According to Wikepedia Encyclopedia, the term loco parentis is a Latin word for “in the place of a parent” as “instead of a parent. It refers to the legal responsibility of a teacher to take on some functions and responsibilities of the real parents. By far, the most common usage of loco parents relates to teachers and students.

We may have heard the phrase “loco parentis” many times in the field of education before, but did you know that it has actually legal significance when it comes to looking after other peoples’ children – either on a casual or educational basis.

When a parent sent her child in the school and left him/her at the school gates, teachers and other staff of the school are effect agreeing and allowing themselves to act as a loco parentis. They also act in loco parentis when the pupils’ friends came to stay or to join the educational trip in any place.

So what does this legal definition actually mean in practical terms? According to Kathryn Craig of the Organization for Quality Organization, there are two statutory provisions that explain the role of teachers acting in loco parentis. First, the Children’s Act of 1969 provides that teachers have a duty of care towards the children under their supervision, as well as promoting the safety and welfare of the children in their case. The level of the duty of care is measured as being that of a reasonable parents.

The Health and Safely at Work Act of 1974 puts a further obligation on the school as a whole to safeguard the well-being and safety of pupils in her/his care. Many teachers have dreaded to organize and supervised educational trips o Lakbay Aral. The law provides that teachers have the legal responsibility for pupils under their supervision while on the trip.

But in practical terms, it is impossible to anticipate each and every potential danger. No one can tell when accidents will happen. Teachers just pray and offer mass for special intentions during this occasions. On the other hand, the courts have tended to emphasize reasonableness aspect of the duty of care in deciding cases.

Therefore, what are some significant points to be given importance by teachers? First, teachers are not responsible for children after school hours. If a child is not fetched after school the teacher can call up parents through mobile phones/landlines. If he/she cannot contact them he/she can refer children to social services. Remember, teachers are not required to administer medicine to pupils/students; but should keep a note of children who have medical conditions.



Nimfa Maria S. Calpo
Master Teacher
Samal North Elementary School


By: Mrs. Nimfa Maria S. Calpo Master | Teacher I | Samal North Elementary School

Website | + posts