Australian Education Department Responsible for Young Girl's Drowning Death

The New South Wales Department of Education in Australia and a Blue Mountains swimming pool were directly responsible for the "tragic and avoidable" drowning death of a schoolgirl, a NSW coroner found.

Eight-year-old Amarni Dirani drowned on a school fun day at the Olympic pool at Glenbrook in December 2006.

Handing down his findings at Westmead Coroners' Court Friday, NSW Coroner Carl Milovanovich said Amarni's parents had signed a permission note without indicating whether she could swim, and this was the "catalyst'' for a tragic series of events.

Milovanovich found Glenbrook pool staff and teachers from Cambridge Gardens Primary School, in Sydney's west, failed to follow their own policies on the day Amarni drowned.

Had they done so, the coroner said she would not have died."Amarni Dirani's death by drowning on a supervised school outing was a tragic but avoidable death," he said.

Milovanovich said the school's failure to identify that Amarni was a non-swimmer, or to conduct an appropriate risk assessment for their planned fun day, were among the factors that contributed to the girl's death.

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