NSW makes changes to Teacher Accreditation Act in response to Royal Commission findings

NSW makes changes to Teacher Accreditation Act in response to Royal Commission findings

by Freya Lucas

December 02, 2021

The Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 has been amended in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, with the changes also impacting those who are early childhood teachers in NSW.


The changes are designed to ensure child protection is at the forefront of decision making in teacher regulation while also bringing NSW into line with the national framework for child safety.


An assessment of suitability to teach for initial and ongoing accreditation is one of the key new requirements that addresses the recommendations from the Royal Commission, and will mean that all Australian teacher regulatory authorities will apply a consistent approach to child safety.


As a result of the changes NESA will be making decisions about teacher accreditation at all levels, however existing Teacher Accreditation Authorities will continue to make these decisions while new processes are developed in consultation with key stakeholders.


The Act also introduces a new category of accreditation for non-practising teachers that allows those teachers who work in the broader education community outside of a school or early childhood service to remain in the profession. 


“We will work with stakeholders to ensure that these teachers can maintain their accreditation by meeting contextually appropriate requirements,” a NESA spokesperson said. 


The introduction of a public register of teachers further aligns NSW with other jurisdictions. The searchable register will only include teachers’ names, their NESA number and confirmation that they are actively accredited.


Other changes include strengthening and streamlining teacher accreditation processes, and reducing administrative burden on teachers, principals, schools and school sectors.


For more information, please review the Teacher Accreditation Amendment Bill 2021, here