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Exceptions for protection of public health

The health and welfare of students with disability and other people

Under the Education Standards discrimination may be allowed if a person has an infectious disease or other condition and it is reasonably necessary to discriminate against an individual to protect the health and welfare of that person or others. The education provider must show how discriminating against a student with an infectious disease or other condition actually protects that student or other people against that disease or condition.

Unfortunately the Education Standards do not tell us exactly what is meant by an infectious disease or other condition. There is a similar public health exception in the DDA. But the DDA exception only talks about ‘infectious disease’ and not ‘other condition’. The words ‘other condition’ are new and have not been clearly explained in the Education Standards. However, it is likely that diseases that can be passed on by close contact will be covered by this exception. For example mumps, chicken pox and Tuberculosis amongst others.

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