WA OSHC service fined $12,500 after child is left alone in locked bus

WA OSHC service fined $12,500 after child is left alone in locked bus

by Freya Lucas

March 22, 2022

A Western Australian outside school hours care (OSHC) service has been penalised $12,500 after a five-year-old boy was left alone on a locked bus. 

 

The State Administrative Tribunal heard the case earlier this month in relation to the June 2021 incident where the boy was collected from his primary school in Margaret River and driven to the OSHC service in question.

 

Policies and practices had been established by the provider, however the educator responsible for supervising the children failed to follow these in a number of ways including: 

 

  • Not standing outside the vehicle and calling out the names of the children, signing them off the bus as the exited the vehicle 
  • Not conducting a head count when children entered or exited the vehicle 
  • Not conducting a final sweep of the vehicle prior to locking, including checking for any belongings or people on the bus, including under the seats
  • Not signing a log book kept on the bus to indicate that procedures had been followed.

 

The boy was left in the bus for seven minutes, and was discovered when another employee of the approved provider from a different site parked behind the bus and saw movement and called the service to advise of the child’s presence. 

 

The service was this week fined $11,000 by the State Administrative Tribunal and ordered to pay $1,500 in costs to the Department of Communities for failing to adequately supervise the child.

 

Following the incident, further training was provided and the policy was updated so that each child’s name would be called out before they left the bus, and to include provision for two educators to conduct the bus run. 

 

The agreed facts of the case may be found here. 

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