Behaviour disorders and teacher negligence

Tait, Gordon (2009) Behaviour disorders and teacher negligence. International Journal of Law and Education, 14(1), p. 93.

View at publisher


The purpose of this paper is to examine the legal implications of the continuing rise in the number of school children diagnosed with behaviour disorders. Not only are teachers now subject to a dense grid of legal regulation, they are also increasingly vulnerable to actions in tort. It will be argued here that as more and more children are labelled ‘disordered’, the duty of care become more onerous, and hence harder for teachers to meet. As a consequence, teachers are more likely to face claims of negligence. It is concluded that while the schooling system needs to retain a healthy scepticism about each new pathologising disorder that seeks special status for its sufferers, it also needs to provide greater training and resources for teachers regarding disorder management. It is also concluded that recent changes to negligence law regarding the issue of ‘reasonable foreseeability’ within breach of duty of care, may not be as significant as might have been hoped by the teaching community. Indeed, the elevated standard of care required by the increasing numbers of disordered pupils, places teachers in an ever more difficult legal position.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 28833
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: ADHD, Tort Law, Negligence, Behaviour Disorders, Teacher responsibility
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Brisbane Graduate School of Business
Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 19 Feb 2010 04:24
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:07

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page