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CEO Instruction: Temporary ban on Stand-up paddle board use by primary school students

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The Director General of Education has authority, pursuant to section 233 of the School Education Act 1999, to issue instructions to persons performing functions in the Department of Education.


2.1  This Instruction comes into effect at the beginning of Term 3, on 18 July 2022.

2.2  This Instruction is a temporary measure whilst a review of current policy is undertaken.

2.3  This Instruction applies to all staff at government schools in Western Australia.

2.4  Staff at government schools may not:

2.4.1  deliver SUP activities to primary school students; or

2.4.2  allow any approved or external provider to deliver SUP activities to primary school students.

2.5  Principals must note that the previous terminology 'not recommended' in the Paddling activity specific document relating to supervision requirements has been amended to 'must not be undertaken'.

2.6  Staff at government schools may:

2.6.1  deliver seated Paddling activities to primary school students on all other paddle craft listed in the Group One and Group Two paddle craft categories; and

2.6.2  engage approved and external providers to deliver Paddling activities to primary school students on seated paddle craft listed in the Group One and Group Two categories.

2.7  Principals, when approving the delivery of all onsite and/or offsite Paddling activities, must ensure that risk management planning addresses all of the hazards and risks detailed in the Recreation and Outdoor Education Activities for Public Schools Procedures (the Procedures) Appendix A: General Requirements (A.13 and A.14).

2.7.1  Supporting information and guidance for the completion of risk management documentation can be accessed here:



3.1  Stand-up paddle board (SUP): A long, narrow buoyant board on which a paddler stands and propels themselves through the water using a paddle consisting of a blade, shaft and handle.

3.2  Paddling: The propulsion and steering of water based craft, by a person or persons, using a paddle with either single or double-ended blade.

3.3  Approved Provider: A provider recognised on the Department of Education approved provider register.

3.4  External provider: A business or individual paid by the school to provide a venue, service and/or expertise appropriate to a particular school activity; or a staff member of a TAFE college or a University who delivers an educational program, or part thereof, to students.

3.5  Group One paddle craft: Water craft that are not intended for use with spray decks, do not conceal any part of a person's body and do not pose a potential hazard for entrapments allowing for the immediate exit of a person in the event of a capsize.

3.6  Group Two paddle craft: All water craft that conceals any part of a person's body, can be used with a spray deck and/or have the potential to cause body entrapments in the event of a capsize.

Jim Bell

A/Director General

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