South Australian law change sees immediate ECT suspension for criminal charges
The South Australian Teachers Registration Board (TRB) will be able to immediately suspend early childhood teachers (ECTs) who have been charged with a serious criminal offence after legislation which was passed through state parliament earlier this year came into effect yesterday.
The South Australian State Government introduced legislation in September this year to amend the Teacher Registration and Standards Act 2004, with the new legislation allowing the TRB to immediately suspend the registration of a teacher, or vary the conditions of a teacher’s registration, if they are charged with a prescribed offence.
Previously, a teacher’s registration remained valid while any court proceedings and subsequent disciplinary inquiries were underway. The previous legislation meant that while a teacher charged with serious offences would be stood down from their current employment, they could have potentially sought employment in another early childhood education and care (ECEC) service.
State Education Minister John Gardner said the move was vital in ensuring the community has full confidence in the teacher registration process.
“Today we have closed a crucial loophole that upholds the integrity of the teachers’ register and ensures the confidence of the community in our teaching workforce,” Mr Gardner said, affirming the State Government’s commitment to “doing everything we can to ensure we keep our children and young people safe”
“The community has an expectation that teachers registered in South Australia are not only competent educators, but are also fit and proper persons to have the care of children.This new law means that teachers facing such serious charges will not remain on the register while these matters are being finalised, and all members of the community can have full confidence in the teachers’ register.” he said in closing.
Information about ECT registration in South Australia is available via the TRB website.