Placing a practicum student in a school

Ross Woods, Edited July 2010, 2018

This approach was originally developed to place a student in a school to do a teaching practicum under the Centre. The students would be eligible for Statement of Attainment. The same protocols would normally apply for member colleges, but they should check with their own insurers.

A practicum student teacher might not be subject to the protocol for volunteers, as they are often classified differently.

The school should sight a Police Clearance and preferably have a copy on file. The school also needs formal letter of placement from the college stating that the student is coming into the school program as an college student, and will be covered by the college's insurance.

As an educational organization, the ACAS member college should be covered by your regular insurance policy. The school may want to have an insurance certificate on file. At least with the ACAS insurer, there is no legal or formal requirement for the practicum student to sign an induction form. However, it is reasonable care that the student has read and understood his/her obligations to ACAS, especially including the responsibility to identify and report risks. The staff induction page has a special link for them.

There is a slight catch, but it's fair enough. The ACAS or member college insurance can cover the practicum student, but can't cover the school's responsibilities (e.g. its duty of care, reasonable supervision, and OHS on its premises.) This is probably even more important with students under 18. But schools all have their own insurance.

Although it has been suggested that ACAS have a child protection policy, the board hasn't really seen it as necessary yet. Consequently, our insurer recommended that the school require the practicum student to read and sign any relevant school policies.

It is good to get all these things right, if only because we need to know what is required and how to do it. Besides, it is worth getting it right because if you do have a claim, the consequences of getting it wrong are so serious far outweigh the bother of getting it right.

The issue of relating to the WA college of teaching hasn't come up yet, and their current website information doesn't address it. Although the website does not provide a procedure for VET in schools, it currently states:

"Under Section 30 of the Western Australian College of Teaching Act 2004, a person must not teach in Western Australia unless the person is registered with the Western Australian College of Teaching (the College). This includes persons wanting to undertake employment as a teacher or school administrator in a pre-school, primary or secondary school in the non-government or government sector in Western Australia.
The Act also provides for the granting of a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) when a registered teacher with appropriate skills, qualifications or experience cannot be identified for an appointment to a teaching vacancy. This situation may arise because either:
• The applicant is delivering a VET in Schools Program; or
• there is no registered teacher available, or of those that are available, none has the appropriate skills or industry experience required for the position.

This application form is for the applicant who is an unqualified teacher but has specialist skills, knowledge and training or where there is no registered teacher available.

There is a separate application process for those delivering VET in Schools Programs. ....