The Doctrine of Loco Parentis

Under the common law doctrine of loco parentis a teacher is regarded as being in the position of a parent for the purposes of disciplining and taking care of students. This has usually been espoused as being based on a delegation from the parent to the teacher.

The scope of the doctrine of loco parentis is overridden by legislation. Corporal punishment, which is permissible under the doctrine, is expressly prohibited in all registered schools in Aotearoa. Detentions requiring a pupil to stay on in a classroom as a punishment when others are free to go must not be arbitrary, but may be imposed provided it is in accordance with reasonable school rules.