USQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

EDU8320 Rights and Responsibilities of School Leaders

Semester 3, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 30 June 2022


The transition from teacher to principal is challenging. Experience as a teacher does not necessarily develop the required knowledge, skills and leadership abilities needed for the new demands in their new position (Jensen, Hunter, Lambert, & Clark, 2015). Studies in Australia and overseas have suggested that principals, in the context of school management, now work in complex and increasingly uncertain and challenging environments. As the roles and responsibilities of principals change to meet new demands and capabilities, especially for dealing with safety and child protection, so too does the rights and responsibilities of school leaders, in addition to the implications of policy issues in schools such as the impact of court orders; duty of care in an educational context; overall responsibilities in relation to compliance; managing QCT requirements; working with children with disabilities; policy development and interpretation; and managing ethical considerations in schools.

This course aims to assist students to understand what rights and responsibilities are placed on principals, deputy principals, Heads of Departments and other aspiring leaders, (as well as 'Compliance Managers' in schools) to effectively perform their duties as the leader of their school community. Central to these rights and responsibilities are the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and considerations as to how to apply knowledge of these expectations specifically in a school context. That is to say that students will not only learn some of their ethical and legislative obligations in contemporary education, but more importantly, will also understand how to apply this acquired knowledge in their school community and what supports and protections are available to assist them. Students will learn what is, and how far, their duty of care extends in a school context, what their duties are when working with the teacher regulatory body, how to abide by and comply with court orders, how to remain compliant with mandatory reporting of child protection matters, ensure that they meet their privacy responsibilities, and examine what their rights are in relation to restriction of access of parents and others from the school campus. Students will also explore what conditions they must meet to comply with the Disability Standards in Education in their school. They will consider their rights and responsibilities for decision making and investigations in regard to when they should involve or defer to other supports, agencies and officials.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. knowledge of how to apply duty of care principles to various school activities including bullying and cyberbullying (Assignment 2);
  2. basic knowledge of how to read and comply with a variety of court orders and instructions that impact on the school (Assignment 2);
  3. knowledge and application of their obligations to ensure the safety and welfare of students in classrooms, inside and outside school grounds and buildings, and the safety and welfare of children, their carers and other adults in the school environment (Assignment 2);
  4. applied knowledge of how to ensure compliance with a range of educational, legislative, ethical and policy initiatives that relate to the school principalship (Assignment 1);
  5. ability to apply knowledge of obligations with respect to the relevant teacher regulatory (and registration) body (Assignment 1);
  6. ability to identify when and where it is appropriate to refer serious matters on to outside specialists who can provide expert knowledge and capacity to handle difficult situations (Assignment 2).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Duty of Care in the school environment 20.00
2. Obligations of school leaders with respect to the Queensland College of Teachers 20.00
3. How to comply with court orders 10.00
4. Child protection and mandatory reporting 10.00
5. Managing Privacy and Information 10.00
6. Ethics and ethical considerations in schools 5.00
7. Discrimination and Disability Standards in Education 10.00
8. Compliance in the school context 10.00
9. Policy development and interpretation in schools 5.00
Date printed 30 June 2022