The Age headlines last week about a former student raising bullying and sexual harassment from the 1980’s highlighted how incidents that occurred decades in the past can be raised and become current issues. Legal claims relating to these incidents and tighter regulation of the education sector mean that it has become even crucial for schools and education facilities to maintain accurate student records and incident reporting. Documentation of these incidents demonstrates that an organisation has met the accountability requirements under Education and other quality assurance standards.

Incidents of all types should be documented by the school or facility and Type One or serious incidents also need to be shared with the Education Department. As a general rule, a serious incident is one that requires medical attention or a police investigation; schools should also report any nuisance activity which may not have led to damage, but could lead to crime at a future time. The documentation of alleged incident is an important aspect of any plan and in cases involving more complex issues it can also have legal ramifications.

The incident documentation in the student file needs to:

  • Be dated and signed
  • Contain well organised factual descriptions of what has been said or observed and by whom
  • Contain clear and concise history/background of the incident
  • Information must be recorded in a professional and accurate manner, outlining the incident/injury
  • Use verbatim statements that the student or family/friends provided to describe the situation
  • Provide details of any meetings held, with whom and the issues discussed
  • Provide factual details of logical explanations, supporting details or documentation
  • Ensure that the recorded directives or actions to resolve the problem from re-occurring are consistent with the identified issues
  • Ensure that any police reports are included for reportable incidents

Well publicised recent events have identified that many schools work with paper based solutions involving manual processing and compliance which is dependent on how rigidly business rules are adhered to by employees.  A digital incident School reporting solution can be integrated into current systems ensuring that the recording of all required information is mandatory and that processes are completely observed.

Formfile is working with schools, aged care and not for profit centres to ensure that incident reports are recorded in a VERS compliant Digital Format with software that can integrate with education software systems.

Call 1800 FORMFILE and see how we can help you today.

About the Author

PhD in European Languages and Cultures (specialising in Literary Translation) Department of International Studies Macquarie University