Home' Teacher : November 2009 Contents 48 TEACHER NOVEMBER 2009
proceedings for anything they have done,
or not done, in good faith in providing the
The actions of volunteers attach to the
school, which means the school should
ensure that it provides proper instructions
to its volunteers so they understand the serv-
ice they are there to provide and what is
required of them.
Like many laws, there are exceptions to
the protection offered to volunteers. For
example, volu nteers will not be protected
if they knew, or ought reasonably to have
know n, that they were acting outside the
scope of the service they were there to pro -
vide, were not acting in accordance with the
school's instructions or were impaired by
alcohol or drugs.
Having children and volunteers partici-
pate in a fête may raise the issue of whether
volunteers working alone with children, or
indeed anyone working at the fête, should
be subject to checks and balances to ensu re
the safety of the children is protected. In
Victoria, for example, this would be a ques-
tion as to whether a Working with Chil-
dren Check is required, which is governed
by the Working With Children Act 2005.
The school should ensure that, if adults are
working alone with children, a Working
with Children Check is obtained.
Types of activities
Depending on the type of fête, activities
might include rides, raffles, animals, food
sales and even fireworks.
Many schools encourage each class to
take responsibility for a particular stall.
Parents are co-opted months in advance to
ensure the stall requirements are met. This
also ensures that the fête is truly embraced
by the school community.
First and foremost, schools should ensure
they have insurance in relation to these types
of activities. If the school council already
has public liability insurance, there may be
no need for an operator of a ride to take out
public liability insurance as well. The school
should check, however, that its insurance
does protect the school during the fête.
Even if the school has the appropriate
insurance, it should undertake proper due
diligence when entering into agreements
in relation to these activities. If a supplier
doesn't have insurance, ask why not. In ask-
ing this, you may find, for example, that
the activity is too risky, in which case it's
probably a good idea not to proceed with
it. Always ask questions, and when it comes
to suppliers and insurance, check all of the
documentation, check that suppliers have
public liability insurance and get everything
In relation to rides, measures should be
taken by the school to ensure strict com-
pliance with legislation. In Victoria, you
should check the Equipment (Public Safety)
Act 1994 and the Occupational Health and
Safety Act 2004. The school has a respon-
sibility to satisfy itself that a ride is fit for
purpose and is safe. It's prudent to include
clauses relating to indemnity and liability
in agreements with commercial operators.
Information is available about suppli-
ers and their equipment. Checks should
be made of the class and plant registration
numbers, the recordofinspections or main-
tenance that have occurred on the equip-
ment, and whether insu rance is necessary.
You can hold raffles, as long as they sat-
isfy legislative requirements, such as the
Gambling Regulation Act 2003 in Victo-
ria, but in general there is a prohibition on
gambling, and holding a raffle is a type of
A school can apply for what, in Victoria,
is called a 'minor gambling permit.' The
application for one of these must be com-
pleted 21 days before the school starts con-
ducting the raffle, and allows the holder of
the permit, who must be a nominee from the
school, to conduct the raffle and the fund-
raising event. These permits usually last for
a period of two years.
The use of animals at fêtes is permitted,
as long as the welfare requirements of the
animal are met. Different legislation, even
certain codes, govern this area, such as
the Pre vention of Cruelty to Animals Act
1986, in Victoria, and the Australian Code
of Practice for the Care and Use of Anim als
for Scientific Purposes.
The use of animals in fêtes is largely
uncontroversial, but do take measures to
ensure the welfare of the animals is being
met by monitoring how the animals are cop-
ing and the treatment they receive. Common
sense dictates that particularly around small
children, both the animal and the child
should be kept under supervision.
Many activities will require a power
source. Engage an electrician to advise on
power supplies to stalls. Don't run a hazard
of extension leads through the fête.
Providing food at fêtes is governed by
requirements set out in legislation such as,
in Victoria, the Food Act 1984. A school
fête is likely to be described as 'temporary
food premises,' that is, food stalls and sau-
sage sizzles. Temporary food premises must
bebuilt so that the foodwillnot be contam-
inated by customers, insects ordust. In rela-
tion to hygiene, all surfaces must be smooth
so they canbe cleanedeasily, washingfacili-
ties for hands and utensils must be provided,
and refrigeration and rubbish facilities must
be available. Your local council is a great
source of information about food handling.
You must check the food licences or permits
of all vendors operating on fête day before
they are engaged.
Labelling food should also be considered.
This is particularly so in cases where foods
on, say, a cake stall might contain ingredi-
ents such as nuts or gluten, which can cause
allergic reactions. Labelling should include a
description of the food and a list of the ingre-
dients. You should also re cord the details of
the person who made the food, whichcanbe
kept separately in a record book.
The use of fireworks at a fête should only
be undertaken by a licensed pyrotechni-
cian. Pyrotechnical licenses are dealt with
by the WorkCover or WorkSafe authority
in your state or territory. The pyrotechni-
cian must ensure that there is fire protec-
tion, that spectators are controlled and kept
safe, using barriers if need be, that security
is provided and a search is conducted at the
end for unfired fireworks.
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