The purpose of the chapter is not to provide a definitive account of the law relating to education — even if such an account could be created, this would take several volumes rather than a single chapter. Rather it is to provide a minimal 'survival guide' to the law for the beginning teacher. For this reason, it does not cover the legal requirements on schools; these affect individual teachers through school policies and, as such, they become part of the teacher's duties as part of their contract of employment. It also does not deal with the specific requirements for out-of-school activities, since it would be most unwise for a beginning teacher to take responsibility for such trips. Instead, the focus is on how the law of England and Wales impacts the regular day-to-day activities of the ordinary classroom teacher.
There are two main sources of law in England and Wales: statute law and common law. Statute law is created by Parliament when it passes Acts like the 1988 Education Reform Act. Common law, on the other hand, has been built up over the centuries from tradition. A teacher's responsibility for children (and by extension that of a student teacher) derives largely from common law, not statute law. The crucial part of this responsibility is the notion of a duty of care.
Everyone has a duty of care to everyone else. If a person runs down a busy street and knocks someone over causing injury, that person might well be