day activities, as part of a school visit, or work experience program. Such permission will only be granted with the full knowledge of the area’s supervisor and consideration of appropriate supervisory measures.
7.2 University staff may refuse permission to access any area within the premises because of reasonable concerns related to workplace health and safety issues.
7.3 Parents and caregivers must recognise that some environments and facilities which are safe in terms of the relevant health and safety legislation may represent risks for small children (e.g. stairs, self-closing doors, electrical fittings, office equipment). The major and primary responsibility of care remains properly with parents and caregivers.
7.4 The parent/carer must ensure that their children do not engage in activities that may pose a threat to the health, safety and wellbeing of others.
8.1 Parents, caregivers, and, where relevant, teachers, are responsible for the safety of children in their care whilst on University premises and must ensure their safety and supervise them at all times. The University does not accept liability.