INDEPENDENT NEWS

Reporting Of Teachers Council Decisions

Published: Sat 2 Dec 2006 12:30 AM
Media Release
Date: 2 December 2006
Reporting Of Teachers Council Decisions
The Teachers Council announced today that in February 2007 all decisions made by its Disciplinary Tribunal will be made available to the public on the Council’s web-site.
Joanna Beresford, Chair of the Council, said “the Council on Wednesday
29 November confirmed its 28 September decision to remove before publication all identifying features of individuals appearing before the Tribunal. That decision was made after consultation with key stakeholders and analysing the practice of other registration bodies.
“Central to the decision is a wish to ensure that as far as possible witnesses and innocent parties are protected.
“It is clearly in the public interest that cases of alleged serious misconduct are not only dealt with fairly, but that the outcomes of deliberations are made available.
“To do so will inform the profession and others about the Council’s approach to issues involving serious misconduct and the Council’s disciplinary procedures, and also provide a body of case law.
“In addition, the Council has decided to consult with stakeholders on whether or not to amend the current Rules to enable the Council to publish the names of teachers who are the subject of a Disciplinary Tribunal hearing should the Council consider it appropriate to do so.
“This consultation will be comprehensive and extend beyond teachers and principals and employers to agencies such as the Office of the Commissioner for Children, the Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
“The Council is also seeking comment from stakeholders on its intention to cease reporting by way of head notes certain Council decisions on the practising certificates and registration of individuals noting that the Council has suspended that practice in the interim. The registration status of individuals will continue to be readily accessible from the Council’s web-site.
“Initial investigations into complaints about teacher conduct are made by a Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC). The Council considers it appropriate that these investigations and the decisions of the CAC remain confidential. The current practice enjoys the confidence of both teachers and employers and is effective in resolving most complaints to the satisfaction of the parties involved. In addition, the CAC has the power to refer cases to the Disciplinary Tribunal that involve alleged serious misconduct, or if the teacher and the initiator cannot reach agreement after reasonable efforts have been made. (Since November 2005, 24 cases have been referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal by the CAC.)
Ends

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