Many Australian educators believe that it is common in the USA for teachers to be sued by their students for careless teaching. Contends that this is a misconception, as the reported cases indicate that the US courts have been reluctant so far to find teachers liable at common law for careless teaching, or “educational malpractice”. The courts have justified this reluctance on “policy” grounds, arguing that to impose such a liability on teachers would not be in the public interest. However, in a recent decision in Britain, the House of Lords held that educators are under a duty of care when advising on the educational needs of students. Examines the following issues: the extent to which at present Australian teachers could be liable for loss suffered by students as a result of poor teaching; the House of Lords’ decision on educational negligence, the US courts’ policy reasons for refusing to hold teachers liable for poor teaching; whether the Australian courts should follow the US courts or the House of Lords; and the likelihood of Australian teachers being sued for educational malpractice in the near future.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 1996
Keywords: Australia; Education; Litigation; Professional negligence; Tort
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