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CEO Instruction - Automated External Defibrillators - Mandated in all public schools by 30 June 2024

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CEO Instruction - Automated External Defibrillators - Mandated in all public schools by 30 June 2024

1. Context

1.1  The Director General of Education has authority, pursuant to section 233 of the School Education Act 1999 and the Public Sector Management Act 1994 to issue an Instruction to any employee performing a function in the Department.

1.2  Section 63 of the School Education Act 1999 (SE Act) provides that Principals have statutory responsibility for:

1.2.1 day to day management and control of the school, including all persons on the school premises – section 63(1)(b) and

1.2.2 ensuring the safety and welfare of students on school premises so far as that can reasonably be done – section 63(1)(c)(i).

1.3  Principals of a school may also have management responsibility for other worksites associated with the public school to which they are appointed, for example, community kindergartens.

1.4  The Work Health and Safety Act 2020 and the Department’s Statement of Expectations for Principals require Principals to have responsibility for occupational health and safety on the school and any worksite associated with the public school to which they are appointed and for which they have management responsibility.

1.5  Further, the Student Health in Public Schools Policy and Procedures, with supporting IKON documentation, provides a Principal act on the requirements for health and safety of students and, to a lesser extent, staff.

1.6  The Department is committed to providing a safe work environment to all staff and those on school work sites for which Principals have management responsibility, with suitably qualified first aid officers and best practice first aid equipment.

1.7  Given the critical importance of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in administration of first aid to persons experiencing cardiac arrest, mandating AED installation at all public schools as a standard component of workplace first aid equipment is considered warranted.

1.8  It is now considered essential every public school work site has at least one AED located at each site’s main Administration building by 30 June 2024.

1.8.1 AEDs will be purchased from reputable suppliers, compliant with Australian Standards and registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

1.8.2 AEDs will be positioned to ensure maximum performance, noting performance may vary dependent upon environmental conditions.

1.8.3 AEDs will be made available for community use wherever possible.

1.9  IKON will be updated to provide AED procurement, installation and maintenance guidance to Principals.

1.10  The Department’s Work Health and Safety Policy and Procedures will be updated from 30 June 2024 to include an appendix on AEDs in schools and student residential colleges.

1.11  The Department will include provision of an AED as standard in the scope of all new builds or significant upgrades at schools and associated worksites from the start of the 2024 calendar year.

2. CEO Instruction to Principals

2.1  This CEO Instruction commences on 15 November 2023.

2.2  This Instruction is issued to operationalise within Department of Education public schools and associated worksites for which Principals have responsibility the mandated installation of AEDs on all premises.

2.3  Principals of all public schools must, during the term of this CEO Instruction:

a. have at least one AED installed on the outside wall of the main Administration building on each worksite for which they have responsibility as Principal by 30 June 2024;

b. ensure AED location, installation and maintenance conforms with Department guidance;

c. where procurement is necessary, record purchase of the AED against the school’s one-line budget for the 2023-2024 financial year.

3. CEO Instruction exemptions

3.1  This Instruction applies to all Principals of public schools except:

a. Principals of new schools currently under construction and due to open in 2024, being Jilbup Primary School and Henley Brook Primary School, where AEDs will be supplied and installed as part of the building project;

b. The Principal of Brabham Primary School in relation to the offsite kindergarten and pre-primary, where an AED will be supplied and installed as part of the building project.

c. The Principal of SSEN: Medical and Mental Health due to the school’s medical hospital-based settings in Department of Health facilities.

4. Failure to comply and fulfil duties

4.1  A Principal required to comply with this CEO Instruction who fails to do so may be subject to a disciplinary process, which may result in termination of employment.



Lisa Rodgers

Director General

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